Samsung Gravity SMART Review

Introduction and Design

Back in late 2008, the Samsung Gravity arrived on T-Mobile’s lineup presenting itself as an affordable text messaging oriented phone, but as we’ve seen over the course of the last few years, the Gravity line has evolved to adapt with the ever-changing times. Inevitable to say the least, the Gravity line is now making a push into the smartphone realm with the mid-range Samsung Gravity SMART. As its name implies, this handset boasts all of the smartphone elements that come along with Android – while still packing along that must-have physical keyboard. Priced at $69.99, it surely needs to be hot out of the gate showing how it’s more valuable than some of its closer rivals.

The package contains:

  • Samsung Gravity SMART
  • microUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • 2GB microSD card
  • Health & Safety and Warranty Guide
  • Start Guide


Even though it’s a smartphone at heart, its look is rather very yesterday with its dated feature phone-esque design and construction. Combining a mostly plastic exterior with a soft touch back cover, it makes the handset feel relatively lightweight, but still comes off as being cheap feeling the moment we hold on to it. Overall, its design aesthetics is indeed boring and takes the route of playing it safe with its conventional approach.

You can compare the Samsung Gravity SMART with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Knowing that the Samsung Exhibit 4G is regarded as a mid-range device with its WVGA display, it’s undoubtedly difficult to appreciate the Gravity SMART’s smaller 3.2” HVGA (320 x 480) display. Tolerable enough to display most things, it’s not as sharp looking when displaying on-screen text – with color production on the washed out side as well. Moreover, its weak brightness output renders it almost inoperable under the sun, which requires a good shielding with your hand to visibly see.

Following after the Exhibit 4G, the Gravity SMART employs a combination of three capacitive touch keys and one physical one that acts as the home button. Being atypical of course, it takes some adjustment, but like most things, we easily get a handle very quickly.

Peeking at its sides, we find decent sized power button, microUSB port, 3.5mm headset jack, and volume rocker. Luckily, both the power button and volume rocker are pleasantly responsive when pressed.

Exposing the keyboard requires some initial force to get the mechanism to commence, but once it’s in position, we’re greeted to its 4-row landscape style keyboard. We like the fact that buttons are oval in shape, sufficient in size to accommodate most people, and they exhibit some good tactile responses when pressed, but they’re actually rather difficult to make out because they’re flat. Nonetheless, we’re able to speed type without much fluff in our rate, but it would’ve been nice to add another set of “shift” and “alt” keys to the right side of the layout to make it more convenient.

Finally, the rear is home to its 3.2-megapixel fixed focus camera with LED flash and two notches for its speakerphone. On the bottom edge, we find a notch that allows us to yank the back cover – thus, giving us access to its 1,500 mAh battery, spring activated microSD card slot, and its SIM card slot.

Samsung Gravity SMART 360-degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Shifting things back a notch with its meager 600MHz single-core processor, it’s able to handle basic functions without much hardship, but it tends to crawl when graphically intensive live wallpapers are activated. Moreover, there’s a recognizable amount of delay when multiple apps are running in the background – making things like kinetic scrolling choppy in operation. Running Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of Android 2.2 Froyo, it’s undeniably handicapped versus what we see on other handsets, which is due to its lack of Samsung specific widgets. Besides that, it’s pretty much the same experience with its characteristic TouchWiz layout.

It’s almost unfathomable to comprehend why some people want to input text besides using the physical keyboard, but as usual, you’re presented with the on-screen Samsung and Swype keyboards – albeit, there is no landscape support. Although it exhibits some acceptable responsiveness, we’re limited in speed due to its cramped confines. And in all honesty, it’s best to use the physical keyboard for all your needs. Also, it’s worth noting that the handset is “cloud-enabled” with its Cloud Texting feature that allows you to manage your texts directly from any internet connected PC or tablet.

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Unsurprisingly, the Gmail experience is more than satisfactory since it offers all the features you’d expect from any Android powered smartphone – like support for multiple accounts and labeling. As for setting up additional services, it’ll normally just require your email address and password, but for some less popular ones, it needs additional information to properly set up.

