Phones can be a pain in the posterior. Whereas in Europe, users tend to utilize a more laissez-faire pay-as-you-go system, in the States there’s a tendency toward contracted ownership in cell phones. This isn’t necessarily bad if you know what you want, but, in an ambivalence-riddled world where new models seem to pop up daily, if you don’t, the grass always seems greener under some friend’s phone. I was the owner of a Samsung Vibrant because of what I’ll call ‘Suggestive peer pressure.’ And I did like that phone, except my big fat banana fingers just absolutely hated typing on the touch-screen. Consequently, I replaced that phone with a Samsung Blackjack 2 because my cousin Darius, who changes phones like the Kardashian sisters change athletes, gave me his for nothing. Beware of that one, it’s just plain slow and has zero modern functionality. Beggars can’t be choosers, they say; still, after much searching and research drama, I found my baby! For around a hundred bucks this one is a killer!

CharmingThe main reason I bought this Charm phone is its physical keyboard. Despite my big fingers, I can type fast on it. The keyboard is also a little less bouncy/spongy than so many alternatives like the Blackberry.

The speakerphone is loud and tinny, but the earpiece is good. The music player plays your favorites surprisingly well. Loud and ringing, clear phone messages and notifications all come out without the sort of fuzz and distortion that are the bane of so many cheap phones. Meanwhile, the screen is easily responsive to your swipes and touch patterns. Again, however, the screen is small, which makes touching the icons difficult for people in a rush.

There’s also a lot to be said for the phone’s Bluetooth technology. It connects easily in your car or elsewhere and it is very simple to connect to Jabra EasyGo‘s fantastic sound system. I have had no problems with it disconnecting while driving (I read about that supposed bugaboo on Amazon, but I think the user hadn’t read the manual properly!) and the quality stereo sound is loud and clear.

Really, there’s very little to speak of in a negative way. I had trouble for a couple of hours while trying to insert my SIM card. For some annoying reason the phone kept rebooting. My persistence paid off though and the next day, after five or six attempts, the reboot went away and has been fine since. You also have to hold the on/off button for five seconds for the phone to turn on or off. There is no extended battery post or door that comes with the phone. Battery life is less than one day with wifi, and 3G turned off with only moderate use. With everything turned on, heavy battery usage gets you maybe six hours, not the nine hours claimed on the box.

The screen is very low resolution. It is a tad difficult to read text when surfing the web. However, you can still read text in direct sunlight if the brightness is turned high. The GPS is slow to work indoors and sometimes doesn’t work.

Not the best product, to be sure. But for a hundred bucks… what the *^%%!

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