Samsung Glyde Review

Introduction and Design

The Glyde U940 is Samsung’s first touchscreen phone for Verizon and is in direct competition with the LG Voyager that was released almost 6 month earlier. It is based on the GSM Samsung F700, with similarities in style and form, yet the feature-set has changed. The Glyde is targeted to consumers that are looking for a touchscreen device, with a smaller footprint than the Voyager, while maintaining a mechanical QWERTY keyboard.

The Retail Package includes the Glyde phone, 1000 mAh battery, wall charger, USB data cable, Music Essentials CD, and user manual. Just like with the Voyager, we are glad to see an inclusion of the data cable and music manager CD, which eliminate the need to purchase them separately.


The Glyde features a unique design, being that it looks like a standard candy-bar style phone, but in fact has a side-sliding form factor, which reveals a hidden QWERTY keyboard for text input. The whole device is constructed out of plastic, which feels durable and should hold up to normal everyday use. It is black around the display and keyboard, a dark pearl-blue for the battery cover and QWERTY buttons, and with silver accents around the perimeter. When holding onto the Glyde, you can easily tell that it’s not as a big or as heavy as the Voyager, and is less noticeable when placed in your pants pocket.

You can compare the Samsung Glyde to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

The front features a 2.8” diagonal 240x440 pixel capacitive touch-sensitive TFT display with 262K color support, which is used for all device functions and menu navigation, but it is a far cry from the larger 3.22” display that is used on the F700. When placing the same wallpaper on both the Glyde and Voyager, we noticed that the image on the Glyde was not as sharp and almost looked out-of-focus, but this was not true when viewing the phone’s main menu or using any of the applications. Unfortunately, both devices suffer from poor visibility while in direct sunlight, rendering the displays nearly dark and unable to view.

Unlike the Voyager that uses a pressure-sensitive display, the one on the Glyde is capacitive-sensitive, meaning that it responds to the electricity in your finger instead of the pressure of the touch, while also providing a slight vibration feedback. Even though this is good in theory, and is the same technology used in the iPhone, we encountered numerous problems while trying to utilize it. It is unclear if it is a software or hardware problem, but a majority of the time the screen would be over sensitive and go into menus and options that we did not intend press; despite turning the sensitivity level down to medium or low. Yet other times the menus would not respond at all, causing us to repress icons and on-screen buttons to get a response. However, our biggest complaint here is that the display lacks the ability of user calibration. Trying to dial a phone number, which should be relatively easy, is a chore on the Glyde, due to wrong numbers being consistently pressed. Because of this, we believe that a calibration system would fix a majority of these problems by allowing the software to “learn” where you touch the screen. This is used on both the Voyager and Glimmer and allows for a more precise response.

There is only one physical button located on the front and is used to return you back to the home screen, while on the right side is the camera button, volume rocker, and power/lock button. Along the top are the stereo speakers and 2.5mm headset jack, with the charger/data port on the left. The memory card slot, which accepts up to 8GB microSDHC cards, is inconveniently located under the battery door, but the device does not have to be powered off to access it. The 2MP autofocus camera and flash are integrated into the back of the device and are almost flush with the rest of the phone when the battery door is installed.

When opening and closing the phone for the first time, you realize how it got the name “Glyde”, since the both sections effortlessly glide back and forth, utilizing two springs that provide it with fluid movement. Once opened, there is a 3-row QWERTY keyboard, as opposed to the more commonly used 4-row keyboard on the Voyager, enV2, and even the F700. We are not certain as to why this was done, but conjecture it was to decrease the size of the device. Even though there is one row less, and the buttons are slightly closer, we had no problems when using the keyboard for typing text messages or e-mails, but it does become more complicated when having to enter numbers or symbols, since you have to press the Fn key to change between modes. Also lacking is the inclusion of a standard d-pad, which is replaced by directional arrows on the “L”, “N”, “M” and “.” keys. These can only be used when the phone is slid open and while using the main menu or an application.

