Samsung Trender Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Last summer the Samsung Seek brought touchscreens to the entry level market, now Samsung and Sprint are back with a follow-up. The Samsung Trender remains essentially the same as the Seek, but adds some nice upgrades like a larger screen and a more contemporary design. Features include a 3.5mm headset jack, Bluetooth and a 1.3 megapixel camera. The Trender comes with a microUSB wall charger, but no memory card.

Design:

The Samsung Trender retains the same general side-sliding design as the Seek, but refines it some. The resistive touch display is upped to 2.8”- a 0.2” increase from the Seek- but retains the QVGA resolution. For a resistive screen it is fairly responsive and it fairs decently in most light situations, though washes out in direct harsh light. Below it you’ll still find Back, Home and Phone buttons. When pressed the Home button glows with a blue ring of light, and the two other buttons are much smaller which gives a slicker appearance. The Trender comes in amethyst (purple) and sapphire (blue and black,) giving it both a fun and more subtle option.



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

Along the right side of the phone is the camera button, the microUSB port is on the bottom and the 3.5mm headphone jack and power button are on the top. The left side has a volume rocker and microSD card slot, but that is housed under the battery door. The door isn’t exactly hard plastic, but isn’t quite soft touch either. It’s a bit slipperier than we’d like. The 1.3MP camera and the phone’s speaker are found on the back.



Slide the Samsung Trender open and you’ll find a 4 row QWERTY that is basically the same as the one we liked on the Seek. The key placement has been slightly reworked, but nothing drastic. Spacing and feel is very good and typing quickly and accurately is a breeze on the Trender.


The Samsung Trender isn’t a major upgrade from the Seek, but it makes some nice improvements. The slider mechanism is solid, the keyboard is good and the display is as responsive as you can ask for being resistive. Samsung and Sprint have both pushed the green movement in the industry, and the Trender follows in a long line of “green” phones offered by the two.





Interface and Software:

Like the Seek, the Trender runs a watered down version of the software we found in the Instinct family of phones. Being an entry level phone, the Trender does not have all the bells and whistles found on the Instincts, and it doesn’t run quite as smooth, but it’s a pretty good UI for a phone of its class that allows the user quick access to social networking sites and other items like sports and weather. It also allows for customizable favorites, making it that much more personal.


The phonebook is slightly more advanced with options to save an address and birthday for contacts, as well as the standard numbers, emails, URL, IM name and memo. It does offer Nuance’s voice dialing but does not have a dedicated button or the neat Live Search feature we liked so much on the Instinct.


The Samsung Trender focuses on social networking, but ditches the sub-par apps found on the Seek for direct links to the Facebook and Twitter mobile sites. Samsung has decided to stick with a standard featurephone browser, but Opera Mini can, of course, be downloaded for free by the user, which we recommend.



Camera and Multimedia:

Samsung outfits the Trender with a 1.3MP camera, but it is unable to record video. Like the Seek, camera performance is sub-par on the Trender. Images turned out fuzzy, and it didn’t handle bright light well.It’ll be fine for sending MMS, but t This will definitely not be a pocket shooter replacement.




A welcome change is that the music player will now run in the background, something that was missing on the Seek. The player is pretty barebones and won’t be an iPod replacement for most, but for those who do choose to use it they don’t have to worry about navigating away and the music stopping. Curiously it does not play when the camera is running, but as soon as you exit camera mode it begins playing again.



Performance and Conclusion:

Callers were very impressed with the sound quality of the Trender. They said that now and again the last word of a sentence would drop off, but overall they were pleased and rated us an 8.5/10. On our end they sounded clear, loud and natural. The battery is rated at just 5 hours of talk time, a drop from the Seek’s 5.8 hours, but we still imagine most users will have no problem getting through a day or two of average use.

The Samsung Trender isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it is a solid touchscreen phone with a very good QWERTY keyboard. It will appeal to the young teen in the house, or to the older user looking for something a bit more than your run of the mill flip phone, but isn’t ready for a smart phone just yet. The differences between the Trender and Seek are small, but they do make a difference. We just hope that the Trender won’t suffer from the software issues the Seek did, but if not, the Trender will be very trendy this back to school season.

Software version of the reviewed unit: ED01

Samsung Trender Video Review:





Pros

  • Quality phone performance
  • Good QWERTY keyboard
  • Solid build quality and eco-friendly

Cons

  • No camcorder
  • Doesn’t come with a memory card

PhoneArena Rating:

6.5

User Rating:

5.4
8 Reviews

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