Samsung Katalyst Review
Despite its flashy name, there is nothing special or cutting edge about from the design to the software. The home screen has the usual Samsung layout, i.e. time, date, battery life, and reception at the top, myFaves symbols in the center, and shortcuts at the bottom. Once in the main menu, the only color found is in the banner and the highlighted icon. It’s laid out in a 3x3 grid with all of the applications going into logical menus. Almost all of the programs are crammed into the fun and apps menu, this includes the games, camera, music player, organizer tools, files such as music and images, and voice commands. Voice notes seem to be getting important as they have their own shortcut. IM clients are available in the form of AIM, ICQ, Windows Live, and Yahoo! Messenger and they continue to have the same layout and functions found in other Samsung handsets such as the Blast.
Messaging consists of text, picture messages, and voice notes and email can be accessed through t-zones only. The phonebook is pretty typical as it shows the contact, their number, and where it’s stored. You can add mobile, home, office, or a fax number, small notes, email address, ringtone, picture id, and assign them to a group but that’s about all that can be done with contacts.
The camera layout is the same as in other Samsung handsets; quick features, such as zoom, can be accessed from the home screen while others such as settings and shooting effects are in the options menu. Picture quality was mediocre and photos tended to come out washed out, blurry, and somewhat dark. The music player is a carry over as well meaning that the d-pad controls the main actions while you have to go into them menu to change other settings, where you’ll only find volume and visualization. The browser is close to useless as it can only open up simple pages and wasn’t even able to load our website.
So, it appears that the only exciting thing, if that can be said, with this handset is the Hotspot @Home connection. Simply put, the handset uses its Wi-Fi to connect to a wireless network and that is used instead of the GSM network, think of something like Skype. It can be done through just about any wireless router that is configured properly or an @Home one so the one sitting at home doesn’t have to be replaced. It can work with or without the add-on plan but if one isn’t purchased, it will just use up your regular minutes. It promises better reception and longer battery life but we’ll see if that holds up in our tests. Just how easy is it to setup? As simple as plug and play even into another preconfigured router. No settings have to be changed and unless you have some strict policies one your configuration, there shouldn’t be any problems. At locations that are have T-Mobile Hotspots, the handset will automatically connect to the network.
1. Benjamin (unregistered)
This phone is a must for those who still make having a cell phone for communication above and beyond everything else. Not only has it filled in a couple of cellular gaps using WiFi in places outside my coverage area it also has given me a stronger signal on network and allows me to hold signal in locations where other phone drop out completely. This alone makes this phone a keeper for me. I can deal with a so so camera if my phone actually works as a phone
2. vzw employee (unregistered)
I just recently bought this phone for my girl and she loves it. She currently lives in a area where the service is poor but she has internet connection at home. So, she's using the phone connected to her wifi and it's working awesome.
3. gypsywoman35 (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Oct 2008)
I recently bought this phone and overall I am very pleased. The reception is great, no dropped calls or static at all. I love the clarity of the display and the camara is pretty good. The only downfall is the number keys are rather smooth and not easy to text in a hurry. But overall a good phone, and a good buy.