Samsung Moment Review

Samsung Moment Review

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:



1. martycota

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Wow I have been waiting forever for your review on this since your usually really good at comparing but nope, just a general these are the specs review. Didn't even seem to play with the phone to get a battery life viewpoint. Well thanks anyways... Like the Moment, the review for it from you is pretty mediocre :D Keep up the other great work though!!!

2. stuntz

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i feel the optical trackball is really nice, also feel that it has good weight to it, didnt like the physical keyboard so I'll agree with phone arena there. Having no multitouch as a con is kinda dumb because it was known that it wasnt supported before the review was done. thats like giving a flip phone a con for not having a bar design...

6. belivingtheword

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

I agree concerning the optical trackpad: it is a nice feature. The input options take some getting-used-to, but are good alternatives for touching the screen. At least there are options. I've had the phone for three days, and I'm beginning to type without looking at the keyboard. I don't think I could do that with an onscreen keyboard. Also, the trackpad and physical buttons work with gloves on, while a capacitive screen does not. The hardware supports multi-touch. The cupcake Android OS does not; however, that can be fixed with a firmware update to 2.0. Not sure how much of a "con" it is to lack multi-touch, since that will be remedied... Coming from a Treo 755p, I can't tell that the phone is large and heavy. ha :-)

17. jami_rs

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

Where would you find the app for firmware update to 2.0? Or what website would I go to do so... I am really thing of getting the phone since you mention that feature...

3. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

I am going to be switching my hero for the moment. I find the hero to be too laggy when texting, or even typing a phone number. People say things about the moments plain android os, but that is easily remedied with skins from the android market. And I do find that 7 screens on the hero is not necessary for me. I can get most of the widgets for the moment of the market. Any hardware keyboard to me is better than a software keyboard any day. This review to me was somewhat bleh. If the moment had launched with android 2.0 they would have been saying that this is the best phone behind the droid etc. I guess it is all about the glitz and glamor of how many screens and animations your widgets do when it comes to reviewing a phone nowadays, I am pretty sure this phone has no play when the screen is not slid open. Have you seen the Droid's screen? You can move the screen on that thing so much when it isn't slid out that it would surprise me if it didn't break within a year under normal use. Oh, and if you haven't noticed the hero is not that good of a phone. All it has is sense ui which is why I bought it and now I am regretting it because it is way too laggy. I mean once again, how the hell do you get lag when putting in a phone number...WTF. I have had it for 3 weeks and yeah it has cool features, but I cannot try to even write this post or write out an email on the Hero F*** that. End of my rant, I need to step outside for a Moment....> couldn't help it :)

4. martycota

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Havn't really had any trouble writing on the Hero. No the moment isn't a bad phone but you can't really say that about phonearena's review concerning if it came with android 2.0 as the Droid did and it still didn't review as well as the Hero. Yes the 7 screens isn't really necessary but what i do like about the Hero over the Moment and why I will stay with it barring any problems with my device in the next 30 days that I havn't already worked around (the SMS problem) is the contact integration and multi-touch.

8. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

multi touch is w/e since the moment is going to get it. contact integration is no big deal since it was never a big deal to me, it actually annoyed me because there were people I didn't want in my phone who are in my gmail that I had to delete which took time. I traded my hero in for the moment and i am much happier. For one, the moment does NOT lag when typing in a phone number like the hero does. I mean how the hell can a phone lag when you type in a damn number, it is the basic function that should work flawlessly without any excuses. Oh and I like the tank that is the Moment since I have big hands it feels more natural than the hero.

5. captainculpeper

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

I really have to wonder about these reviews? If you add up all of the categories for the ratings. For the Samsung moment you get 66 divided by eight categories equals 8.25. If you add up all the categories on the motorola droid phone you get 65. Divided by eight equals 8.125. Now how did they get a rating of a 7 for the Samsung moment and a 8.5 for the droid????? Go figure!

