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I just got in a Samsung Alias 2 for Verizon Wireless. The big idea behind the Samsung Alias 2 is the metamorphic keypad - it's called an E-Ink keypad, which literally changes what appears on the keys depending on the function that is being used. It's an interesting concept, though admittedly takes a little patience when getting familiar with it. That said, in many ways it's a much cleaner keypad. At first glance, the 42 white squares on the keypad reminded me a bit of something you might see used in the movie Tron, but the phone itself looks like a standard flip phone with an interesting hinge. Like its predecessor, the Alias this cell phone is a multifunction device trying to meet the needs of two different uses: open it standard flip style and it's a typical cell phone; open it sideways so that the screen is in landscape mode and it becomes a functional texting/e-mail device with a full QWERTY keyboard. The nifty feature here is that depending on what application you're in when you flip open the screen horizontally the ink on the keys change to fit that application - thus E-Ink.

The other interesting change is the user interface, it's got a fun feel to it along the lines of the LG Dare. It looks a lot like you're looking at bookshelves and when you press the Menu key there are more shelves that have correlating images of the applications. Once you access one of those applications, you're taken into the typical Verizon menus. Additionally, the Samsung Alias 2 is a music phone with correlating keys on the front display that you can use to play, rewind and fast forward through songs in your library. Music sounds pretty good through the cell phone's speaker. There's also a 2-megapixel camera.

First impressions: This is an interesting cell phone and there are enough changes here that sets it apart from the original Alias.

Samsung Alias 2

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