Samsung Transform Review
When the Samsung Transform was initially leaked it was postulated that the device would be another Galaxy S variant, possibly an all-touch device to go along with the Epic 4G. However, it transformed into a mid-range Android device with a side-sliding QWERTY, leaving many disappointed who were looking forward to possibly the third 4G handset in Sprint’s lineup. The Transform has a few tricks up its sleeve though, such as the front-facing camera for video chat (despite only being 3G) and a design very much inspired by its big-brother, the Epic 4G. It is also a launch device for Sprint’s new Sprint ID service, which gives the user customizable ID packs for a more personal experience. The Samsung Transform ships with an AC adapter/microUSB cable combo and a 2GB microSD card.
The Samsung Transform is no doubt a mini-Epic 4G. The styling is not identical, but its DNA is unmistakable. Like the Epic 4G, the Transform uses very simple black and grey design with a display-dominated front, chrome ring and soft touch battery cover. The handset feels very premium, possibly even more so than the Epic which we thought felt a bit off for such a high end device. The keyboard is different from the Epic 4G, which in our opinion is a good thing. Keys are spaced just right, are plenty large and have a bit of grip to them. It is quite frankly one of the better keyboards we have ever used and probably the best we’ve seen on a Samsung device here in the US.
The size is good, though a bit chunky. It’s just 15mm thin, but it is heavier and bigger in all other dimensions when compared to the Intercept it replaces. It is just a tenth of an ounce lighter than the decidedly larger Epic 4G. This all leads to a solid feel, but you will definitely feel the Transform as opposed to the light as air Sanyo Zio.
You can compare the Samsung Transform with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Samsung can’t quite decide on a display for their mid-range devices: the Moment had a 3.2” 320x480 AMOLED panel, the Intercept a 3” 240x400 LCD and the Transform has a 3.5” 320x480 LCD. We appreciate the size and resolution of the Transform, but would have liked to see an AMOLED display, if not Super AMOLED. We realize that Samsung has to differentiate between their devices though, and if the Transform had a Super AMOLED it would likely steal sales away from their flagship Epic 4G. The TFT LCD used on the Transform has 262K and produces natural looking images, but won't wow you with a very high contrast ratio and super-saturated colors.
As on the Epic 4G, along the left side of the Samsung Transform you’ll find a volume rocker, a 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port on the top and the power and camera buttons on the right. Unlike the Epic 4G the Transform has added a voice dial button below the power, a welcome addition for us. The buttons all sit nicely above the housing and offer good feel so there is no problem finding them and knowing that you have pressed them. The rear of the phone features the 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and the single speaker. A VGA camera sits above the display, off to the right.
We love the way the Samsung Transform feels, even if it is a bit chunky. For a mid-range device it is probably the best build quality we’ve come across. The Epic 4G felt a bit plasticy to us, but the Transform feels super-solid. The slide mechanism is tight and the materials used are great. The keyboard is an instant favorite and we would point to the Transform as a standard for mid-range handset design.