T-Mobile Samsung Behold Lightning Review

The Gadget: Samsung's Behold, T-Mobile's slice of touchscreen feature phone pie with a Korea-style five-megapixel camera and Sammy's "innovative" TouchWiz UI.

The Price: $US150 after the standard rebate and two-year contract

The Verdict: The Behold fills the hole in T-Mobile's lineup for a not-quite-smart feature phone: It does a lot of the stuff a smartphone will do, like web browsing and email, just you know, not quite as capably as a real smartphone, or even as well as its cousin, the Instinct. The web browser is bleh for anything but mobile sites since T-Mobile does you the favour of translating them, which tends to butcher more complicated pages, and the email client won't do standard IMAP or POP. The IM client is slow, though not terrible, but either way, you can't really install your own apps to rectify the situation.

So what's good? The touchscreen is one of the more responsive ones that Samsung has put out, a hair better than the Instinct, and the keyboard layout is pretty good too, though I wish the space bar was bigger. The TouchWiz UI is attractive and easy to use, even if it's only skin deep—once you go past the widget-y "desktop," you're dumped into a more generic, though not exactly ugly, mobile phone UI.

The 5MP camera, though not miraculous, is better than most of the ones in these kinds of phones by a long shot, with satisfactory noise levels and a decent suite of basic photo editing that'll let you adjust fundamentals like contrast and colour, crop or add crazy effects. I wish the flash were a little stronger and the autofocus were a little faster, though.

Overall, it's what you'd expect out of a feature phone—it'll do a lot of things, just none of them amazingly. If you're a T-Mobile customer, for the money, I'd go with a G1—it lacks polish in some places, and the hardware isn't nearly as tight as the Behold's, but you'll get more out of it.

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