Review: Samsung Rant (Sprint)

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Quick Version: The Samsung Rant is an excellent phone for text messaging addicts who want to be able to do a bit of light web browsing over a high speed data network but don’t want all the feature overload of a full-fledged smartphone. And at $49.99 with a two-year contract, it’s priced to move.

Click through for the full review.

Overview and Features

  • Full slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • Sprint One-Click user interface
  • GPS, stereo Bluetooth, high-speed data
  • Two-megapixel camera
  • Won “Best Cell Phone” award at CTIA 2008
  • $49.99 after instant savings, a $50 mail-in rebate, and two-year contract

Good for…

…people who send text messages or e-mail all day long. Sprint bills this phone as “the ultimate texting machine” and, while that might be a slight misnomer (everyone knows the ultimate texting machine would be some sort of robot that answered all your e-mails and text messages, showed emotion, and was capable of rational thought), I found the Rant to come pretty close thanks to a great keyboard and simple UI.

keys

It’s a good choice for the person who likes the idea of a smartphone or a pocket PC (or whatever they’re called now) but doesn’t want to deal with all the features. There’s no touchscreen here, there’s no stylus, and there aren’t menus buried within menus buried within menus. It’s just a phone with a little added kick. It’s not that bulky either. There’s a little junk in the trunk thanks to the keyboard but it’s not that noticeable; the Rant will fit in all but the tightest of pockets.

IMG_0040

The UI that Sprint loaded on the Rant works pretty well because you can customize it to your liking. The main screen is made up of a series of “tiles” that, when selected, display a few various programs that you can launch. For instance: the Google tile.

Hey, I use Google! When I first selected it, up popped selections for Google Maps, Calendar, G-Mail, Notebook and YouTube. Well I don’t really use Notebook and I’m not a big YouTube-on-your cell phone guy, so I replaced those two options with Google Reader and Google Calendar. You can do similar things with the other tiles. Nice.

IMG_0051

Not so good for…

…people who want a more robust online experience. The actual web browser will do in a pinch, but you’re not going to sit and surf from site to site on your phone for very long. That’s a minor gripe, though, as I didn’t find too much I didn’t like about this device. I never thought I’d get along with a non-smartphone, yet here we are. The only thing missing for me is a better browsing experience, but that’s not what this phone’s all about and it’s, admittedly, expecting too much out of a $50 device.

Conclusion

Great phone, great keyboard, great price. It’s perfect for text-happy kids and also for adults who want e-mail and text messaging without all the other smartphone hoopla.

Samsung Rant [Sprint.com]

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