Samsung Glyde Video Review:

Samsung Glyde 360 Degrees View:


The user interface is based on Verizon’s standard menu layout while incorporating some aspects of the F700’s Croix interface. The home screen displays the signal strength and battery level, while also showing icons for the Dial Pad, Menu, and Contacts along the top, a blue Shortcut Square in the middle, with an Alert Bar and date & time across the bottom.

The main menu is laid out identical to the Voyager in a 2x4 grid, with icons for Get it Now, Messaging, Contacts, Recent Calls, Settings & Tools, My Music, Browser, and VZ Navigator. If you press your finger and hold it to the screen, it will have two blue lines (horizontal and vertical) crossing at the current menu selection. Releasing your finger then selects that area of the menu. Unfortunately this uniqueness comes at the cost of not having any additional themes to choose from, with the only options for customizing being the wallpaper, dial font size, and two clock formats. The blue Shortcut Square located on the home screen brings up a 3x4 grid of 12 commonly used features where each one can be replaced with over 25 selections. This is an easy way for the user to have one-touch access to their most commonly used applications and services. The bottom Alert Bar will show color icons on the home screen if there is a new message, voice mail, missed call, calendar event, or saved alarm. You can also press the alert bar to access any of those menus directly without having to go through the standard main menu or shortcuts menu.


Up to 500 contacts can be stored by entering the information directly on the touchscreen or by using the QWERTY keyboard. For each one you can enter in their name, 5 phone numbers, e-mail address, and can select a specific picture and ringtone. Once the information is saved, you can assign them to one of 999 speed dial locations. Retrieving a stored contact is easily done by pressing the contact icon located at the top of the home screen. This brings all of them up in a list that you can scroll through, or you can press the go to field, where you can type in the first or last name and have it search your stored list. When you receive an incoming call, and that person is stored in your list, the display will show their name and number, as well their picture ID (if there is one), and will play their specific ringtone (if set). Unfortunately, just as with the Voyager, the picture ID image is only about ½” in size. We do not understand why Verizon would allow the picture ID to be that small, considering the large size of the display.

Pressing the dial pad icon from the home screen will bring up a numeric dial pad for entering a phone number. However, due to the touchscreen issues, it can become troublesome to use. Often times when we would press 7, 8, or 9, it would think we pressed *, 0, or #. This can easily be cleared before pressing Send, but after being connected, and logging into a voicemail or banking system, it becomes even more challenging to press the correct number since they cannot be cleared. We sincerely hope that the touchscreen issues are resolved in the next software update, as they are so frequent that they almost make the Glyde unusable and unreliably as a primary phone.


Nothing new has been added to the calendar and it operates in similar fashion to most other Verizon phones. It begins by showing the current month with the date highlighted in blue. From there, you can move forward or backwards one month at a time by pressing the left and right arrows at the top, and can select a specific day of the week by using your finger. There is an option to allow you to view weekly instead of monthly and to type in a specific date to go to. Once the correct date is selected, you can add a new event with the appointment name, start date and time, end date and time, repeat (once, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly), alert tone, and reminder. When the phone reaches that saved event, it will display the information on the screen and playback the designated alert tone.

Separate from the calendar are three independent alarms, with each one allowing you to select the time, frequency (once, daily, mon-fri, weekends), and ringtone. This is an easy way to setup a daily wake-up alarm or notification if it takes place within 24 hours.

The speaker-independent voice commands can be launched by going though the main menu, or by simply going to the shortcuts. Once activated, there are 8 choices that you can speak to the phone: call name or number, send message, go to menu, check item, contacts name, play playlist, my account, and help. The most useful of these is the “call” command, where you can speak the digits to dial or the name of a person in your contacts list to call. The only training that is required is for the digits, not the names or commands. The system works best in quiet environments, but was still able to understand our voice selection while used in a car traveling at highway speeds, and while in noisy mall. It can also be used in conjunction with a Bluetooth headset, so you can call numbers while you are away from the phone.

There is a total of 45MB of internal memory on the Glyde, half of which is used by applications, leaving only 27MB available to the user. This pales in comparison to the Voyager, which has 184MB of internal memory, but the Glyde (as well as the Voyager) accepts microSDHC memory cards currently up to 8GB in size. However, larger cards are expected to be released, which will allow the storage limit to increase to 16GB and 32GB.


Like most other phones in the market today, the Glyde is capable of sending and receiving text, picture, and video messages. The methods of typing in a text message are by using T9 predictive input or multi-tap with the touchscreen, which shows letters on a 12-icon dial pad, or by using the internal QWERTY keyboard. Both the inbox and outbox allow up to 100 messages each to be stored.

The Glyde also comes with a program called mobile email, allowing you to connect with your own personal e-mail accounts while on the go. However, unlike smartphones that can automatically check for new messages every few minutes, the mobile email program must be run manually to check for new messages. It comes preloaded with the ability to connect to Yahoo Mail, Windows Live Mail, AOL, AIM, and, but you can also manually configure it to connect to any other email account through means of POP or IMAP. We were able to access all of our email accounts without any problems, and could send messages through the account server. When viewing a new message, you can choose not delete it from the server, so that you can download it later when you are connected using a PC. Even though this application is not as feature-rich as Windows Mobile Outlook, it does a fairly good job for showing plain-text mails. However, it cannot open attachments or properly render HTML messages, which is a disappointment since the browser is HTML compatible and the Glyde is targeted as a messaging device. Regardless of the limitations, it is still worth the $5/month access fee.

For people who like to use Instant Messaging, the Glyde also comes with mobile IM, which will connect you to AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo. After signing in, you and can send and receive IMs, but it is basically glorified text messaging to people on your buddy list and will count on your calling plan the same as using text messages.

Connectivity and Data:

The Glyde is a dual band all-digital device that operates on the 800MHz and 1900MHz CDMA Verizon Wireless network. Non-voice data, such as web and email, are transmitted using the 3G EVDO network, but it is limited to Rev 0 speeds instead of the faster Rev A, which should have been implemented on such a high-end device. The Glyde also lacks the Mobile TV service, which is featured on the Voyager and uses the 700MHz spectrum on Qualcomm’s MediaFLO network.

Bluetooth version 1.2 is supported and allows up to 20 pairings. Supported profiles include: Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dialup Networking, Advanced Audio Distribution (A2DP/AVRC), Phone Book Access, Object Push for vCard, Basic Imaging for sending and printing non–protected images, and Basic Print. We were able to use the auto pair feature to easily connect to our Jabra 250v and Motorola HT820 headsets. When using the 250v for calls, we were able to get up to 25 feet of static free performance, and with the HT820 we were able to get up to 30 feet of stereo music without static.

For connecting to the Internet, the Glyde must use Verizon’s EVDO network, since it does not have built-in WiFi. When launching the browser, you are taken to the VZW homepage, which has quick-launch icons for news, sports, weather, entertainment, optimized web, connect, email, and Verizon services. Along the bottom are icons for back, home, refresh, favorites, WWW, and menu. It would be nice if the bottom icon bar had an auto-hide feature to allow more of web sites to be visible, since you do not need to have those 6 icons always showing. When selecting “Go to WWW” you can view HTML web sites as they would appear on your PC, with properly rendered text, pictures, and formatting, but there is a lot of horizontal and vertical scrolling that must be done. You can zoom out, by pressing the left/top volume rocker, which will cut down on some scrolling since more of the page is shown at the same time, or you can go to menu/settings/view mode and select Smart Fit, which will reformat the page to only allow for vertical scrolling. This does not compare to the more advanced web browsers used on the iPhone or the HTC Diamond, which allow for easier movement and zooming of web pages. We then went back to the home page and tried the optimized web option. This completely reformats web sites and partitions them into smaller pages. You have to click through 6 or more of these pages to view one actual large HTML page. After we used this for a while, we decided to revert back to the standard non-optimized view, where HTML pages are displayed as intended. Due to the ongoing problems that we’ve had using the touchscreen with other applications, it comes as no surprise that it was also problematic when using the browser. When using your finger to move web sites around on the screen, the page doesn’t move smoothly, and often times would move erratically. For selecting text links, most are shown quite small, causing us to zoom in 150-200% to be able to click the link with our finger. Despite the browser supporting HTML and JavaScript, it does not support any type of plug-ins, such as Flash, which means you cannot watch videos using the popular site. This was also true with the Voyager, so we tried the mobile-version which did work and play videos on the Voyager, but unfortunately did not work on our Glyde. We are unsure as to why we could not get the Mobile YouTube videos to play, but without them, it limits your video options to only V Cast video.

The time required for the browser to completely load graphically rich sites, such as, is 50 seconds, while more simplistic sites, such as Google, would only take up to 6 seconds. While the speed is not excessively bad, the Glyde should have been EVDO Rev A compatible to allow for faster downloads.

Computer Sync:

Even though the Glyde comes with a USB data cable, you are limited to only using it in conjunction with the Music Essentials program, which must be installed from the CD. This is because the device does not show as USB Mass Storage. With the program and proper Samsung device drivers installed, you can sync music from your PC to the microSD card installed in the phone. However, you cannot transfer any other files over the data cable, such as pictures or videos, like you can with the Voyager. For this, you must still use a card reader.


The Glyde has a 2-megapixel autofocus camera with flash, which is a step down from the 3MP camera used on the F700. The application takes 4 seconds to load and can be easily launched by pressing the camera button located on the right side. Unlike the Voyager that uses the whole screen as the viewfinder, the Glyde only uses about 75%. With the autofocus turned on, it takes 2 seconds to focus, 2 seconds to capture the image, and another 2 seconds to save it to the memory card. The total turn around time to take one picture, save it, and take a second picture for saving is 11 seconds. If you need to take pictures faster, you can turn off the autofocus feature and it will cut the amount of time.

Images taken outside are sharp and have a lot of detail with good color saturation, but tend to look underexposed (darker) than they should. Interior images taken with plenty of daylight look fine due to the camera using faster shutter speeds, but in instances where you can only use standard incandescent bulbs, the shutter must remain open longer, causing images to be blurry. The camera features a built in LED flash, which the Voyager does not have, however the range is only about 6 feet. Because of this, don’t expect to use it for taking many low-light pictures. The autofocus system is also capable of taking macro (up close) images, which worked without problem.

Camera Options:

  • Color Effects: Normal, B&W, Sketch, Antique, Negative, Green, Aqua
  • White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
  • Brightness: 9 levels
  • Memory: Phone, Card
  • Auto Name: Off, On
  • ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
  • Metering: Average, Center, Spot
  • Icon Display: All, Partial, Guidelines, None
  • Sound Effects: Ready Sound, Shutter Sound
  • Flash: Off, Auto, Only this shot, On
  • Auto Focus: Off, On
  • Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
  • Quality: Fine, Normal, Economy
  • Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144
  • Multishot: Series, Divided

Videos can be recorded at maximum of 320x240 resolution, with the length being up to the available memory. Watching a recorded video on the phone is best, due to the smaller screen size. Once they are transferred to a PC, you can see how low quality they are, with blotchy color and low frame rate.


The music player on the Glyde is almost identical as the one used on the Voyager. The music menu shows icons for genre, artists, albums, songs, playlists, inbox, play all, and shuffle. Once a song begins playback, there are several icons on the left and right side of the screen that you can select from, allowing you to play/pause, rewind, fast-forward, or select a different track. But unlike the Venus, Chocolate, and F700, which have a more customizable music interface, this one cannot continue to play music while the phone performs other tasks, such as sending a text message or using the browser.

