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Samsung Blackjack Review

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows Mobile Phones' started by charlyee, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    I got the Blackjack the first day it came out - Nov 16. At first it frustrated me quite a bit because it is not a full function PDA like my IPAQ but I slowly kept finding out all the work arounds and now it is indispensible to me both as a Phone & a PDA.


    The first thing I noticed is that how good the recption and call clarity is on this phone. I have tried a few combination devices in the past year and their shortcoming was always the phone.

    The following are some specifics:

    What came in the box:

    1. Blackjack.

    2. CD with Active Sync, note pad sync and instruction manual.

    3. A second battery with a case that can be used for both charging & storing the second battery.

    4. Power/Charging cable.



    Pros:

    1. Absolutely fantastic call clarity and reception, I have only owned 2 GSM phones that even come close to it, the PEBL and the Nokia 6682.

    2. The earpiece is loud, I have yet to set it above 75% even in a noisy environment.

    3. The Speaker is loud and clear.

    4. The screen is gorgeous, not as big as a regular PDA but crisp & bright. This is something that I was worried about coming from the gorgeous screen that the 6131 has.

    5. Great form factor, it is light but not light enough to feel like a toy. The size is just right and the slimness makes it very comfortable in jeans pockets.

    6. The vibrate is very loud, infact sometimes it is too loud in a quiet room.

    7. Build quality is excellent.


    Cons:

    1. The battery drains fairly quickly if web browsing but will last through one day and having a fully charged battery on hand is great.

    2. The keys are small and a little hard to get used to.

    3. There is a trick to getting the battery cover off and it is not very intuitive. If I am supposed to be changing batteries everyday I would have liked it to be a little easier.

    3. The flap covering the charging port and the Micro SD slot seem to be rather flimsy.


    What it lacks as a phone:

    1. No voice dialing - but can be taken care by getting additional software.

    2. No easy way to dial a number like 1-800-SAMSUNG - can be changed with registry edit.

    3. No message or data counter, no 3rd. part software seems to be available for this yet.


    What it lacks as PDA

    1. Only viewing for Office Documents.

    2. Only viewing E-Mail attachments.

    3. Does not sync Outlook Notes.

    4. No way to put tasks and all meetings for the day on the home screen, only shows the upcoming meeting.

    All of the above can be taken care of by using 3rd. party software some free and some for a nominal price.


    What was very easy to do:

    1. Blue tooth pairing with my laptop and 6131.

    2. Setting up Active Sync.

    3. Customize my quick list

    4. Getting Cingular to send me the unlock code in 3 days.


    What was difficult to do:

    1. Get information from Cingular or even Samsung on how to do something on this phone.


    Programs that do not work on this:

    1. Google Maps.

    2. Opera Mini.

    Anything Java based- it will constantly keep asking for permission. You may have read SteveW's posts on this for his LG Cu500, this is a Cingular problem and not a Samsung or LG problem.

    Alternates:
    1. MS Virtual Earth works extremely well on this.


    Overall, I would recoomend this device highly but please be aware that you are buying a top quality excellent Smartphone and not a PDAphone.

    I hope to post some screenshots soon. I am sure I have left a lot out, please let me know if you have questions that you think I can answer...

    Thanks Much....:)
     
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    #1 charlyee, Dec 6, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  2. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Great review Charlyee and thanks for sharing, I wish you the best of luck with your new toy.:)
     
  3. Steven2420

    Steven2420 World Champions Baby!!!!!
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    Fantastic review Charlyee, not to techy, or to "Engineerie"--(made up word)-:loony:

    VERY WELL DONE--ENJOY--HAVE FUN---GET THE EBAY LISTING READY-LOL
     
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  4. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Nice review Charylee! :cool:
     
  5. hiddendragon

    hiddendragon New Member

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    Excellent review! Here's the million dollar question: which data plan do you have (or were forced to get)?
     
  6. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    This would fall under the 29.99 Smartphone Data package most likely.
     
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  7. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    I knew someone was going to ask that - :)

    I actually have the $14.99 Media Bundle which is what I always had. I have 2 months unlimited data and text as a promotion and I might change it to the Media Max plan after that depending on how much I want to use it for web browsing.

