Samsung Moment Review

Introduction and Design

Sprint debuted Android with a bang with the HTC Hero, but somewhat lost was that the Samsung Moment (nee, Instinct Q) would be coming just a few weeks behind.  Well the time is here and the Moment has arrived with its full QWERTY keyboard and AMOLED goodness.  On paper the more down to earth Moment seems to be a perfect complement to the stylized Hero; the Hero is a more customized, fun, all touch device whereas the Moment is more business-like with stock Android, a more advanced processor and of course the hardware keyboard.  Will the physical keyboard, faster processor and AMOLED screen be enough to keep pace with HTC’s Sense UI?  Read on to find out!

Included in the box you’ll find:

•    1440mAh Li-Ion battery
•    AC Adapter
•    USB cable
•    Stereo headphones
•    2GB microSD card


The Moment is a hefty device.  It plunks into your hands, and the slide opens and closes with a resounding thud.  It most definitely tip-toes the line between quality feel and just plain heavy, but falls on the quality side.  The slide mechanism is firm both open and closed, displaying only the slightest inevitable wiggle when shut.  It is spring-assisted, but takes a considerable amount of force to begin, again toeing the line but coming down on the side of good construction.

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

The 3.2” AMOLED display is a beauty to behold.  With 16M colors it is a far cry from the 65K color TFT panels we’ve grown accustomed to on HTC’s Android devices, but unfortunately it is still only 320x480 in resolution.  With the OMNIA II sporting a 480x800 pixel display we had higher hopes, though we realize as an Android 1.5 device at launch these hopes were in vein.  It’s still an AMOLED display though, and it is very pleasant to look at.  It is very bright, not easily washed out and the color depth is great.  It is very cool though, with pure white displaying a very blue tint.  It didn’t bother us, but we did notice it immediately and have a feeling that some of our more discerning readers will not appreciate it.

Below the display are three touch-sensitive buttons: Home, Menu and Back.  There are two physical buttons for Send and End, but no Search key.  The Samsung Moment utilizes an optical, clickable trackpad in lieu of the trackballs we’ve seen on HTC designs.  We prefer the ball.  The trackpad on RIM devices is bearable because  you can change the sensitivity, but not so with the Moment.  It moved way too fast for our liking, making fine movement difficult.  Along the left side of the phone is the volume rocker, and on the right is the voice control key (thankfully linked to Nuance) and the camera button.  All of the physical buttons rise prominently from the surface and click reassuringly.  The soft-touch painted back is very simple, with 3.2 megapixel camera and speaker breaking up the monotony. “with Google” is proudly screen printed on the battery door.

Sliding the Moment open reveals a four row QWERTY keyboard.  Each key is a curved rectangle, and in a bit of an optical illusion they appear to be honeycombed together.  They are just large enough, with decent spacing and when pressed offer a definite click.  Still, they don’t feel quite right.  When typing the adjective that comes to mind is “thin.”  It’s hard to put our finger on what exactly we don’t like about them, but one thing that doesn’t help is the tiny space bar integrated into the bottom row.  We much prefer it to be below the letter keys as it creates an awkward rearrangement of our fingers when typing.  In fact, we often found ourselves using the on screen keyboard because we prefer the layout better.  The onscreen version had some slight lag to it, but was overall very usable.  It offers good haptic feedback, but is only available in a QWERTY layout, without options like HTC’s compact QWERTY and phone keypad.

The Samsung Moment is a well constructed phone, but we are not a fan of the keyboard.  It is precisely this feature that will set the device apart from other Android offerings, especially the Hero, and we really think Samsung dropped the ball.  The display still makes it a compelling offering, but given the added size and weight we expected a bit more from the Moment.  If you’re a Sprint user and the Hero’s touch screen is the reason you’ve been putting off getting into Android we urge you to go try a Moment for yourself before taking the plunge.

Samsung Moment 360 Degrees View:

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