Samsung Continuum Review
Samsung Fascinate, a Galaxy S smartphone, was released for Verizon, it was the first device for the carrier to sport a Super AMOLED display. Now a new Galaxy S-branded model has hit the streets, just in time for the Holiday shopping season – the Samsung Continuum i400. Both devices share similar features, such as running on the Android 2.1 operating system with Samsung’s TouchWiz 3 user interface, as well as having a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and a 5MP autofocus camera. So what’s the difference, you may ask? It basically comes down to a few things: the Continuum has two Super AMOLED displays (more on that later), and it’s overall a smaller device.
Included in the retail package is the Samsung Continuum i400 smartphone, 1500mAh battery, pre-installed 8GB microSDHC memory card, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, and user guides.
When looking at the Samsung Continuum and Fascinate side-by-side, both devices are made out of plastic and sport the same all-black exterior and checkered pattern on the back, though the Continuum lacks the chrome accent around the sides. In fact, the Continuum looks like a smaller brother of the Fascinate, and holding the Continuum feels more comfortable due to its more compact size and rounded edges, but larger hands may be OK with the size of the Fascinate or even the Motorola DROID X.
You can compare the Samsung Continuum with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
One feature that we liked about the Samsung Fascinate was the impressive 4” Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480x800 that was a pleasure to watch videos on, but we didn’t care for the fact that small text from web pages looked pixelated on the screen. The Continuum instead has two Super AMOLED displays – the main one is 3.4” with a resolution of 480x800, and the second “ticker” display is 1.8” with a 480x96 pixel resolution. Because of the difference in the main screen size (4” to 3.4”), but having the same WVGA resolution, we found that text and images on the Continuum look sharper and clearer than on the Fascinate. However, the more interesting part is the independent ticker display located at the bottom. Whenever you receive a new social network feed (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace), RSS update, a new email, text message, or phone alert, the ticker will automatically come on and show it on the bottom screen. Now say you want to activate the ticker on your own, you can touch the sides of the phone (on either side of the ticker) and it will come on, while the main display remains off. If you then press the little up-arrow on the right side of the ticker, it will then turn on the main display and show all your feeds and updates on the larger screen. A few other areas where the ticker comes in handy is with the music player, as it will act as the music controls when you are doing other tasks on the main display (such as web browsing), and it will also show your next turn when using VZ Navigator (but not Google Maps Navigation). Overall, we do like the functionality of the ticker display, as it is easy to use for checking on items and draws less power than having to use the larger display on top. The only issue we encountered is that located between the two displays are the four touch-sensitive buttons for the menu, home, back and search, and we would occasionally touch the ticker display by accident when we meant to press one of the buttons above it.
Located on the sides of the Continuum is the volume rocker, camera key, microSD memory card slot (32GB supported), 3.5mm headset jack, and power/lock button. We also prefer that the microUSB charging port is on the left side, instead of being on the top, like on the Fascinate. On the back is the 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and a set of stereo speakers, which most phones only have one speaker.
1. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 409; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)
Don't really understand why the 9 rating when actually the phone is the Fascinate with a Ticker on the bottom. Nothing special! Doesn't stand out in the crowd---Bing and 2.1 with no update as to when 2.2 would even be installed, and with 2.3 in the works--who knows. The Fascinate doesn't even have a projected 2.2 upgrade date and that device is also plaqued with Bing, so to introduce the Continuum, I don't see Google on any of the new WP7 device being launched. The SUPER AMOLED is not the first device to be introduced to Verizon as stated in the review. It was actually a feature phone called the Samsung Rogue (which quickly disappeared from Verizon and was replaced by the Intensity. The the first AMOLED on Verizon was the Rogue and with a bigger screen they just called with SUPER AMOLED.
2. Raiha (unregistered)
what's stated on the 1st page was SUPER AMOLED not AMOLED ONLY. Yes, i think Rogue was the 1st AMOLED for Verizon but its not Super Amoled. Also the screen size does not mean anything about being AMOLED or SUPER AMOLED. the Super AMOLED has brighter screen, less sunlight reflection, reduced power consumption compared to AMOLED ones thats why they called it "Super".
3. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 237; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Thank you for your comment, but there is a technical difference between "AMOLED" and "Super AMOLED" displays. With the Samsung Rogue that you mentioned, it used a standard AMOLED display that had a separate capacitive touch-sensitive layer above it. With Super AMOLED displays, which Samsung uses on the Galaxy S phones, the Super AMOLED is 20% brighter, 80% less reflective, and uses 20% less energy than regular AMOLED screens, thanks to having only two major components – the actual AMOLED emitting layer, and the tough but thin Gorilla Glass, sealed over it. The touchscreen coating Samsung has managed to apply is only 0.001mm thin layer in-between, bringing the light-emitting layer closer to the glass, to show raw, vivid colors.
