When most people think of being "green" they think of buying a hybrid car or taking the train or maybe even buying those swirly light bulbs that consume less energy. I would guess that most people don't think of the phone they buy as contributing to their "green" effort. Samsung thought of it though and introduced a brand new "green" smartphone, the Replenish. It is made from 82% recyclable materials, ships in fully recyclable packaging, and even has an optional solar panel charger.
The Replenish is good for the environment, but is it actually a good smartphone? Well, I've had the phone for nearly a day and I'm pleased so far. It's no powerhouse by any means, but it seems to be a decent phone. I'll have to do further testing before I pass my final judgement, but here are some of my initial impressions:
- I'm really digging the design. Samsung definitely took some design cues from RIM on this one and it works. The Replenish looks a lot like an elongated BlackBerry Bold. Of course, it is made entirely out of plastic, but it looks great. 'Business' and 'professional' are the first words that came to my mind when I saw the Replenish for the first time.
- The keyboard is amazing. I can be pretty picky when it comes to physical keyboards, but the keyboard on the Replenish hit the sweet spot for me. It's just the right size, the keys are not too firm, but not squishy, and the bubble design makes them easy to differentiate from one another.
- I wish the display was larger. I know that, because of the form factor, this display was already going to be somewhat small, so I was okay with 2.8 inches. However, when I saw the device and noticed how large the bezel is around the display, I couldn't help but think that Samsung easily could have added some size to the display. The low resolution bothers me too. Obviously, for a mid-range phone you expect a low resolution, but why did Samsung have to make it a mid-range phone? Why not at least a 480x800 display? Well, that point is mute, but the grainy display and pixelated text are definite negatives.
- Something else that I can be quite picky about is a phone's camera; however, never again will I complain about a 3-megapixel auto-focus camera now that I've used the Replenish and its 2-megapixel fixed focus camera. Granted, I can't fully pass judgement since I haven't taken very many pictures with it and I understand that megapixel-count is not the only thing that determines the quality of a camera, but my expectations are not very high.
- I never personally saw the use in Sprint ID, but if that's your thing the Replenish ships with that feature along with stock Android 2.2.
- The Replenish's 600 MHz processor seems to be doing okay in keeping up with minimal everyday tasks. The fact that it uses stock Android probably helps a lot. I did a quick Quadrant Standard test and the phone scored a measly 516. I'll have to put it through its paces to see if that score is a true reflection of how the phone performs.
So there are my first impressions of the Samsung Replenish. Check back in for the full review or check out the unboxing video below.