    I did have to forfeit the $100 rebate, the only way to get that would be to sign up for the unlimited PDA connect plan for $39.99 and then add $9.99 on top of that for 1000 messages.

    Shawn, Cingular insists that this is a PDAphone and needs the PDA connect plan not the Smartphone connect.

    Joe, Steve, Budney, thank you :)

    PS: it also comes with a USB sync cable, I think that also charges. I cannot setup Active Sync with a direct connect with any WM5 device due to firewalls, I use Bluetooth instead.
     
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  8. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Two more items I wanted to add:

    1. Voice calls seemlessly transfer when moving from 3G to E and vice versa. I have not had an opportunity to try data over 3G yet.

    2. Before I figured out how to closeout applications, I have had as many as 12 open at one time while on the phone, texting, or web browsing and the BJ did not lockup. I haven't had to reboot this yet. I can actually make most everything lockup by doing too many applications at any one time. I probably soft reset my IPAQ at least 2-3 times/day and my laptop once a day...:D
    Hey you are the VP of Marketing, making up things are a pre-requisite in your line of work and your speciality.:p
     
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  9. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Here are some screen shots, please keep in mind i am a very poor photographer so please pardon the poor picture quality.

    1. Home Screen.
    2. Quick List
    3. Messaging Screen
     
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    #9 charlyee, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  10. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Some more screen shots:

    1. WA Front Page
    2. Virtual Earth Mobile
    3. Word Document on Picsel Viewer
     
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    #10 charlyee, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  11. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Nice pics Charlyee,thanks for sharing.:)
     
  12. hiddendragon

    hiddendragon New Member

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    Ok, Cingular doesn't know how to address SmartPhones...yet! Here are the two options that are specifically for SmartPhones:

    Option A) SmartPhone Unlimited Data connect for $19.99 (no provision for text messages or MMS)

    Option B) MediaNet Plan (Basic, Works, Max) for $9.99/$14.99/$19.99/$29.99

    I personally have MediaMax 200 (unlimited internet, 200 text messages, 20 MMS) plan for $19.99.

    You DO NOT NEED the pda connect plan for ANY of the smartphones!!!
     
  13. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    You are right ofcourse, except for one basic problem, Cingular insists that the Blackjack is a PDAPhone NOT a Smartphone. :rolleyes:

    Thanks Joe.:)
     
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  14. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    Nice review Charylee, well done. :)
     
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  15. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Everybody agrees. This is a marketing/sales ploy by Cingular, not a technical issue. As Charlyee said below, the distinction between "PDA" and "Smart", in this case, only affects which data plan qualifies for the $100 rebate.

    My guess is that its simply an attempt to charge what the market will bear. Cingular knows that most PDA phones are bought by businesses, so they want to wack them for 39.99. For individuals, who want to watch videos or listen to music, Cingular will try to push a 19.99 or 29.99 plan. Neither do I think that it's a bandwidth issue. I'd bet a dollar that a heavy video user on an unlimited MediaNet plan actually downloads more bits than a business-oriented PDA user.


    SW
     
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  16. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Nice review and pictures, Charlyee, thanks. My questions - since this phone runs WM5, how is it that some of the PDA functions are not available? Are there different levels of WM5 functionality? If so, is there any way to know by what parts of WM5 are supported by looking at the specs?

    Thanx
     
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  17. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Hmmm, You wouldn't be talking about me Charlyee, would you???

    ;) Jay
     
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    #17 Jay2TheRescue, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  18. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Umm, that was me, but if the shoe fits Jay...;)



    SW
     
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  19. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Thanks Shawn....:)
    My sentiments exactly Jay.....:D
    Thanks Steve. Hmm I guess there is WM5 and there is WM5 - lol. The two OS's are different but I don't know enough about it to explain it, specially to someone who knows way more than me about Operating Systems. :D

    The two are going to be combined sometime during the next couple of years or so I hear.

