If you text more than you talk or like to check your e-mail regularly – even when you’re out – the Samsung Smiley (SGH-T359) could be just the phone for you. While the name may be silly – being trade marked as the “Samsung :)” literally – the phone itself is easy to use, easy to pack, and easy to read on or type with. For a budget phone, it performs very well.
- Text, picture, and video messaging.
- Internet enabled (Web2Go)
- E-mail and Instant Messaging
- Built-in 1.3MP camera
- MicroSD Card slot
- GPS and Google Maps
- Bluetooth Wireless support
- 1.3 megapixel camera with 2x zoom
Great for texting/e-mailing
Good battery life
Sharp, bright display
Headphones not included
Non-standard headphone jack
Poor camera quality
No voice dialing
The battery lasts for up to 300 hours on standby and 5.5 hours when in use. In my experience, this translates out to is a decent all day phone for those who use the Smiley frequently. For infrequent users, it can go several days without a charge.
If you’re looking for more talk than text, the Samsung Smiley is probably not the phone for you. The volume typically has to be turned up, and in noisy environments I have to max it out. It does seem to cut down background noise for the other party at least. Over all though, the camera and sound quality are lower than similar phones. For approximately the same price you could pick up a Gravity 3 or Gravity T with almost twice the megapixels, or the Motorola S9-HD.
That said, it’s bright display and qwerty keyboard make it easy to send and receive texts and e-mail. It’s comfortable to hold, light weight, and fits pretty easily into your pocket, purse, or backpack.
The slider has just the right amount of resistance, so it’s easy to open one handed but doesn’t come open on its own. The :) turns off when you slide it shut, so it won’t dial in your pocket. It turns on automatically when you slide it open again, or you can unlock it manually.
The phone can also be set to check your inbox automatically. I love this feature, since it keeps me from missing important e-mails. The Samsung Smiley is comfortable with multiple e-mail accounts too, so you can have it check both your yahoo and hotmail accounts every few hours. With its ActiveSync Exchange support, the Smiley is even compatible with corporate e-mail.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this is a great phone if you’re looking to use it primarily for texting, e-mail, and portable internet access. The GPS/Google Maps keep you heading the right way, and you can update Facebook, check the weather, or watch YouTube videos as you go. It’s durable and has all the usual features (alarm clock, calendar, etc.) making it a worthy and affordable companion. If you’re not yet ready for an iPhone, but want some internet connectivity this is an excellent buy.