Thursday, February 3, 2011

Five days with the Samsung Intercept Android Phone | Virgin Mobile

Samsung Intercept shown with keyboard openImage via WikipediaIt's been 5 days since I switched from a Blackberry Curve 8530 to a Samsung Intercept (Android 2.1), both with Virgin Mobile USA. Ivette switched from the LG Rumor Touch to a Samsung Intercept, same carrier.
Here are some of the things that come to mind about the past few days:

  • These things drink batteries, especially if you don't have the discipline to turn off GPS and WiFi whenever not in use. We picked up two extra batteries and a charger for $30 and it is really nice to be able to swap batteries instead of getting tethered to the damn charging cable. 
  • The camera is really good, much better exposure control than what I had hoped. Ivette has been taking snow photos with PJ and she has produced photos that remind me of the HDR+ mode in my Sony DSC-TX7.
  • Call quality is at least on par with the Blackberry and better than the LG Rumor Touch. This is of course subjective, but we have both experienced the same differences in call quality. 
  • I hate hate hate hate that I can't tell apart the four buttons at the bottom by touch.
  • I am convinced that the case flexes enough for the battery contacts to shift. I have had a couple shutdowns that I couldn't pin on the phone crashing, it was as if somebody pulled the battery out. It is making me be a bit too wary of how I grab the phone, something I never thought about with iPhones and Blackberries (you would have to crush a Blackberry to make the battery move just from holding the phone). 
  • The broswer sucks. Opera sucks too.
  • The Marketplace works really well, and I really love how I can now go to the website, buy an app and have it install in my phone magically.
  • I really love how much Ivette hates the rooster ringtone for the alarm clock. It makes me wake up with a smile every damn day.
  • Angry Birds totally kills this phone. It's unplayable after the first two levels.
  • I still have trouble using the slide-out keyboard without hitting the volume keys.
  • The contact and calendar sync with Google is fantastic. I would add a contact thru Gmail and it would show up immediately. I would then change a contact and a calendar item and these would be updated at Google's servers almost instantly. It works really damn well.
Samsung M910 InterceptImage via WikipediaRight now my only concern is if my battery is really coming out loose enough to force the phone to shut down.  Everything else seems to be working perfectly. The touch screen is really nice, I love having tactile feedback when using the touch screen. As for battery use, I wouldn't be worried unless these drank the batteries with both GPS and WiFi turned off. I am also not worried about the update to Froyo, I would rather wait until Virgin Mobile and Sprint sort out whatever was wrong with the deployment to this phone model within Sprint. 

And the price is right. I paid $220 (MSRP was $250) for each of the phones, then the Best Buy price dropped to $170 overnight (still waiting on the price match from Best Buy) and now the new MSRP is $200. Plus Virgin Mobile USA just released a second Android phone: the LG Optimus V, with a slower CPU, no slide-out keyboard, but is only $149 and has Froyo.