Boasting all the usual set of Google apps, T-Mobile’s presence is heavily known on the handset with pre-loaded apps like T-Mobile AppPack, T-Mobile Highlight, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile Name ID, and Visual Voicemail. Additionally, there are a bunch of other third party apps along for the ride – such as AIM, AllShare, Bejeweled 2, DriveSmart, and Glympse, Photobucket, TeleNav GPS Navigation, and UNO.

Camera and Multimedia:

With its 3.2-megapixel fixed focused camera in the rear, the Samsung Gravity SMART captures some barely passable images. Overall, it produces photos that lack fine detail, with pale looking colors to make them appear more like a painting than anything else. However, its LED flash proves to be potent in illuminating dimly lit environments – though, it casts a yellowish tinge with close-ups.

Scary to say, you’ll forget about shooting videos with this one, mainly because it has a maximum shooting resolution of 320 x 240. Not only does it look completely indiscernible, but its sluggish capture rate of 14 frames per second will make you think twice about shooting anything.

Samsung Gravity Smart Sample Video:

Finding the conventional Android music player, it’s always functional in playing some tunes, but its presentation isn’t something that captures our attention. Outputting some audible tones with its speaker on the middle volume setting, it sounds sharp and irritating when it’s at the highest level. Fortunately, we’re greeted with a variety of equalizer settings to better adjust to the particular genre of music it’s playing.

Thinking more about its tiny display and slow processor, the video watching experience on the Samsung Gravity SMART is challenging to say the least. Loading a video encoded in MPEG-4 720 x 480 resolution, it buckles under the pressure due to the noticeable amount of delay with its audio as the video is playing.

Better than having nothing at all, the handset is preloaded with a 2GB microSD card, but it can obviously be replaced with others up to 32GB in size.

Internet and Connectivity:

If you can overlook its 3G speeds and lack of Flash support, you’ll actually find a decent web browsing experience with its tight controls. From kinetic scrolling to pinch zooming, it executes navigational operations without much delay to make web surfing more than forgiving on this mid-range device.

Perfect for those trips abroad, you’ll be able to place voice calls in pretty much any location around the world, but it’ll only get 3G speeds in the US running on T-Mobile’s specific AWS band. Much like its contemporaries, the handset features additional connectivity items like aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wi-Fi.


Although it’s not the best, calling quality is more than tolerable with voices sounding reserved through the earpiece due to its weak output. Meanwhile, our callers say that there is a crackly tone associated with our voice on their end of the line. Finally, the speakerphone puts out some flat tones, but it’s even harder to comprehend the muffled voices heard through it.

In terms of signal reception with the handset, it seems fairly decent in high coverage areas in the greater Philadelphia area. Likewise, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing.

Hoping to see better than average battery life, especially when it’s packing a 600MHz CPU and 1,500 mAh battery, it’s actually more of the same with its average results. Charging up the device fully, we’re able to place a continuous phone call for 7 hours, 45 minutes. However, setting its brightness to 50 percent and using it primarily for web surfing, texting, emails, and the occasional phone call, we’re able to get at least a solid day’s use out of it – so expect to charge this one nightly.


Strangely, it’s difficult for us to accept the Samsung Gravity SMART as a mid-range device after checking out the better spec’d Samsung Exhibit 4G – but of course, it has the added convenience of a physical keyboard. Without a doubt, it works rather well as a messaging device, but after carefully taking into consideration its pricing and list of features, it definitely seems overpriced for its value. Specifically, it’s only $30 that separates this from the undeniably superior $100 on-contract Samsung manufactured T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. Thinking about it more, the Sidekick 4G reigns supreme on T-Mobile’s lineup as being the carrier’s best messaging oriented smartphone, and easily manhandles the Gravity SMART in every way. Unless you’re a faithful Gravity user, there is no reason why you shouldn't dish out the extra $30 and move up to the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 2.2.2
Build number: FROYPO.UVKE7
Kernel Version:

Samsung Gravity SMART Video Review:


  • Responsive keyboard


  • Cheap & boring design
  • Pricey for a mid-range device
  • Shoots ugly looking videos
  • Sluggish performance

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

3 Reviews

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