Interface and Functionality:

The software included on the Samsung Continuum is pretty much an exact clone of what is on the Fascinate, so we’re not going to go into great detail here. Needless to say, there are the 7 homescreens that you can add shortcuts and widgets to, including the specific Samsung TouchWiz 3 widgets for additional clocks, buddies now, daily briefing, day’s diary, program monitor, and weather. The bottom of the screen contains four icons for accessing the phone dialer, contacts, messaging and applications – that continues to use the left-and-right movable app screen that is shown in a grid view.

Even though the Continuum and Fascinate both have a 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, we did notice some differences. For starters, we saw that the “haze” (that was on the Fascinate) is now gone and not present on the Continuum’s pictures. Because of this, outside images that we took were sharp and crisp looking with accurate colors and saturation, though fine-detail was still lacking. Unfortunately, things got worse when we moved indoors, as images were very fuzzy (almost blurry looking) and there was even a more noticeable loss of detail. The flash on the Continuum also did a better job of illuminating the scene than the flash on the Fascinate.

For videos, the Continuum also allows for recordings at 1280x720p at 30fps (same as the Fascinate), and there was no noticeable difference in the quality between them, as playback was smooth and colors were accurate. Keep in mind that the recent Android 2.2 update that was sent out to the Motorola DROID X now allows for it to record at 30fps, where before it was limited to only 24fps.

Samsung Continuum Sample video:

When it comes to music playback, the Samsung Continuum and Fascinate are two of the few smartphones that excel in both presentation and performance, moving them into the upper echelon of Verizon’s Android pack. The tabs on the top of the music player allow sifting through your collection by artist, album and playlists, or display all at once. The landscape mode brings along some nice eye candy, like CD cover flow or an alphabetical wheel, to pick your music from. Sharing the song via email or Bluetooth is done from the context menu while playing. Aside from showing the album cover while playing a selection, we like how there's an option to enable a visualization to run. The current song will keep playing in the background when the main screen is locked or in use by another app, but the ticker display at the bottom will continue to show a “mini music player” with the album cover art and player controls – this is really cool. We're also happy to say that music quality from the rear stereo speakers was excellent and louder than from any other Verizon phone we can remember testing. If you prefer to keep your tunes to yourself, you'll be surprised to hear the level of quality when using a pair of ear phones. There is also a 5.1 channel sound effect, which makes everything sound more full bodied and natural, and a nice selection of preset equalizer settings and additional sound effects, such as wide, concert hall, and bass enhancement.

There’s a good chance you’re looking at the Samsung Continuum because of the Super AMOLED displays, and there is nowhere else it shines more for than playing movies. We’re quite happy to report that the device handled every single one of our test files; we use H.264, MPEG-4, XviD and DivX in various resolutions and bitrate. Our test files top at out 720p and the Continuum played them like a champ. There were no hiccups or stutters, videos played smoothly and flawlessly. Movies also looked a bit sharper on the Continuum than the Fascinate (due to the higher pixel density), though the Fascinate’s screen is larger, which some may prefer

All of your multimedia files get organized in the Gallery, which offers some nice 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view. It automatically indexes the pictures and videos stored on the memory card and on the phone, which cuts down on thumbnail load times. Images can be rotated and cropped right in the gallery, uploaded to Picasa and Facebook, or sent via email, MMS or Bluetooth. The Samsung AllShare function is also here, if you happen to have a DLNA capable TV to watch the pictures or videos from the phone on the big screen. Videos can also be uploaded straight from the gallery to YouTube.

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