7. Swyn

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

What really bothers me is that even though the Moment takes much better pictures than the Hero, the Hero has a better camera score. It seems like these reviews are slowly just giving arbitrary numbers to specifications (5mp vs 3.2mp for example) and ignoring real world results.

16. belivingtheword

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

I just looked at the review and sample pictures from the Hero camera, and compared them to the review and sample pictures from the Moment camera (both from Phonearena). Considering the phones are the same class and carrier, one would think the scale would be consistent. In other words, since the Moment got a better review and sample pics, it should have a higher camera score; however, this isn't the case. Perhaps the scales aren't as objective as I had assumed. There isn't even consistently on pure specs. Take the battery, for example. According to Phonearena, the Hero gets 4 hours of battery life and the Moment gets 5.5 hours, 40% more. However, the Hero gets a better battery score because ..., well who knows why the Hero got a better battery score? Or, take the connectivity section. Everything is the same for the Hero and the Moment, except for Bluetooth and USB. Hero uses an older mini-USB, and 2.0 Bluetooth. Moment uses the micro-USB and 2.1 Bluetooth. However, the Hero got a better score... Perhaps the Hero got a better Organizer score due to the user interface overlay. I can see that. I'm not trying to diss the reviewer on everything! lol The design score is subjective, so no issues there, it's basically a matter of opinion. I'm just suggesting that some of the other scores could be a little more standardized for comparison purposes.

9. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

you sure u even reviewed the moment? Its so much faster hten the slower processer ones. Did you even rup an application or play with it for more then 5 minutes? We own one and its x100 better then the other android devices. -1 for this review glad reviews dont really mean much go back to your iphone which is easy for you to use. (oh and we've owned a hero, palm pre, played with a mytouch, g1) So this comes from experience.

10. martycota

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Wow a lot of negative comments to the reviewer. You all might have a point if this review was at all different from the rest of the reviews out there. This review pretty much agrees with what every other site said. The Moment is a decent phone but seems a step behind compared to what the other android devices are doing, and even with the faster processor the lag is still present.

11. InJuxHurYlem

Posts: 28; Member since: Oct 07, 2009

But that's just it. People like me who love our Moment are trying to figure out what exactly you mean by "a step behind". Same with this Phonearena review where he mentions something is "just not right". The bottom line. The software on this phone is Android. So you're going to like or dislike the UI based on how you feel about Android. All Samsung could control is the hardware. And they gave us wifi, gps, 800mhz with graphics acceleration, AMOLED, QWERTY pad with offset keys, softgrip plastic, flash and autofocus camera. I'm sorry, but that's a homerun. I think this device stands up to and arguably beats the Droid based on specs. The keyboard is more than okay. For me, it's the best keyboard I've used on a phone. Being offset really helps. The keys are inset, but mounded in the middle....the result is that they each can be felt distinctly, but you're finger doesn't get caught up on them. There is a nice click to the buttons, but you don't have to press hard. Even the space bar makes sense to me now. I have always prefered it be set on it's own below the keys, but in using this phone I like not having to move down a line every time I hit the space key.....saves time......and what saves time even more is not having to hit the Fn key to type numbers.

12. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

What every other site said? Phone sites like to hype up phones consumers can't get, and once it comes out they don't give a crap about them. The moment was getting REALLY hyped up and then droid came and shazam, poof went the moment. Coming form a person who owned the hero for 3 weeks and knows how incredibly frustrating it was, the moment is definitely a better phone for people who want a keyboard, don't want lag when they punch in a phone number, and who don't mind a big cell phone. What is this crap I am hearing about lag is still present? There is no damn lag on this phone compared to the Hero. "Lag still present" my arse. And have you even tried deleting apps on the takes forever for the hero to even render the app images, and the moment renders them much faster. So the processor is very good compared to the hero. I can't wait for android 2.0, cause I would rather have that than sens ui.

