Samsung Brightside Review

Introduction and Design

Oh smartphones, it’s very easy for us to be jaded by them nowadays, especially when companies pump them out of the factories at a prolific rate. In hindsight, we realize why they’re so prevalent in our society, but for those who still long for yesterday’s feature phones, there’s the Samsung Brightside for Verizon here to the rescue for those who primarily text. Well, at $99.99 on-contract after a $50 mail-in-rebate, it’s already shaping out to be a hard sell.


Quite indicative of any other low-end feature phone, there’s nothing pretty to look at with the Samsung Brightside. Yes, it’s lightweight (4.3 oz) and somewhat compact for a QWERTY handset, but its cheap plastic body doesn’t instill a sense of durability. Despite taking some design cues from the Samsung Droid Charge, which is evident by the camera’s pentagonal shape, the handset’s design is forgettable.

You can compare the Samsung Brightside with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Seriously, we traveled back in time with this one. Why you ask? Well, taking a peek at its 3.1” QVGA (240 x 320) display is evidence enough to believe it. Indeed, it’s not big with details, but even worse, its bland colors combined its exceptionally poor viewing angles make it a nightmare to view outdoors. At first, we thought we were playing around with a resistive display, but it’s in fact a capacitive one.

Luckily, its landscape sliding keyboard is usable enough for our fingers to comfortably type – even despite its flush appearance. Donning average sized rectangular buttons, we do like the responsiveness they exhibit.

Lastly, a 3.2-megapixel camera is found in the rear, while removing the back cover gives us access to its 1,000 mAh battery and microSD card slot.

Interface and Functionality:

Relying on a BREW-based interface, it’s simplistic enough for even a toddler or older adult to actually navigate – so yeah, it won’t take a rocket scientist to comprehend. Once the handset is unlocked, its grid-like main menu is there to instantly get us into its host of functions. Although there are some transition effects in place, it’s undoubtedly bland by today’s standards. Aside from that, its performance is tolerable enough to accept, as it maintains a consistent movement with most things.


For still shots from its 3.2-megapixel camera, we’re rather forgiving with its quality – though, it’s not something we would use to make 4” x 6” print outs. Sure, it takes some decent looking pictures outdoors with perfect lighting, but with low lighting shots, its deficiencies are blatantly exposed with heavy evidence of artifacting and graininess present. However, we absolutely would not recommend shooting videos with this one – since it has a maximum resolution of 174 x 144. Details are non-existent, but it’s even made worse by its distorted audio recording and slow 15 frames per second capture rate.

Internet and Connectivity:

For a feature phone, we’re undeniably grateful to find Opera Mini preloaded – thus, presenting us with an acceptable web browsing experience. Of course, we can overlook its somewhat lengthy load time, since we’re able to peruse even our own web site with minimal frustration.

Graced with 3G connectivity, it’s not surprising at all considering we’re talking about a feature phone here. Just like any other CDMA-only device on Big Red’s lineup, this won’t work abroad.


Pumping out some decent volume through its earpiece, we’re greeted with some clear and distinctive voices. On the other end of the line, however, our callers mention hearing some crackly tones – while the speakerphone exhibits some squeaky tones.

Frankly, we can’t accept much out of a device with a 1,000 mAh battery, which is paltry with the generous capacities we’re so used to seeing on smartphones. Fully charging it up, we’re skeptical with its output since it’s at 2 out of 4 bars after 2 days of extremely light usage.


Seriously, you’d be a fool to pick this one up – especially when it’s flaunting a ridiculous price tag of $100 with a 2-year contract. In all honesty, if there’s a handset that goes in the opposite direction of having the most bang for the buck, this has to be it, literally! Not only is an expensive offering, it also does absolutely nothing to justify its hefty price tag. For the money, you’re better off investing it in some other reasonable smartphones that are priced less than this one. Please, we implore you. Stay far away from this one!

Software version of the reviewed unit: u380.EK04

Samsung Brightside Review:


  • Usable QWERTY keyboard
  • Decent calling quality


  • Extremely expensive
  • Poor quality display
  • Cheap feeling
  • Horrendous video recording quality

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