Samsung Gleam Review

Introduction and Design

The Samsung Gleam U700 is a fashionable flip phone, sporting a shiny black and gold exterior, and is targeted to consumers that are looking for a mid-range phone at a modest price. Even though it lacks the 2GB of internal memory that is featured on the Samsung Juke, we found that overall the Gleam is a much more capable device. Its biggest competition are the Motorola KRZR K1m and the LG VX8700, but between the three, the Gleam is by far our favorite.

The Retail Package includes the Samsung Gleam U700 phone, 800mAh battery, wall charger, and user manual.


One area that we were surprised by was the slim design, making it around the same size as the LG VX8700 and Motorola RAZR V3m, but the weight is noticeable lighter.

ModelDimension (Inches)Dimension (mm)Weight (oz)Weight (Gramms)
Samsung Gleam U700
3.88" x 1.91" x 0.55"98.5 x 48.5 x 143.3595
LG VX87003.82" x 1.95" x 0.54"97 x 49.5 x 143.77107
Motorola KRZR K1m4.05" x 1.73" x 0.66"103 x 44 x 173.60102
Motorola RAZR V3m3.90" x 2.10" x 0.60"98 x 53 x 14.53.49100

The flip design of the Gleam is nothing new, except that the phone is very shiny, constructed out of black and gold plastic throughout. Even though it looks “flashy” and is lightweight, the phone feels durable and should hold up to everyday use. The hinge is designed well, and has a very fluid movement when opening and closing. Located on the front is a modest 2MP camera, external display, stereo speakers, and touch-sensitive music control buttons. On the left side is the volume rocker and camera button, and on the right side is the charger/data port, 2.5mm headset jack, and hold button.

The External display
is rather small, measuring only 1” diagonal with 96x96 pixel resolution and 65K colors. Because of the small size, you can only really use it for checking the date & time, message alerts, signal strength and battery level. The Internal display is much more capable, measuring 2.1” diagonal with 240x320 pixel resolution and 262K colors. Images are shown with good color detail and saturation. There are six levels of brightness settings, but even at the highest setting it does not hold up to use while in direct sunlight, which is the case with most TFT displays of Verizon phones.

Located on the bottom flip is the white backlit keypad, that is has a very reflective silver coating on it. The D-pad is located at the top, and we were able to use it without problems navigating through the phone’s software. The numeric keys were also easy to use for dialing numbers and for typing text message, thanks to their large size and the ribbed grooves on the surface. The only problem that we encountered with the keypad was when using it outside during the day. Due to the silver coating, it reflects a large amount of sunlight, which can make dialing difficult. A better choice would be a darker color, such as black.

PhoneArena's video review of the Samsung Gleam:

Samsung Gleam 360 Degrees View

Software / Features:

The main menu of the Gleam is laid out just like every other Verizon phone, with categorizes for Get it Now, Messaging, Contacts, Recent Calls, and Settings & Tools. There are 3 new FlashUI Themes that are included: Cruiser, Espresso, and Rainbow. We first saw a variant of the Espresso used on the GSM Samsung G600. We are glad to see that Samsung is including modern themes on Verizon phones, but between those choices, the Cruiser is by far the best looking theme with very little menu lag. The Gleam is also Samsungs first phone on Verizon to incorporate something new called Living Wallpaper, with 4 choices: City Background, Country Background, City Cruising, and Country Cruising. They are all animated, showing either a moving city or country image. The first two wallpapers (City Background and Country Background) only show the Date & Time, but the second two (City Cruising and Country Cursing) add round “meters” for showing how many voice mails and text/picture message have been received.

The Phonebook is nothing new,with up to 500 Contacts being able to be stored, each with their Name,Mobile 1, Home, Work, E-Mail 1, Group, Picture, Ringtone, Mobile 2,Fax, E-Mail 2, and Notes. After a contact is saved, you can assign themto one of 999 speed-dial locations.


The 2MP Camera does not have a flash, so you can only use it in well-illuminated areas. Images taken outside have low color saturation, which makes them look lifeless, and the edges are not as sharp as most other 2MP camera phones. Interior images did not come out well either, due to lower light levels, and they have a grainy look to them. The camera on the Gleam is by no means spectacular, but it does take slightly better looking images than the LG VX8700. However, since it lacks an Auto-Focus system and a flash, the Motorola Maxx Ve still ranks higher for image quality and overall usability.

Camera Settings:
• Color Effects: Normal, B&W, Sketch, Antique, Negative
• White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
• Memory: Phone, Card
• Auto Name: On, Off
• Preview Mode: Full Screen, Actual Screen
• ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
• Metering: Average, Center, Spot
• Icon Display: All, Partial, Guidelines, None
• Sound Effects: Ready Sound, Shutter Sound
• Night Shot: On, Off
• Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
• Quality: Fine, Normal, Economy
• Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144
• Multi-Shot: Series Shot, Divided Shot


Even though the Gleam lack the 2GB of internal memory for music storage that is on the Juke, it makes up for this by having a microSD slot that is capable of using cards up to 4GB in size. However, the music player interface on the Gleam uses the standard Verizon layout, so nothing new or spectacular there. Actual playback quality is quite good, since there is a pair of stereo speakers located on the front flip. There are also touch-sensitive music buttons on the front, for rewind, play/pause, and fast-forward, but they only light up when pressed, so finding them in the dark can be a pain. If you are looking for better music quality, you can always connect wirelessly to a Bluetooth Stereo headset, since profiles A2DP and AVRC are supported.

Other software features include Mobile Web 2.0, VCast Music downloads, V Cast Video streaming, and VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions. You can also download a wide variety of games and other application using Get it Now.


The Reception and Sound Quality on the Gleam were both excellent and performed much better than the VX8700 or the Juke, and almost as good as the Maxx Ve. We were able to place and receive calls in fringe areas; where the Juke could not. The sound quality through the earpiece was also good, lacking the “hiss” sound that we experience with the Juke, and had very little distortion. Unfortunately, when using the Speakerphone, we could hear some distortion through the front stereo speakers when the volume was turned up to the highest setting. People that we called said that our voice sounded natural and they could not hear any static or interference.

Accessing any of the downloaded applications is easy and there is very little delay when they are opened. But we did encounter a few random phone re-starts when going through the menus. We are unsure as to why it re-started, but hopefully a future software upgrade can fix this problem, since it happened about once every-other day.

The included 800mAh battery is rated by Samsung to have 3.5 hours of talk time or 10 days of standby time on a full charge. Our testing showed a much more realistic 3 hours of talk time and 4 days of standby time.


We are overall quite happy with using the Samsung Gleam. It is a nice addition to Verizon’s line-up, and is a better quality device than the K1m or VX8700. Both the call quality and reception were excellent, beating out most other mid-range phones. The shiny black & gold exterior is something that you will either like or dislike completely, but there is a dark blue version that is expected to be released in the upcoming months. The only feature that is missing from the Gleam is the better music interface that is used on the Juke. However, since the Gleam is not marketed as an “mp3 player/phone” we can understand why it uses the standard player layout. We highly recommend the Gleam for anyone that is looking for a good quality mid-range phone with a wide variety of features and without spending a lot of money.


  • Excellent call quality and signal reception
  • QVGA internal display
  • Stereo speakers
  • Bluetooth music support


  • Smaller than average external display
  • Shiny keypad that reflects sunlight
  • Software occasionally re-started

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

26 Reviews

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless