Samsung T719 is the first phone to include a BlackBerry connect and a SureType keyboard in a body with clamshell form-factor instead of the classic candy bar block. It allows for retaining a comparatively normal size without having to diminish neither the keyboard nor the screen. When closed 719 is far smaller than most of its BlackBerry kin and is a bit shorter (but thicker) than the small Pearl, whose keyboard and screen are smaller, though.
Size in inches
Size in mm.
Weight in oz.
Weight in grams
3.8" x 2.0" x 0.7"
96 x 52 x 18
4.2" x 2.0" x 0.6"
107 x 50 x 14.5
4.5" x 2.2" x 0.7"
115 x 56 x 18
4.3" x 2.7" x 0.8"
110 x 69 x 19
4.2" x 1.8" x 0.7"
107.5 x 46 x 17.5
Samsung SGH-T719, BlackBerry Pearl, T-Mobile MDA
On the outside, the phone is entirely made of plastic with two shades of grey – light and dark. The coloring is the same inside where the darker background surrounds the lighter (white) buttons and there is an additional mirror frame, encircling the screen. The phone is not particularly attractive as far as its appearance is concerned but at least its structure is comparatively sturdy with only a small play of the lid when closed. Its dimensions make it possible to carry the device in a pocket but definitely it is not a small device and its presence there will be easily felt.
Being a clamshell phone it must be opened in order to be used but, unfortunately, there is no automatic opening mechanism – the one we like in all phones of this type. Opening takes place with the standard ease and the spring helps only after ‘half way up’. It would be better if it could start at an earlier phase, since it is very likely that the lid will come back in case you open it only a little. At closing the lid touches soft cushions in the lower part.
On the outside of the lid there is a small square screen with 96 x 96 pixels resolution. It is monochromatic, which we appreciate because of the fact that it can be seen well in almost every light environment – even the bright sun will not stop you to see the hour or the state of the phone. When it is dark, a short holding of the side buttons will backlight it. Then the color filter can be noticed – a static colored image to background the displayed information. Its contrast can be set using five levels.
The inner screen has a capacity of 65536 colors and 176 x 220 pixel resolution. Its size – 2.3 inches – would not allow it to be placed in a candy-bar telephone with the same dimensions and keyboard. The screen is normally bright and well seen in strong light but, unfortunately, it does not display photos satisfactorily: the dynamic is too low and the colors – non-saturated, looking quite blurred. The margin between separate colors is ‘ragged’ and the low resolution prevents the good picturing of details turning them into artifacts.
When closed the telephone has three buttons. They are all situated on the right side and are raised, which makes them easy to feel and press. Two of them are volume controls and between them there is an OK button capable of muting the microphone during conversation. Holding an outside button for two seconds with a closed lid will start the back-light of the external screen and holding it for another two seconds will turn on the flashlight (LED) so that you can use it as a torch. When the phone is open, the OK button is a shortcut for the camera, while holding makes it work as OK again, and the arrows serve for navigation as well.
The main part of the keyboard is revealed when open: here you can see the enormous navigation and software buttons and the keyboard, which, too, is of a considerable size. Sure Type has been developed by Blackberry as a hybrid of a normal (numeric pad) and a QWERTY one: instead of three columns this keyboard has five and the letters are positioned as in QWERTY. Each button has 2 letters (plus a digit) in the place of 3-4 on the traditional pads. Being 20 (and not 12) their size is smaller than on a normal pad, but still larger than Blackberry Pearls’, and usable. Their relief is quite small and there is hardly any horizontal distance between them. This renders them difficult to demarcate but they are easy to use when looked at, because they need only a light pressing and have a superb response.
Unfortunately this does not refer to the remaining buttons – although they are enormous in size and each of them can be easily found, they are very hard to press, frequently without any response – you often need to repeat twice after pressing once in vain. In order to work better they must be pressed in the middle. Pressing, for instance, the lower end of the right soft button will not call forth any action whatsoever.
A four-direction button, also quite big-sized and with a central OK, is used for navigation. Working with it is trouble-free and thanks to its dimensions the common problem – picking a wrong direction – has been entirely prevented.
The whole keyboard is brightly lit in light blue and looks very stylish; only the buttons’ functions and not the entire buttons are back-lit. This makes them perfectly convenient to read in a light, as well as in an absolutely dark environment.
It is worth noting that T719 is a telephone featuring Blackberry functionality and a built-in camera. It is 1.3 mega pixel one in a revolving module on the top of the device and can be directed either backwards (when the phone is open) or to the inside – to take self-portraits. There are no service lights, but missed calls and other relevant information is displayed on the external screen.