Samsung Juke Review

Performance:

This is the area where we started to run into some problems. First, the Juke is not EV-DO capable, which means all data connections must use the slower 1x speeds. There is also no VCast Music, VCast Video, or Mobile Web on the phone, but interesting enough, you can download and use the VZ Navigator program for turn-by-turn directions. Samsung designed the Juke not to download music from Verizon, but to download it directly from your PC.

The next area we ran into problems was with the Reception and Sound Quality. The internal antenna is located at the bottom of the phone where you would naturally hold onto the device and would be located in your palm. However, there is a label at the bottom saying “For best performance, do not touch this area when using your phone”. Because of the location of the antenna, we noticed low signal strength and dropped a few calls while in fringe areas, where other phones did not have this problem.

The Sound Quality though the earpiece speaker was also lacking. The first thing that we noticed when placing a call was that we could hear a constant “hiss” sound through the earpiece speaker. Raising and lowering the volume did not affect it, and it was most noticeable while using the phone is less-noisy environments. Also, when listening to someone talk and with the earpiece volume set to High, we could hear distortion, as if the speaker was rattling around. In order to eliminate this, we had to keep the speaker set to Medium, which is a little lower than we would have liked. Outgoing call quality was good, with the person on the other end saying that we sounded like we were using a landline.
These problems are a concern to us, since the Juke is a phone and will be used as such. If you are only planning on using the phone for a few quick conversations, then it probably would be OK, but you would be better off using a higher quality phone for conversations lasting an hour or longer.

It is also no surprise that the Speakerphone quality is lacking, and is more of a “novelty” on the Juke than something that would be used daily.

The included 770mAh Battery is rated up to 3.5 hours of talk time or 10 days of standby time. We were able to achieve a little over 3 hours of talk time, but standby time is closer to 5 days.

Conclusion:

The Juke has clearly been designed for the under-20 demographic, looking for an inexpensive MP3 player that is also capable of being used as a phone. The swivel form-factor is truly unique and sets its self apart from any other phone available from Verizon. As a music player, the Juke does its job well, with 2GB of internal memory, stereo earbuds, and an excellent user interface with a wide variety of options. Unfortunately, as a phone, it is lacking in reception and sound quality. We feel that the Juke’s ideal buyer is someone that is looking to use it as a music player 75% of the time, and as a phone 25% of the time. However, if you are looking for a phone first, and that is also capable of playing music, then the LG Chocolate VX8550 would be better suited for your needs.

Pros

  • Unique swivel design
  • Small enough to take anywhere
  • 2GB of internal memory
  • Excellent music player interface
  • Included stereo earbuds and USB data cable

Cons

  • Call sound quality is not as good as other phones in this price range
  • Reception is poor when used in fringe areas
  • No EV-DO, VCast or Mobile Web
  • Outdated VGA camera
  • Proprietary data port

PhoneArena Rating:

5.2

User Rating:

7.0
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