    Shawn, where are you? I could use some help here you know? ;)

    The other problem is that the Blackjack is kind of unique, it is the first Smartphone with a QWERTY KB, also it does more PDA functions out of the box than something like the 3125 and then ofcourse it is 3G. Now Samsung is coming out with it's successor, the i600 I believe that is going to have WiFi. Cingular didn't quite have a category for it so they just put where it finanacilally benefits them. Interestingly neither the store nor any CSR has ever pushed me to the PDA plan all they have said is that I better get unlimited data if I am going to surf the web, watch video and do everything else this phone is capable of doing.

    Sorry I didn't have a more complete answer.
     
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    #19 charlyee, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
  20. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    For watching video, I agree. For everything else, it really depends on how much you use it. No sense paying for more than you have to, obviously.


    SW
     
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  21. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    I'm crushed... :(

    -jay
     
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  22. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    I'm better on the history of operating systems than I am on the current versions ;). I know a bit about about Win XP, Mac OS X and Palm 5.4, but almost nothing about WM5.


    SW
     
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  23. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    I really don't plan to watch video on a itty bitty screen (borrowed word from WG's vocabulary). I did however browse WA with my WiFi enabled IPAQ when I was not near a terminal at home. I have been doing the browsing with my Blackjack now and unlimited data would be the way to go for me. I can always downgrade if I find myself not using it that much....;)

    PS: In the process of messing around with data plans, somehow I ended up with free unlimited text messaging until 2/03/07. What a great ammunition to bombard my text messaging friends with......:rotfl:
     
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    #23 charlyee, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
  24. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    That is still more than I know...;)

    So sorry Jay, here is a hug and a kiss for you then....:D

    (((Jay))) :kiss:
     
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  25. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Ok, I feel special again, (And not short-bus special either!)
     
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  26. hiddendragon

    hiddendragon New Member

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    The good sales reps. will try to sell you the correct data plan...certainly NOT the PDA connect. If all else fails, ask for their supervisor. Bad reps. won't know any better and will sell you the more expensive, PDA plan!

    Another way to know is through OLAM (online access management). When you log into your account, pretend to upgrade your phone, get to the point to choosing a data plan, you will NOT see an option for PDA connect on any of the smartphones!
     
  27. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    I am sorry but I disagree, the only plan that is available for the Blackjack with OLAM is the PDA plan. if you want any other plan then you have to call CS. Also the only way to qualify for the Blackjack rebate is with the PDA plan. This is true for the Blackjack only and not any other Smartphone.

    I don't think it is a matter of good vs bad sales reps, they are just following directives. Cingular calls the Blackjack a PDAphone for whatever reason. There is a mass of people protesting this, so they may change it eventually.
     
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  28. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Charlyee Cingular needs to address the issue, CNET and Phonescoop both call it a smartphone so who is wrong them or Cingular? I tried to buy a data plan through Cingular after pretending to purchase the Blackjack and I was directed to the PDA connect plans.
     
  29. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    Clarification of definition of Smartphone VS PPC according to Windows.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/about/faq.mspx#2
    I don't think it can get any clearer than that, now let me clarify why there's a difference in the two prices differences, Cingular figures customers who purchase PDA style phones are more business oriented and will use more data, also there is more configurability with PPC so that's why it's higher. Charlyee is clear and correct about the Rebate, and if this application set is true for her device then it does qualify as a PDA instead of a Smartphone and it would be my mistake for classifying it as a smartphone. Now in the version after Codename: Crossbow (WM6) the smartphone suite will be done away with and both Smartphones and PPC's will be running the same version of windows, please note this is done for developers more than not because there are 2 different SDK's and programming methods for the two.

    Ok and last but not least, it may be running Smartphone and still be classified as a PDA by Cingular, you have to understand it's their system and things go by their rules. It's about the average data useage more than anything and that's how they may have classified this device.
     
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  30. paulmac

    paulmac Senior Member
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    Nice Review, curious does it have Wifi? Not sure I would give up my pearl for this, but interesting. Nice to see a new player in this market, other than RIM, Motorola, HP, etc. Can only make things better for everyone.

    Have you tried when calling Cingular, asking for BB support instead of the normal customer service? I know it is not a BB but wonder if they might have more or better info since it is similar to a BB. When with Cingular and having a BB I found there BB support group to be very good.
     
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