Verizon Wireless Salute Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

The Verizon Wireless Salute F350 is the carrier’s first mobile phone from the Chinese manufacture ZTE, which currently doesn’t have a large U.S. presence. The Salute is a slider phone that appears to be loosely based on the Essenze C70 that was sold by MetroPCS a few years ago, through the Salute is a bit more updated and is styled better. Since the Salute is a budget friendly phone, its features are pretty limited, such as a 1.3MP camera, and it lacks a music player and memory card slot. With plenty of competition from the LG Accolade and Cosmos, Samsung Gusto, and Pantech Jest, let’s see how well the Verizon Wireless Salute stands up.

Included in the retail package are the Salute F350 phone, 900mAh battery, microUSB wall charger, and user guides.

Design:

Most slider phones that we’ve seen recently are messaging devices with QWERTY keyboards, such as the Pantech Jest and Samsung Intensity II, but the Verizon Wireless Salute is designed as a basic mobile phone. The device is overall compact and thin when closed, but its plastic construction feels somewhat cheap and toy-like, and the silver battery cover on the back can be scratched fairly easily.



You can compare the Verizon Wireless Salute with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

When sliding the Salute open and closed, you can hear the spring moving next to the plastic parts of the phone. On the front is a nicely-sized 2.4” QVGA display that supports up to 65K colors, but its quality is lacking, as the screen looks a bit washed-out, and if you move off-axis, the brightness and contrast changes dramatically. This is even more noticeable when you are outside on a sunny day, as the screen is almost unviewable. Below the display is the circular d-pad, but its rather small and makes plastic ‘cracking’ noises when pressed. The numeric keypad is really the only part of the Salute that feels well made, as the buttons are of a nice size and provide good feedback when pressed. Along the sides of the device are the volume rocker, speakerphone key, microUSB port, 2.5mm headset jack, and camera key, with the 1.3MP camera and external speaker located on the back.





Verizon Wireless Salute 630 Degrees View:





Interface and Features:

The main menu on the Verizon Wireless Salute F350 is pretty much a clone of what other Verizon phones use, with categories for accessing the media center, messaging, contacts, recent calls, and settings & tools. User customization includes a selection of three themes (white, fluorescent, and mosaic), the ability to show the main menu in tab, list, and grid view, three font types and sizes, clock formats, and wallpapers. This is all pretty standard amongst phones today.


The basic phonebook on the Salute allows you to store up to 1000 contacts, each with their name, multiple numbers, email addresses, IM screen name, picture, ringtone, and physical street address. Once a contact is saved, you can assign them to one of 999 speed-dial locations.


One area of disappointment with the Salute is the lack of quality with the included 1.3MP camera. For starters, it takes all the pictures in portrait mode, instead of the more common landscape mode. Images that we took outside are overexposed with poor color accuracy, lack of fine detail, and tend to have a purple hue to them. Indoor pictures are also pretty bad, and quality goes down even more in low-light conditions. At this point, we feel the camera on the Salute is only good enough for quick on-the-go pics, but this is to be expected on a budget phone.




Other software features on the Salute include the ability to send and receive text and picture messages, VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions, Social Beat for connecting to your social networking sites, Mobile Web 2.0 browser, voice commands, calculator, appointment calendar with alerts, alarm clock, stop watch, world clock, and a notepad. You can also download other games and programs through the media center menu. Unfortunately, the Salute lacks a music player (or memory card slot), and also doesn’t allow for VCast video streaming. Data is also limited to the slower 1X network. Internal memory is also lacking with only 62MB, half of which is used out of the box.






Performance:

At thispoint, we were not surprised by the poor call quality on the Verizon Wireless Salute F350. Voices on our end lacked clarity and haddistortion in the earpiece speaker, which only got worse when turningthe volume up past medium. This was also true when using thespeakerphone. People that we called said that we didn’t sound clear ontheir end and had a ‘tin can’ sound. Signal reception was also belowaverage, with only 1-2 bars showing in high coverage areas. Both the LGAccolade and Cosmos are more up to par here, with better voice qualityand reception.

The included 900mAh battery is rated to provideup to 4 hours of talk time or 9 days of standby time on a full charge.During our testing, we were able to get up to a longer 5 hours and 30minutes of continuous talk time on a full charge.

Conclusion:

Withthe Verizon Wireless Salute F350 being the first device for the carrierproduced by ZTE, it is unfortunate that it does not stand up well toother budget oriented phones by LG and Samsung. Overall, the devicefeels cheaply made, the screen looks washed-out on its own and isalmost unviewable outside in the sun, the camera quality is lacking andso is the voice quality. At this point, pretty much any other budgetphone for Verizon would be a better choice than the Salute, such as theLG Accolade and Cosmos, Pantech Jest, and Samsung Intensity II. We canonly hope that ZTE does better the next time around.

Software version of the reviewed unit: V1.0.0B17

Verizon Wireless Salute Video Review:




Pros

  • Compact slider design
  • 5.5 hours of talk time

Cons

  • Below average call quality
  • Device feels cheap
  • 1.3MP camera is pretty useless
  • No music player or memory card slot

PhoneArena Rating:

4.5

User Rating:

5.0
6 Reviews

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