The Transform has been on the market for a while now and we had an unboxing a couple of months ago, but somehow the phone fell through the cracks and we never got a review done. Don't worry, all you crazy mid-range smartphone fans, we have the Transform now and will be covering it in full.
If you liked the Epic 4G on Sprint, but you didn't want to pay $250 for the phone or the extra $10 per month for 4G data, then the Transform is the perfect option for you. It's basically a mini-Epic. The specs are little less impressive and it's a bit smaller, but it fits in nicely with its other mid-range Android brethren. It also features Sprint's new ID Packs idea, which allows you to download different packs of apps that are categorized by theme. Interesting. I've had the Transform for about a day so let's take a look at some notes I've made so far.
- The size seems perfect. Granted, my hands are way too small for the Epic's 4-inch screen and physical keyboard, so the Transform is right up my alley. If you had the same problem with the Epic, or if you just don't like the huge devices, then you'll love the Transform. It measures 4.61-inches tall, 2.42-inches wide, and .61-inches thick. It's somewhat light and plasticky, but it feels solid enough.
- The keyboard is one of the best I've used. The island-style keys are large, spaced just right, and easy to press. They are rubbery, but they aren't very mushy; I know some people don't like mushy keys. Basically, typing is very comfortable. The keys are not raised very much at all, but the texture of them makes this not too much of a problem.
- The 3.5-inch screen may be too small for some, but it's probably big enough for most people. For a display, 3.5 inches is generally as small as you can go before it's just too small. It has a somewhat lower resolution, 320 x 480, but it's still pretty clear and bright. The capacitive touchscreen is slightly sticky, but maybe that's just because I'm used to the slick screens of the Galaxy S devices and other smartphones. After a few hours of use, some of the grip went away and it was easier to scroll and slide through pages.
- The Transform ships with Android 2.1. There's no word on when or if it will get 2.2, though my guess is that it will. We'll see what Samsung decides to do.
- I haven't been able to test out any new ID packs because every time I try to access them, the phone says I have no data connection even though I clearly do. I'll see if I can figure out what's going on.
- The 800 MHz processor seems just fast enough to keep everything running smoothly, but there is a considerable lag, especially when doing a couple of things at once. From the minute I started using it, I noticed the lag. It's not too bad, but it's definitely there and is something that you'll have to learn to get used to. It is a constant no matter what I'm doing.
A few other details: the phone has a 3 MP camera with an LED flash as well as a front-facing camera. It ships with a 2 GB microSD card and supports up to 32 GB. Overall, I'm digging the phone, I just wish the processor had a little more power to it. We'll see how I feel about it after putting it through more testing and using it for a week. Check back in to PhoneDog.com for the full review.