Samsung Rogue U960 Review
The Rogue’s user interface has also been improved upon, not only in terms of its layout, but also with the inclusion of the TouchWiz 2.0 sidebar. When the display is unlocked, the home screen shows four icons along the bottom for the dialer, contacts, messages, and menu. This is similar to the layout we’ve seen on the LG Voyager, Dare, Versa and enV Touch. The display can also be used in landscape mode when the phone is held sideways and the QWERTY keyboard is opened. The Samsung Rogue U960 adds the new Samsung TouchWiz 2.0 sidebar, which is an update to the original TouchWiz we saw on the Omnia smartphone. When selecting the small arrow on the left side, the Widget bar opens up. From there you can scroll the list, choose to run a program, or drag the icon directly to the desktop. We found it easy to use and it worked rather smoothly. There are a total of 23 Widgets including web links directly to social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, and Photobucket. Two of the more useful widgets are My Shortcuts and My Favorites. With My Shortcuts you can add direct shortcuts to the desktop that link to other menu items, pictures, videos, web favorites, and music playlists. While the My Favorites widget allows you to add a saved contact’s PictureID image to the desktop, so that you can call or message them directly.
Main Menu is quite colorful with a background image that resembles the textured design used on the back of the phone. Nine icons are laid out on a 3x3 grid that lead to contacts, messaging, recent calls, browser, media center, my music, VZ Navigator, Email, and settings & tools. If you press on one of the items, such as media center, you are taken to that menu where you can scroll up and down the list of sub-items or can go to other menus by scrolling side to side. Even though the Main Menu itself looks nice, the sub-menus are rather boring as they are just white text with a black background. Missing are any theme choices, which is quite disappointing. The only customizations include selecting wallpaper, personalized banner, font style and size, and clock format. It is unfortunate that only one theme is included in such a high-end device, considering the fact that some lower-end phones come with more themes and customizations. We sincerely hope that Samsung will include additional theme choices in any future software update.
As with most new Verizon phones, the Rogue allows up to 1000 contacts to be stored, instead of 500 on the Glyde. Each with their name, 5 phone numbers, 2 email addresses and IM screen name, but you can now enter a person’s street address and birthday as well. Of course you can still select a picture and ringtone for each contact, but the size of the PictureID image that is shown when a contact calls is ridiculously small (about 0.60” diagonal). There’s no reason why this could not be larger, considering the Rogue’s screen is 3.10” in size and the PictureID image shown on the enV Touch is 1.25”.
Selecting the Phone icon on the bottom of the home screen will bring up the standard numeric dial pad. Due to its larger size and better response, we didn’t encounter the horrific dialing problems that we experienced with the Glyde. Also, when you begin to dial a number, it searches the contact list and recent calls for matching results and will show the corresponding name or number at the top of the screen. You can then click on it to dial the number directly.
The Calendar still offers the same features as on the Glyde, but has undergone a facelift and is more user-friendly. It begins by showing the current month with the date highlighted in blue. You can select a specific day on the calendar by pressing on it, as well as moving from month-to-month by sliding your finger across the screen. Missing is the month and year drop down list that we liked on the enV Touch, but the Samsung Rogue U960 has a “go to” option that operates in a similar fashion with scroll wheels for the month, day and year. Once the desired date is selected, you can add an event with the appointment name, start and end time and date, recurrence, alert tone, reminder, and alert time. When the phone reaches that saved event, it will display the information on the screen and playback the designated alert tone.
Separate from the calendar are the independent alarms, where only 3 can be added. They are very basic and only allow you to set the alert time, repeat frequency, and alert tone. This is an easy way to setup a daily wake-up alarm or notification if it takes place within 24 hours.
The speaker-independent Voice Command feature can be activated through the phone’s menu or by pressing the dedicated Voice Command button on the right side. Once activated, there are 9 commands you can speak to the phone: Call name or number, Send Message, Go to menu, Check item, Contacts name, Redial, Play, My Verizon, and Help. The most useful of these is the “Call” command, where you can speak the digits to dial or the name of a person in your contacts list. The only training that is required is for the digits and a few basic words, not the contact names or commands. During our testing, the system didn’t have any problems with our spoken commands. It can also be used in conjunction with a Bluetooth headset, so you can call numbers without touching the phone directly.
