Samsung BlackJack II Review
The original BlackJack was seen by many as an outstanding smartphone but had some major disadvantages, such as the battery life. Samsung went back to the drawing board and cooked up the BlackJack II with the target of improving on the original design. Looking over the specifications, it’s easy to tell that performance and features were targeted while the design went relatively unchanged. The market is full of smartphones and multimedia phones that offer a wide list of features coupled with great strong performance, such as the Motorola Q9h or the AT&T Tilt, so the BlackJack II has already got its work cut out for it.
Compared to the BlackJack, the BlackJack II’s layout is very similar with only a few changes made. The soft-touch finish is gone and has been replaced by plastic which still offers just the right touch of grip. The keypad is as cramped as ever but surprisingly easy to use. Numbers have all been grouped together instead of being placed in every other row. The navigation buttons above have the exact same layout but are now flush with the display making it very hard telling them apart. We’ve had instances where the wrong button was pressed. The scroll wheel on the side is combined with the D-pad to create the jog wheel which made scrolling through long emails or webpages very easy. Overall the layout is very intuitive and easy to use even though everything is so cramped. It’s even easy to hold as the bulge on the back rest on your figures adding extra support.
The 2.4 inch display shows very nice and natural colors and manages to battle glare pretty well. We experienced no problems using the BlackJack II in bright environments as everything was very easy to make out. Due to its landscape layout, surfing web pages and reading long texts or emails just seemed very cramped.
You can compare the Samsung BlackJack II with many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.
The BlackJack II has been upgraded from Windows Mobile 5 to 6 Standard. Nothing special has been added to it so no surprises await you . By its functionality, the phone is identical to any other running the same OS. If you are not familiar with this system, please check our review of the Motorola Q9h. Contacts can be saved as either SIM contacts or Outlook ones which provides many more fields for all the necessary information. Media is played through media player which gets a new skin that looks much better than the default while providing the same simple controls.
Apart from the email and IM support expected from business phones, the BlackJack II is the first smartphone in AT&T’s lineup to use Video Share, which allows you to make one-way video calling as long as the other handset also has Video Share capabilities.
The camera has been updated to a 2.0MP one but don’t expect anything great here. Quality seemed very poor to us as some photos came out slightly blurry while in others the color was washed out .
Not only is the BlackJack II a quad-band handset, it also has tri-band UMTS/HSDPA bands making it possible to stay connected to 3G networks worldwide. Unofrunately it still lacks WiFi, which most would expect from a smartphone.
PhoneArena's Video Review of Samsung BlackJack II: