THE GOOD: The Samsung Glint offers good call quality and Bluetooth.
THE BAD: The Glint has a low-resolution screen. Picture quality wasn't great.
THE BOTTOM LINE: While the Samsung Glint doesn't sport a flashy design or the latest and greatest features, it offers Alltel customers a solid, basic cell phone with good call quality; best of all, it's free.
While it may seem that everyone is obsessed with the latest full-featured phones, there is still the need and want for basic handsets, and the Samsung Glint SCH-u350 answers that call for Alltel customers. The flip phone offers a simple design and ease of use and most importantly, good call quality. Samsung even throws in Bluetooth, but if you're looking for any type of multimedia features or Web browsing capabilities, look elsewhere. The Samsung Glint is purely for those who simply want a handset for making calls, and the best part is that you can get the phone for free with a one-year contract and after a $30 mail-in rebate.
Being a basic phone, the Samsung Glint doesn't have a flashy design. Instead, it's simple and functional with a plain but classic midnight-blue-and-black color scheme. The clamshell handset measures 3.78 inches tall by 1.87 inches wide by 0.76 inch deep and weighs 3.35 ounces, so you'll have no problem slipping this compact phone into a pants pocket. Also, while lightweight, the Glint doesn't feel too fragile, though the battery cover is rather plasticky, and the flip mechanism is solid.
On the front, there's a postage-stamp-size display that shows the usual information (time, date, network strength, battery, message notifications, and photo caller ID. You can also change the contrast, wallpaper, and clock format of the external screen. Above the display, you'll find the Glint's VGA camera while the camera activation/capture key is on the right side along with a dedicated speakerphone button, a 2.5mm headset jack, and Samsung's proprietary power connector. A volume rocker is located on the left side.
Inside, the Samsung Glint offers a 1.9-inch TFT screen that shows 65,000 colors at a 128x160-pixel resolution. With a low resolution, graphics and colors didn't look all that great, but the display was clear enough for dialing numbers and reading text messages. Like the external screen, you can change the wallpaper as well as adjust the backlight and dialing font size.
Below the display, you'll find a standard navigation array of two soft keys, Send and End/power buttons, a Clear key, and a four-way directional keypad with a center select key for navigating through the Glint's menu system, which is easy to use and understand. All the controls are large and roomy so we had no problem with any mispresses. The alphanumeric keypad is also spacious with large and easily readable numbers and letters for dialing numbers and text messaging.
Alltel packages the Samsung Glint with an AC adapter and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The Samsung Glint has a 1,000-contact address book with room in each entry for five numbers and two e-mail addresses. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a photo, group ID, and/or a custom ringtone. Other phone features include a speakerphone, speed dial, three-way calling, voice commands, vibrate mode, and text and multimedia messaging. Also, while mostly a basic phone, the Glint does offer integrated Bluetooth with support for wireless headsets, hands-free kits, serial port, object push, and phone book access.
Moving beyond voice, the Glint includes a handful of tools for personal organization, such as a calendar, a memo pad, a calculator, a unit converter, an alarm clock, and more. You can shop for more apps through Alltel's MobileShop, but be aware that browsing and downloading apps uses up airtime (the phone warns you of this as well). The same goes for using the phone's WAP browser. You can check your Web-based e-mail accounts as well as other social networking sites through the browser, but given its bare-bones nature and the Glint's low-resolution screen, we'd keep this to a minimum.
The Samsung Glint isn't big on multimedia and only comes with a VGA camera. A 1.3-megapixel camera would have been nice. You can shoot photos in one of three resolutions and one of three quality settings. The camera also offers five shooting modes, including series, mosaic, and night, as well as white balance settings, effects, and a self-timer.
Picture quality was subpar, which isn't that surprising considering the VGA lens. Images looked blurry, and colors were drab and gray. It was also hard to get any close-up shots. After you're done taking pictures, you can upload your photos to Alltel MyPics or send them to friends and family via multimedia message. You can also set it as your wallpaper, use it for photo caller ID, or view them in a slideshow on your phone. The Samsung Glint offers about 52MB of internal memory.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Samsung Glint in San Francisco using Alltel's roaming service. Call quality was quite good. We enjoyed rich-sounding audio on our end with plenty of volume. There was very little background noise, though on a couple of occasions, the call cut out for a brief second. Our friends also reported good sound quality and didn't have any complaints until we activated the speakerphone at which point they said we sounded a bit tinny. On our end, we were impressed with the clarity and volume of the speakerphone.
We paired the Samsung Glint with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset with no problem. The handset has an M3 Hearing Aid Compatibility rating.
The Samsung Glint has a rated talk time of 6 hours and up to 12 days of standby time. We are still conducting our battery drain tests but will update this section as soon as we have final results. We had a tested talk time of 6 hours and 30 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Glint has a digital SAR rating of 1.09 watts per kilogram.