Samsung Continuum Review
Samsung Fascinate, a Galaxy S smartphone, was released for Verizon, it was the first device for the carrier to sport a Super AMOLED display. Now a new Galaxy S-branded model has hit the streets, just in time for the Holiday shopping season – the Samsung Continuum i400. Both devices share similar features, such as running on the Android 2.1 operating system with Samsung’s TouchWiz 3 user interface, as well as having a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and a 5MP autofocus camera. So what’s the difference, you may ask? It basically comes down to a few things: the Continuum has two Super AMOLED displays (more on that later), and it’s overall a smaller device.
Included in the retail package is the Samsung Continuum i400 smartphone, 1500mAh battery, pre-installed 8GB microSDHC memory card, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, and user guides.
When looking at the Samsung Continuum and Fascinate side-by-side, both devices are made out of plastic and sport the same all-black exterior and checkered pattern on the back, though the Continuum lacks the chrome accent around the sides. In fact, the Continuum looks like a smaller brother of the Fascinate, and holding the Continuum feels more comfortable due to its more compact size and rounded edges, but larger hands may be OK with the size of the Fascinate or even the Motorola DROID X.
You can compare the Samsung Continuum with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
One feature that we liked about the Samsung Fascinate was the impressive 4” Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480x800 that was a pleasure to watch videos on, but we didn’t care for the fact that small text from web pages looked pixelated on the screen. The Continuum instead has two Super AMOLED displays – the main one is 3.4” with a resolution of 480x800, and the second “ticker” display is 1.8” with a 480x96 pixel resolution. Because of the difference in the main screen size (4” to 3.4”), but having the same WVGA resolution, we found that text and images on the Continuum look sharper and clearer than on the Fascinate. However, the more interesting part is the independent ticker display located at the bottom. Whenever you receive a new social network feed (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace), RSS update, a new email, text message, or phone alert, the ticker will automatically come on and show it on the bottom screen. Now say you want to activate the ticker on your own, you can touch the sides of the phone (on either side of the ticker) and it will come on, while the main display remains off. If you then press the little up-arrow on the right side of the ticker, it will then turn on the main display and show all your feeds and updates on the larger screen. A few other areas where the ticker comes in handy is with the music player, as it will act as the music controls when you are doing other tasks on the main display (such as web browsing), and it will also show your next turn when using VZ Navigator (but not Google Maps Navigation). Overall, we do like the functionality of the ticker display, as it is easy to use for checking on items and draws less power than having to use the larger display on top. The only issue we encountered is that located between the two displays are the four touch-sensitive buttons for the menu, home, back and search, and we would occasionally touch the ticker display by accident when we meant to press one of the buttons above it.
Located on the sides of the Continuum is the volume rocker, camera key, microSD memory card slot (32GB supported), 3.5mm headset jack, and power/lock button. We also prefer that the microUSB charging port is on the left side, instead of being on the top, like on the Fascinate. On the back is the 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and a set of stereo speakers, which most phones only have one speaker.