13. jbholt1

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 09, 2009

I have been using the Samsung moment since it was released and I am very pleased with this phone. I came from the palm pre and what a fresh of breath air it has been. This phone is smooth and fast! The screen is amazing, camera is more than adequate. The keyboard feels great when I use it. I have a hard time believing you could not see a difference in processing power. The hero and Magic feel much slower than the moment. Anyway I am happy with this device. If fact I am glad all the phone sites underrated this phone, because I feel special not having a phone that everyone else has.

14. InstinctDemon

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 09, 2009

We've tried this phone my wife loves it, she's not a techie in any sense but she knows what she like and that is this phone, big keyboard, big screen, compared to the Droid, the curves have a better feel and buttons on the key pads aren't as close together, with larger fingers that's a plus!

15. jbholt1

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 09, 2009

Also, I forgot to add to my comment. My other half and I both have it and it has ZERO lag! I don't know what all these reviewers are talking about. I even convinced a friend to buy it and we're not seeing any lag with his either. The Pre lags like hell and like I said going to this was an amazing jump. The flash on the camera is amazing! Try taking a picture in a dark room and it will completely light it up, making a great picture. You can also take up close shots. It's just great all around.

18. dweezilb

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

I just traded my TouchDiamond for a Hero... and I'm seriously considering trading again for the Moment. It comes down to the Hero's awful virtual keyboard - I can't use it with any acceptable accuracy. Strangely I could type faster on the Touch's smaller resistive screen, because I could use my fingernails for better accuracy. With the capacitive screen I have to use the tip of my finger and that's a bigger area that can hit the wrong key. Who knew resistive screens had their advantages? I agree this review gives the Moment a short-shrift. I tried both Hero and Moment in the Sprint store and my only gripe was increased weight. But after a week with the hero I think the weight is worth the useability.

19. EvoAnubis

Posts: 11; Member since: Jan 14, 2010

Android 2.1 changed this phone forever; many of the points in this review are rendered useless now.

20. jallinson77

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 05, 2010

Funny how this has to be the worst phone I have ever had and the complaints about it on here are not even near mine! lol First it was the battery but I somehow got used to it. Now it's just pretty much everything. From talking on the phone and ALWAYS muting the person I'm talking to TO my phone just freezing all together for no real reason at all. I've had quite a few phones and this is by far that worst one I've ever had. I'm up for an upgrade in October and I'm already getting a blackberry in the meantime from a friend because I'll go insane if I have to wait 3 months. It seems like such a lifetime. Not only does it mute everyone....I'll be on the phone with someone and it will literally put that person on hold and then CALL someone else all in the matter of a couple seconds. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong in the making of this phone...but I simpley cannot wait until it's gone out of my life. (this was just a brief description of everything stupid that it does)

22. belivingtheword

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

I used to mute callers when I had Android 1.5. It was a "tap to mute", and I tend to hold the phone against my ear. Now it's "slide to mute" and I don't have that problem anymore. However, a friend of mine would pivot his phone at his ear, sliding his Moment up and down his cheek while talking. That would mute callers.

21. belivingtheword

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

Whatever you do, do not connect to a WIFI network! My Moment was working just fine, until I started internet at home. I used the home wifi network, and now my phone constantly drops the Sprint data network when I leave a wifi area. I have to reboot about 4 times per day, and this is my third Moment. So, only use the Sprint network, and not any wifi. Don't even enable the wifi antenna. Please!

23. juju2011 unregistered

The Moment...oh the moment I got it was clear it was the most worthless phone anyone could own. I have to keep it plugged in all day and when I leave work at 5 and go for coffee and cruise Facebook for say an hour and not even constant it is dead in 1 hour. I am scared to leave my house and have any apps open because it will be dead with 2 hours. Come on now, I don't care how smart a phone is this is pretty dumb. They should have been recalled

24. elizabeth unregistered

the phone is awesome but ive seen better ones though alot i got the phone and it busted lol not really good but still good
  • Display 3.2" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Battery 1440 mAh(5.50h talk time)

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