Apparently, the featurephone is not dying because manufacturers and carriers continue to release more and more of them. The Samsung Solstice had a solid run as a basic featurephone, so Samsung decided to release an updated version: the Samsung Solstice 2. Is it an improvement? Well, I've only been using the device for about half-a-day so I can't say for sure, but I do have a few first impressions, which I'll share with you.
- As far as "updates" there aren't much. The Solstice 2 has the same 2 megapixel camera, 3-inch touchscreen display, and 1000 mAh battery that the original Solstice had. So, basically, it's just a design upgrade.
- The touchscreen is, however, a capacitive touchscreen. This is nice to see and so far it seems to be pretty responsive. Granted, it's not as great as a capacitive touchscreen on a smartphone, but it hasn't given me too many problems so far.
- I am a little disappointed by the 2 MP camera and its lack of a flash, but I digress. It is, after all, a basic featurephone that costs only thirty bucks on contract.
- The design is pretty cool. It's a small device, measuring 4.29 inches tall, 2.13 inches wide, and .47 inches thick. The silver accents on the side of the device give it a very stylish feel and set it apart from other featurephones. It feels pretty solid in the hand. It seems that manufactures are stepping up their game in the quality control department. It's no Motorola Droid, but I don't hear that hollow sound that we used to hear all the time when knocking on the back of a featurephone.
- The 1000 mAh battery sounds great. If you can imagine that a feature-packed, high-end messaging phone like the LG Vu Plus has a 950 mAh battery, then a standard featurephone with a 1000 mAh battery should do just fine.
- There is no physical keyboard so you'll have to make do with the virtual keyboard when it comes to texting or typing.
- Also, there is no headphone jack - 3.5mm or 2.5mm. This is a little disappointing and possibly frustrating for some, but I suppose it's fine for just a basic phone.
So far I'm pleased with the device. It features Samsung's TouchWiz UI, which I've always been a fan of. It is, of course, a very standard and basic phone, so don't expect to be blown away by specs or performance, but for someone who needs a cool phone for basic tasks, I think it should be just fine. I'll hold off final judgement until I've been able to test it out further. Check back for the full written review.
Check out our Samsung Solstice 2 unboxing video!