Samsung Ch@t 335 Preview
The Samsung Ch@t 335, also known as the Samsung S3350, is a candybar portrait QWERTY handset designed with heavy texters in mind. You not only get a BlackBerry-esque keyboard, but to suit your web needs the phone comes with Wi-Fi on board. Most importantly, however, it is a very affordable handset that will end up in many pockets and might even replace some BlackBerries. Currently, it runs for nearly $165 off contract, but let's take a closer look at the design and functionality of the Ch@t 335 before we jump into any conclusions.
The first thing you notice when you hold the Samsung Ch@t 335 is how thin it is. We wouldn't compare it with the slimmest of cell phones (it certainly isn't), but it just feels right in the hand. The casing is of course plastic, but that's no surprise at that price point. Don't worry about dropping the phone accidentally - the back cover has a distinct dotted pattern, which contributes to a secure grip. To add to that feeling, the phone's back is slightly rounded for a more natural palm fit.
You can compare the Samsung Ch@t 335 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
In a world of huge screens, the 2.4-inch TFT display with a modest resolution of 320 x 240 might not even make it to a mid-range device, but for your basic texting/calling needs it works like a charm. When it comes to viewing angles, the TFT screen is pretty average. It's not touch sensitive, but navigation is nevertheless fluid due to the optical trackpad. It has registered our touch very accurately and when you throw in the easily customizable sensitivity, you get very functional navigation. And hey, an optical trackpad means that you can operate your phone even with the gloves on, unlike all the fancy capacitive handsets out there, and that is something you'll learn to appreciate if you live in Northern areas.
But this all seems like minor worries on the background of the pretty BlackBerry-esque full QWERTY keyboard. There is no other word to describe the keys, which mimic the familiar edged style you might have seen on a RIM handset. The keys are similarly tilted to the left on the left half of the keyboard, while the right side tilts to the right making it very easy to type. The Samsung Ch@t 335 is however slightly narrower in size than your usual BlackBerry Bold, which means that the keys are smaller as well. If your hands are on the large side, you might want to check out the typing experience yourself before you get it as this could be an issue.
Lastly, on top there is a 3.5mm standard headphone jack and a lid-protected microUSB slot for charging/syncing the handset. On the right you have the very conveniently placed and distinct volume rocker. The back houses a humble 2-megapixel camera and the speakerphone. Pop the back cover open to add your own microSD storage card. That's easier said than done, and after a couple of card swaps we wished for a hot swappable microSD. The 1000mAh battery is replaceable as well.