The Voyager and enV2 both have their stereo speakers located on the inside flip on either side of the display, whereas the stereo speakers on the Glyde are both located next to the earpiece. Because of this, when the phone is in landscape mode to use the music player, it places both speakers on the left side, thus defeating the purpose of having stereo speakers to begin with. A better design would be to have the left speaker next to the earpiece and the right speaker on the opposite end, as with the F700. Despite their poor location, music quality is relatively good, but does not get quite as loud as if it were playing from the enV2 or Voyager. For better quality, you can use a pair of wired earbuds or a Bluetooth stereo headset.


Because the Glyde lacks Mobile TV functionality, you can only watch videos using the standard V Cast video service. These are pre-recorded at 320x240 resolution and 15fps. Because of their low quality, this should not be looked as a primary feature of the Glyde, since most all Verizon devices are also capable of accessing the V Cast service.


As with most other Verizon phones, the Glyde uses Qualcomm’s BREW format for all application. One of the most useful available ones is VZ Navigator, which is used for GPS guided directions. It comes with Version 3 preinstalled, but can download and install the updated Version 4, which allows for new 3D maps, traffic congestion and accident re-routing, as well as the ability to find local gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters and show times, and local events. We were able to use VZ Navigator around south FL without problem. The updated 3D maps are easy to follow and are more professional looking than the previous version. The added improvements are well worth the $10 per month price.

No games are preloaded on the Glyde, but can be purchased and download over the air directly from Verizon.


Regardless of how nice a phone looks, or how many features are packed into it, the most important aspects to consider are the reception and call quality. Unfortunately, the Glyde’s reception is not up to par with most other phones, including the Voyager, enV2, and V9m. The phone would fluctuate between 1-2 bars in areas where a strong signal is present, while most other Verizon phones would have between 3-4 bars. When traveling into fringe areas, it would not show any bars and could not pickup service, while the enV2 and V9m were still able to place and receive calls. Because of this, we cannot recommend the Glyde for anyone who does a lot of interstate road traveling, as the possibility exists of it not being able to locate and maintain a signal in fringe areas.

The call quality, while in strong signal areas, was quite good though the earpiece speaker and lacked any background noise or interference. Turning the earpiece volume up to high was not a problem, as it is on the Voyager, and did not produce any noticeable distortion. People that we called on a landline also agreed that the Glyde produced good sound quality, with our voice being clear and lacking any interference. However, when using the speakerphone we did have to keep the volume down to level 5, otherwise the stereo speakers would cause distortion.

The included 1000 mAh battery is rated by Samsung to provide 3.5 hours of talk time or 10 days of standby time on a full charge. During our testing, we were able to achieve 5 hours of continuous talk time by fully charging the battery, dialing a landline, and keeping the Glyde connected until the battery was depleted. This means that the Glyde is capable of 1.5 hours more talk time that the Voyager. Standby time was a mediocre 4 days and was measured with the battery fully charged and the phone left on (yet unused) until the battery was depleted.


Despite the numerous features and sleek appearance offered by the Glyde, we find it difficult to recommend the device based upon the countless problems we encountered while using the touchscreen interface. At this point, we honestly cannot see the Glyde used as someone’s primary phone, not only due to those issues, but also due to its poor signal reception. If you are in the market for a touchscreen Verizon phone, than the Voyager is a better choice at this time, as it is possible that a future firmware upgrade may alleviate the problems that we experienced. However, if you do not require a touchscreen, but still want the convenience of a QWERTY keyboard, then the enV2 may be your ticket.

UPDATE: We've tried to fix the problems with the touch screen - please check out our article here.


  • Smaller and sleeker than the Voyager
  • Large 2.8” WQVGA display
  • HTML browser
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 5 hours of talk time on a full battery
  • Can use 8GB microSDHC cards


  • Continuous problems when using the touchscreen
  • Reception is weak
  • Speakerphone causes distortion at high volumes
  • Camera flash range

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