The Samsung Rogue U960 comes with 512MB of internal memory (twice the amount of the enV Touch), of which 63MB is used, leaving 449MB to the consumer. This is an adequate amount for storing pictures, videos, and music if you happen to not have a memory card installed. But most power users will opt to use a microSDHC memory card (up to 16GB is supported) as it allows for more storage and easier file transfers.
1. chrisflyer (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)
Looks like a nice device, but I've decided that it's not for me. Any chance of an Intensity review soon?
2. vulgar (Posts: 10; Member since: 04 Sep 2009)
The intensity is a little smaller and cheaper feeling. the camera isnt as good and it also can not take video. Also has the proprietary charger and has the smaller headphone jack. Its nice if you dont really want any type of multimedia and are just looking for a basic phone that has a keyboard. Then by all means its cheap and does the trick. But if you are looking to do pictures and videos and all those other multimedia things, id go with something else.
3. bng (Posts: 107; Member since: 12 Feb 2009)
i think i will get this phone.... all the cons u guys put for this phone are not a big deal to me lol
4. MegaManVZW (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
Actually, with the touch wiz interface on this phone, it does allow for music multitasking. You can have the music player up on the homescreen and be playing and listening to music, while doing other things like texting, web browsing, or whatever.
5. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
We do not see that on the Rogue. Unlike there Samsung Omnia there isn't a widget for the music player. The Rogue has widgets for alarm clock, birthday, bluetooth, calculator, calendar, clock, date, facebook, games, my favorites, my pictures, my shortcuts, my verizon, myspace, notepad, personal banner, photobucket, sketch pad, tutorial, twitter, widget settings, and youtube. Within the "my shortcuts" you can link to music playlists, but that uses the main music player.
6. Quemical (Posts: 162; Member since: 14 Jul 2009)
Megaman is correct actually, are you sure you arent reviewing a prototype instead of the final retail unit?
9. mmmpopfanatic (Posts: 5; Member since: 29 Aug 2009)
Where are you seeing this? I just got the Rogue today and can't find any sort of music widget or tool to multitask with music.
10. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
If anyone has information or pictures of the music player being able to multitask, please let us know email@example.com
7. vzwfann15 (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Jun 2009)
I was looking into getting the new Rogue but after seeing that only one display theme is included and the music player is outdated, I think the EnVTouch is more for me.
8. Quemical (Posts: 162; Member since: 14 Jul 2009)
The env touch music player does not correctly read id3 tags.
11. Imagineer87 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 May 2009)
You can copy and paste from the internet to a text, a text to another text, and text to internet.
12. vivasuzi (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)
Just curious how certain you are that the touch screen problems are solved. I loved my Glyde and it worked perfect since I got it in mid-2008. It was only in the last month or so that I started to experience the touch screen issues everyone is talking about :( The phone has a mind of it's own! I love everything else about the Glyde, but feel like I'd be crazy to upgrade to the Rogue. Sounds like it is a completely different technology, so is that why you are sure it will work well over time? Thanks for the review!
13. iknow (Posts: 3; Member since: 21 Feb 2011)
i got this phone back in 2009 and i still use it! never have had any problems with the device//i luv it still!!
14. J-Dawg (unregistered)
i have the samsung rogue, and i hate it. after a while it develops a BUNCH of problems! the picture on the screen splits in half, and random lines appear on the screen. sometimes when you open it, the screen doesnt switch, and lately when i open the keypad, the device turns off. also, the more you put on the phone, the crappier it works. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, AND DONT BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!
15. Caitlin (unregistered)
i've been having problems with my samsung rogue. A couple months ago the touch screen would not work unless i pressed down on it real hard. Now the phone will turn on but the screen is black. I can't see anything and i can't make phone calls. Should i just go buy a new phone or is it fixable? I doubt i could fix it by myself...so i either pay someone to fix it or buy a whole new phone.
16. hassanazwar (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)
i m using thix one...its fun to be wid it but i m facing a problem wid it..tht is its touch is not working and its working on voice commands..xan anyone helpme to be baxk on touch? firstname.lastname@example.org...text me the solution plxxxx