Aaron's First Impressions: Samsung Gravity 3 (T-Mobile)Aaron Baker - Director, Content and Partnerships
I love the QWERTY featurephone category, and the Samsung Gravity 3 doesn't disappoint. With a fantastic QWERTY board, 3G connectivity, and a nice design, it's a great choice for T-Mobile users that don't quite need a smartphone. The Gravity 3 is 4.6 inches long by 2.11 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick, and weighs 4.34 ounces, making it perfect for the pocket or briefcase. For a mid-range device, I'm impressed with the build quality - the hinge opens and closes with a strong "click" each time I access the keyboard, and it feels sturdy in the hand.
The Gravity 3 ships in the usual T-Mobile box and includes the device, battery, AC adapter, and instruction manuals. The device offers several external buttons, with the volume rocker, charging port, and 2.5mm headphone jack on the left, and the camera and voice buttons on the right. The camera and speakerphone are on the back, and the microSD card slot can be found under the battery door.
One of the shining features of the device is the keyboard. The keys are tactile and large, making it easy to type quickly. What's more, Samsung offers a dedicated row for the space bar and commonly used symbols, which alleviates a pet peeve I have with several QWERTY featurephones on the market today. The only potential downside is the colors used on the keyboard. I'm working with the black/blue version of the device, and the symbols, arrows, shortcut keys, and numbers are all blue, making it hard to discern at first glance where everything is located. You get used to it, but I found myself typing incorrectly for the first few days.
With a 2.0-megapixel camera, the photos you take with the Gravity 3 aren't going to blow anyone away, especially since there's no flash. Editing options include white balance, quality, picture type, and a self-timer. The device isn't going to replace your high-end camera, but it works well for the quick snapshot on the go. The camcorder is equally basic, and good for the occasional video on the run.
I've been working with the unit in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, and have been relatively pleased with reception. I did notice that there was one strong T-Mobile area that I had less than perfect signal in, but I have been unable to duplicate the problem, leading me to believe it may have been a cell site issue. At any rate, speakerphone has been good thus far, and I paired two Bluetooth headsets without a problem.
Battery life has been surprisingly good on the device to date. With moderate use including calling, text messaging, internet use, I was able to make it over two days before the device powered down. The Gravity 3 offers 3G connectivity, so browsing has been flawless. The mobile CNN homepage loaded in about 11 seconds, and PhoneDog's mobile page loaded in about 14 seconds. If you're coming from a smartphone, it's nothing impressive, but it gets the job done and works well for those that browse the web every now and again.
Full review to come soon!
What I like:
-Battery life has been very good.
-Keyboard that's tactile and easy to type on.
What I don't like:
-Color coding on the QWERTY keyboard could be confusing for some users.
-Some potential reception issues; still testing.