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Samsung Renown Review

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Software and Features:

The main menu is laid out in standard Verizon fashion, with categories for media center, messaging, contacts, recent calls, and settings & tools.  However, the themes are somewhat disappointing, as only 2 are included (Slick Black and Twilight), and it doesn’t come with the Living Wallpaper that we saw on the Gleam. The only other customizations you can make are choosing from tab, list, and grid view, font size, and clock format.

Home screen and themes - Samsung Renown Review
Home screen and themes - Samsung Renown Review
Home screen and themes - Samsung Renown Review
Home screen and themes - Samsung Renown Review

Home screen and themes


The only change made to the phonebook is that it can now store up to 1000 contact instead of the standard 500, each with their Name, Mobile 1, Home, Work, E-Mail 1, Group, Picture, Ringtone, Mobile 2, Fax, E-Mail 2, and Notes.  After a contact is saved, you can assign them to one of 999 speed-dial locations.

Phonebook - Samsung Renown Review
Phonebook - Samsung Renown Review
Phonebook - Samsung Renown Review
Phonebook - Samsung Renown Review

Phonebook


Images taken outside using the 2MP camera are a bit underexposed (dark), but the detail and color representation appear to be better than the Gleam and Sway.  Interior images also faired slightly better as long as there was plenty of light, keeping in mind there is no flash.  One area of disappointment was the amount of time required to save an image: 5 seconds when stored to the phone and up to 10 seconds when stored to the memory card.  This is completely unacceptable, as most other models only take up to 3 seconds to save an image.  Hopefully a software update will increase the speed of this process.

Camera interface - Samsung Renown Review
Camera interface - Samsung Renown Review
Camera interface - Samsung Renown Review
Camera interface - Samsung Renown Review

Camera interface

Camera samples - Samsung Renown Review
Camera samples - Samsung Renown Review
Camera samples - Samsung Renown Review
Camera samples - Samsung Renown Review

Camera samples


Unlike the better-looking music player used on the Samsung Sway, the Renown still uses Verizon’s standard player with categories for Genres, Albums, Artists, and Playlists.  Since there is only one speaker located on the back, both the music quality and volume range is lacking.  When the flip is closed, you can use the external music controls to rewind, play/pause, and fast-forward.  Unfortunately, they only light up red when pressed, which means finding the correct one to press in the dark can be difficult.

Music player - Samsung Renown Review
Music player - Samsung Renown Review

Music player



The new Dashboard software is included, which has categories for news, music, games, tones, community, entertainment, weather, business, and ESPN.

Other software features include Mobile Web 2.0, VCast Music downloads, V Cast Video streaming, and VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions.  You can also download a wide variety of games and other application using Media Center (Get it Now).

Software features - Samsung Renown Review
Software features - Samsung Renown Review
Software features - Samsung Renown Review
Software features - Samsung Renown Review
Software features - Samsung Renown Review

Software features


The Renown is capable of operating on the Verizon CDMA 800/1900 MHz voice and EVDO Rev 0 data networks within the US.  While roaming outside the US it can also connect using GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, but UMTS 3G is not supported.  Bluetooth 2.0 is standard and supports headset, handsfree, dial up networking, stereo, phonebook access, basic printing, object push, file transfer, and serial port profiles.

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Display2.3 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (174 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size3.87 x 1.95 x 0.69 inches
(98 x 50 x 18 mm)
4.05 oz  (115 g)
Battery800 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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