Samsung Smiley :) Review

Introduction and Design

Let us present to you the phone with the worst name ever, the Samsung :).  The :)- which we will refer to as Smiley from here on out- thankfully isn’t as bad as its name.  This low-end portrait slider features a decidedly low-end set of specs, but what it does it does well.  It offers a full QWERTY keyboard, 1.3 megapixel camera and microSD expansion.


The Samsung Smiley is a radical design departure from the T349 it replaces, which was a bar phone with a SureType keyboard.  This time around the Smiley is a well-designed portrait slider with a full keyboard, similar to the Strive and Reclaim.  It is a good size and fits comfortably in the hand, and despite not having a soft-touch coating the back has some texture to it thanks to an embossed pattern.

You can compare the Samsung Smiley :) with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 2.6” QVGA display has 262K colors that give it a crisp appearance.  Below is a six-key navigation cluster with a 5-way d-pad in the middle.  There is dedicated messaging key that the user can customize for anything in the messaging submenu, be it your inbox, the Social Buzz app, IM or others.  The left side of the phone has the volume rocker near the top and microSD card slot.  On the right is the microUSB charging/data port and a dedicated camera key.  The camera resides on the back of the slide and is only usable when the phone is opened.

Also available when slid open is the QWERTY keyboard.  Samsung does portrait sliders well and the Smiley is no exception.  The keyboard has good feel and despite having small keys we didn’t have any problems typing accurately.  Samsung has used a black and blue color scheme, mixed up with some red accents that are nice and offer a bit of class to the phone.

Samsung Smiley :) 360 Degrees View:


The Smiley has the same simple menu that we’ve seen on a few T-Mobile offerings, including the Gravity 3.  It can be changed to a more conventional grid menu if the user prefers.  Like the Gravity 3 it runs quickly and there was no significant menu lag.

The phonebook is good for a dumbphone.  It allows the user to store lots of information about a contact, including multiple phone numbers, email addresses, IM names, birthday and address info and a memo.  We were only able to activate the Nuance voice dialing using our Bluetooth headset.

As one might expect, the Samsung Smiley is heavy on the messaging aspect, but no moreso than any other messaging phone out there today.  SMS, MMS, IM and email are all supported, including Exchange support though we’re not sure why someone who needs that feature would have the Smiley.  It’s still a good feature to trumpet though.  Users can create an audio postcard and the Social Buzz app is an aggregate of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace; a Friend Stream for dumbphones if you will.  The program is just a basic feed reader that allows you to quickly see your going-ons across all of your social network accounts, and you can of course update your status as well.

Camera, Multimedia and Connectivity:

Though it only has a 1.3 megapixel camera, photos turned out quite respectable with the Smiley.  It’s no high-end camera phone, to be sure, but it took more than acceptable snapshots for what it is.  Options are very basic, though it does offer panorama and mosaic modes along with smile detection.  The camcorder drops just about all of the limited options available with the camera and offers just QCIF recording, not even YouTube quality.

The Samsung Smiley does not have a dedicated music player, though it will let you play individual files from the memory card.  With no headphone jack the user is reliant on Bluetooth for handsfree calling.  The Smiley clocks in with v2.1+EDR and supports the HSP 1.1, HFP 1.5, OPP, FTP, A2DP, AVRC, BPP, SAP 1.1 profiles.

Performance and Conclusion:

Phone performance was a disappointment on the Smiley.  Callers described us as “crummy” and “very garbled” but they had no problems understanding what we were saying and gave us a 7.5/10.  To us they sounded OK, but voice reproduction was poor and callers sounded somewhat distant.  The battery is rated at a low but still acceptable 5.5 hours of talk time and 12.5 days of standby.

We can’t expect too much from the Samsung Smiley.  It’s a low end phone with the spec sheet to match, but for the most part it gets the job done.  Call quality is a concern, but the messing experience was good and the 1.3MP camera performed up to par.  With its quirky name this phone is obviously geared to the messaging crowd, and on that front it delivers.  The Smiley would make a good addition to a family plan for the younger members of the family.

Samsung Smiley :) Video Review


  • Good build quality
  • Easy to use keyboard
  • Nice display


  • So-so call quality
  • Lack of features

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