For further reading, see:
4. Raiha (unregistered)
Love the Super AMOLED! Like whats on my S8500 Wave. Keep it coming Sammy!:D
5. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 409; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)
Ok, Super AMOLED, AMOLED!! Whoopie Doo!, It's still a Fascinate with a ticker on the bottom. Now explain that!!!
9. Raiha (unregistered)
I Honestly think that you didn't read the whole review of Continuum. Althroughout the review they've been comparing the Continuum to Fascinate and what Sammy did to improve Fascinate's area of improvements, plus the addition of the Ticker Display.
Comments are helpful to the reviewers improvement but we, as readers, must also know what we are saying on our comments. Research first and read other reviews before writing your comment. Or you will be the one the readers will be commenting to.
6. jinwons (Posts: 89; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)
Thanks for the review. Since I am looking to get either Continuum of Fascinate, I have question for the reviewer. Could you turn off or disable the small ticker display? And could you stop/kill the RSS feed programs from running in background? From my experience with android phone, RSS feed widgets on screen could be battery killer if not used with caution.
7. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 237; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
You can edit or remove the RSS feeds and Social Network feeds that are shown on the Ticker, but you can't have that display turned off.
8. kcoats100 (unregistered)
Can you use google browser on this phone or open a google tab or do you have to use Bing?
10. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 237; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Within the web browser, you can go to Google and do any web based search from there. But the Continuum and Fascinate don't have the Google Search Widget that you can use from the home screen. Once the phone is updated to Android 2.2 you'll then be able to download the Google Search from the Android Market.
11. Jace K (unregistered)
Tried this phone a the Verizon corporate store. The voice quality sucks big time. Both the from the earspeaker and to the person you are talking to. Ugh! Plus, the screen is very cramped.
12. Brian (unregistered)
FULL REVIEW FROM A USER:
I have the Incredible and my gf always wanted the X, so when she got on my family plan I took her to the Verizon store and told her to "pick one" she started playing and gradually moved over to the Continuum. Immediately she found that the phone was not as wide as the X, looked slightly less iPhone-ish than the Fascinate, and was much easier to A) Put in her pocket, B) Hold, C) talk with, than the X, which she now thinks is a gigantic manly brick....I agree.
Just like the review says it truely is the best looking display I've ever seen...with the phone angled under certain light you can see the two screens with the phone off and it looks really really cool, with it on the ticker really does stand out. However, the back is lame, just plane crappy lame. In short, other than the ticker there's no style, and that is my biggest complaint.
The ticker display has come in handy for her since she can be watching a video, see the txt, answer the txt, minimize the one screen, and resume right where she left off in the video. I am very jealous of that and if I had to choose I would immediately pick the continuum over the fascinate for the ticker alone..it just stands out.
Google search is a free app, as is Maps.
With Launcher Pro (Sense), Panda (Motoblur), and Samsung's Touchwiz, there are infinite ways to customize your phone and no phone is better or worse at navigating through menus these days because of that. There haven't been any slowdowns in her web browsing, she easily moves from one home screen to the next, and she takes full advantage of the ticker. Also, with the app Multicon, Android users can have dozens of apps on a single home screen, thus making using widgets easier since the room they take up isnt much of a problem.
The music player/speakers rock...best sound quality I've ever heard on a phone
The screen is amazing
The ticker display is something 100% unique and way more than just a gimmick. Often she will check her ticker and save a lot of battery by leaving the main screen off. The music player auto-switches to the ticker and provides cool control while playing games, making Pandora that much better.
Give the Continuum a chance and I promise you will be happy with it. the camera rocks, the video is amazing, and the 5.1 Audio is outstanding.
With a case on it is very hard to squeeze the side to turn just the ticker on...she does it right ever single time and it makes me really mad cuz no matter what I do I can't get it to work...she says it takes a girl's feminine touch...maybe it does...
Lastly, at some point someone will ask you when they see you using ur phone, "what phone is that"....instead of saying "oh its a Galaxy S", you can say "It's a Samsung Continuum" and proceed to blow their mind with how great this thing is...$49.99, free Jawbone, free activation, free add-a-line with a family plan, free car charger, free pre-installed 8gb memory card with 2gb on-board.
13. Brian (unregistered)
I had to comment about the call-quality thing....compared to my gf's old phone this is amazing. I think it's better than my Incredible, which I think is also good. The speaker phone makes her phone kind of choppy but oh well, good thing she got a free jawbone with it.
Often she will turn the call volume way down when talking to people because its too loud for her and will make me turn down my volume because her microphone is perfectly placed.
My Incredible, I'm happy to say, blows the X out of the water when I've raced my friends in app loading and web browsing. The Continuum is still a little slower but...sorry I have to say it again, the speakers and the display destroy mine, especially outside.
14. RAC (unregistered)
Can you always remove the bing widget if you can't replace it with the Google one?
15. Anthony (unregistered)
How is the touch screen with texting?