The Samsung Craft is the first commercially available 4G LTE enabled device. That's big. It's not a smartphone, but it's a huge step in the right direction for all phones - smart or messaging. The Samsung Craft was sent to me on Friday so I've been able to do a few preliminary tests over the weekend. My first impression of the phone is good. I'm impressed with the specs and MetroPCS has clearly put forth a lot of effort to make this phone the best it could be. Here are few things I've taken note of:
- Build quality is excellent. This may not seem like a big deal, but considering it's a messaging phone and it's on a regional carrier, they easily could've gotten away with a flimsy, plastic-feeling device. That's not what they did though. The Craft feels very solid in the hand and the overall design of the phone is very appealing.
- 4G speeds haven't been blazingly fast, but it's faster than the 3G on other messaging phones I've used. I'll have to test this feature a little more.
- A 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and a flash. Now that's more like it, Samsung. I've long been a proponent of messaging phones getting better cameras with more features and it looks like a few companies are catching on. The few pictures I've taken have come out very clear.
- The 3.3 AMOLED display is beautiful. Add to that the responsive capacitive touchscreen and you would think you were holding a smartphone in your hands. The AMOLED display is vibrant and clear. Watching the included full-length Star Trek film was awesome.
- I'm not too sure what I think about the keyboard. When I used it for the first time, I immediately thought I wouldn't like it. The keyboard is designed with the infamous "space bar squeezed in a row of letters" issue, which I've never been fond of. However, I noticed that this one is a little different. Instead of the space bar being in between the V and the B, it's in between the B and the N. This has actually made it more comfortable to type on.
The Craft ships with a 1500 mAh battery, which is pretty impressive for a messaging phone. Something else you may be surprised by - WIFI. Yup, the Samsung Craft, a messaging phone, supports WIFI. Who'da thought?
So, it sounds amazing, right? It is a pretty cool little device. One thing you have to keep in mind though is that it is still a messaging phone. So while it does have a beautiful display, supports WIFI and 4G, and just in general feels like a smartphone, it's not a smartphone. Web browsing is still going to be a little uncomfortable and the phone can be a little laggy when switching though pages and menu options.
Who knows? Maybe this is the future of messaging phones. I certainly hope so. The category could use a boost.