Samsung Flight II Review
It's more of the same with the Flight II especially when it sports Samsung's TouchWiz interface, which is basically all that we see nowadays with their feature phones. Of course, you'll have three homescreens at your disposal to fill them up with an assortment of widgets – with a majority of them still being icons that simply launch apps. The main menu is laid out in three panels with large sized icons which can be moved around for a more suitable layout than the default one. Naturally, there's a lot of personalization with the interface, but doesn't have that polished peppy responsiveness that can be seen on some smartphone platforms. At this point, TouchWiz looks and feels more cartoonish than anything – which could be good for the demographic it's targeting, but definitely feels stale at this point.
If you have more than 2,000 friends, you may want to look elsewhere, but if don't, then you'll have more than enough to save on the Flight II. Nothing different here since you'll be able to add specific pieces of information for each contact in your address book.
Pretty much all of the most basic PIM functions can be found on the phone – with the majority of them found under the “Tools” icon in the main menu. You'll find a calendar, memo pad, and a task maker all on the handset to keep you organized.
Inputting messages can be accomplished by using the on-screen numeric keypad with the option of T9 to hasten the experience, but sadly, it lacks a landscape on-screen option. Instead, you'll have to rely on the physical one which surprisingly makes for one frustrating experience. Specifically, it doesn't function like a normal keyboard since you'll have to constantly press the shift button to cycle through typing lowercase and uppercase letters. You simply can't hold it down to type consecutively in all caps, so it makes for one of the most horrifying experiences we've seen of late. The same thing also affects the “FN” button where you can't just hold it down to input all punctuations or numbers – you literally have to click it every time before typing an alternate character.
Email setup is the usual routine process with the Flight II's Mobile Email app, which will automatically get your account ready by requiring only your email address and password. Most of the generic clients get set up without a hitch, but others will require additional pieces of information; like server addresses. As for instant messaging, you've got the trio of clients supported on the phone to get you in touch instantly with friends – you'll find AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger.
Since it's a touchscreen phone, the handset is treated to the usual line of AT&T applications such as AT&T Music, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Radio, AT&T Social Net, AT&T Maps, and AT&T Family Map. Social networking centric individuals will be pleased with the AT&T Social Net app which aggregates all of your accounts in one centralized hub so you'll be able to easily switch between any of them instantly. Other than that, the Flight II packs a myriad of third party applications that can keep you busy such as YPMobile, Where, AllSportGPS, Loopt, Mobile Banking, MobiVJ, MobiTV, My-Cast Weather, and WikiMobile.
Camera and Multimedia:
Even with its now considered below average sized 2-megapixel camera, the Samsung Flight II is able to capture mediocre images that should be good enough for the novice user. The camera interface is no different from other TouchWiz phones as its sides are littered with icons that enable different settings. Outdoor shots had some okay looking detail in them, but they are accompanied with this overcast look to them – making colors look just a little bland. Indoor shots in low lighting conditions produced an opposite effect with hazy looking images that had good natural color reproduction. All in all, most people will be satisfied with the quality the handset is able to muster.
Presented with a maximum shooting resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and a capture rate of 14fps, there really isn't much else to say about the video recording other than those striking figures. There's nothing boastful by its quality, especially when it lacks any differential detail to make it appealing. Ultimately, we really find it hard to foresee anyone using the phone to capture some memories worth keeping around.
Following the basic theme we've been noticing throughout the handset, we're presented with Samsung's typical music player – which isn't worth any praise regarding presentation. You'll find a basic looking one that displays some on-screen controls, song information, and a nice bar visualization. As for sound quality from its rear speaker, it produces some decent tones that are somewhat sharp when it's placed on the highest volume setting. However, it's more than audible to the ear and doesn't crackle.
As long as you have videos that match up in size to the display's resolution, you'll be more than happy with its video watching experience. We were able to play a video encoded in MPEG-4 320 x 240 resolution quite smoothly with no instances of any lag or slowdown. Even though colors might still look a bit washed out, it doesn't take away from its fluid playback. However, it won't be able to play any videos in resolutions higher than its display – so don't expect them to look all that detailed.
If you happen to be a media centric individual, just plan on having a microSD card on hand since the Flight II only has 65MB of internal storage out of the box. Of course you can increase that thanks to its support of cards up to 32GB in size.
Internet and Connectivity:
International travelers will find the Samsung Flight II to work in most locations across the world since it packs quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM and dual-band (850/1900 MHz) UMTS connectivity. On top of that, it features Bluetooth 2.1 to get a variety of wireless devices, like headsets, to connect to it.
Now that we're finally seeing a Samsung feature phone on AT&T utilizing a capacitive display, web browsing with Opera Mini is just slightly better since we don't have to push firmly on the display to scroll – which regrettably still feels monotonous because it lacks kinetic scrolling. It's hard to fathom why it only presents you with a landscape orientation, but we can't complain as the overall experience is decent with nice goodies such as automatic text resizng to fit the width of the screen. In addition, it includes the Dolphin browser as an alternative which surprisingly works much better with the capacitive display seeing that it runs in portrait and kinetic scrolling is supported. Although page loads are a bit longer than Opera Mini, it will load some Flash content – which makes for a satisfying overall experience.
1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2844; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
What's so wrong with the keyboard? How it is so confusing?
2. Tye (unregistered)
cant you only get it at radioshack still if so that sucks horribly
3. anonomous (unregistered)
It looks like a great phone to me... and for the shift key, it's used as a caps lock, so you only have to press it once, or if you press it twice, it will act like a normal shift key.
4. this guy (unregistered)
this phone is friggin brutale. i have had so many problems with it. AT&T has replaced it 3 times now and it is still having problems. If you get this phone your throwing 2 years of your life away. This phone is a waste time and money.
5. leecher (unregistered)
y design engineers @ samsung cant make newer designs?
All fones look so monotonous.....
6. TEchany (unregistered)
The phone actually comes with 512MB internal memory, not like the review says 65MB.
7. Anonomoys (unregistered)
I like it, and I've had only a few problems; however, I don't like the fact that I cant put my messages in chat mode.
8. me (unregistered)
wow um this is really harsh. ive had this phone for forever and it works great plus it is the most durable phone ive ever had. And i use my phone ALOT. As in 24/7. Seriously this is a great phone.
9. margie (unregistered)
Anyone else having problems with the battery life? Have replaced the phone once and the battery twice, still dead in 12 hours. anyone have suggestions?
10. cjegger (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
I just got this phone and like it except for the fact when I use Mobile Net, it automatically goes to landscape. If I'm on Facebook, I have to use the QWERTY keyboard instead of the touch screen....can it be changed to portrait orientation?