The Samsung Continuum is the new Samsung Android phone that joins the Galaxy S. It offers a secondary ticker display which is very useful as it can multitask. Yet it requires some tweaking so this in turn says that it won’t appeal to everyone. It has a small primary screen and some performance issues. If you wish to have a phone with a strong performance then it is better to choose among the Samsung Fascinate and Motorola Droid X. Continuum is a smartphone that best suits people who want always-on connection.
The box contains:
- Samsung Continuum i400 smartphone
- 1500mAh battery
- pre-installed 8GB microSDHC memory card
- wall charger with detachable microUSB cable
- user guides
The Continuum has the familiar design with the front being largely the display along with a black, sleek finish around the sites. The big item that separates the Samsung Continuum from other smartphones is its second 1.8 inch ticker display that resides beneath the a 3.4” sAMOLED screen with a resolution of 480×800. Colors are extremely vibrant and almost jump out at the user. We did find the on-screen keyboard to be somewhat tight on this smaller screen. Application icons on the homescreen scale well, so this wasn’t a serious issue.. Both the displays are Super AMOLED screens, just like the other Samsung Galaxy S phones, allowing the Continnum to have some extreme viewing angles and allowing it to be a bit easier to use in direct sunlight. Between the two displays are the familiar touch sensitive Android shortcuts, menu, home, back and search.
To the left resides the volume rocker and the microUSB for charging and hooking up to computers. On the right side is a slot for the external microSD card, which comes in handy, and dedicated camera button. Up top is the 3.5 mm headphone jack along with the power button. On each side you’ll also notice two sensors, grip sensors, that cause the ticker display to light up. Rounding out the back is the 5 megapixel camera along with an LED flash.
The Continuum stays just about consistent with the Galaxy S name. Powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, opening applications is a breeze. The Hummingbird chip is highly regarded by many, so this should be no surprise. The difference here is that the Continuum is equipped with 336MB of RAM rather than the 512MB that the other Galaxy S devices enjoy. We’ll go into more detail later on in our performance section to see just how well the Continuum stacks up. Other than that, the Continuum has a microSD slot capable of reading a 32GB card. A nice treat is that an 8GB card is preinstalled.
The Samsung Continuum’s user interface is definitely familiar to Android users. For new users, it’s extremely easy to pick up and very user friendly. TouchWiz UI 3.0 also adds to the easy to user interface and, like the other Samsung Galaxy S phones, has an application screen very much akin to the iOS screen on the Apple iPhone. The Samsung Continuum, in addition to the virtual keyboard comes loaded with Swype. For users unfamiliar with Swype, it is a keyboard application that allows you to type by swiping from letter to letter. It’s extremely handy and fairly accurate when it comes to selecting the word you want to type.
Think of the Ticker as another notification bar, that some of the included applications can use to give you an enhanced notification of events. This can be incredibly useful — imagine playing a full screen game, and a text comes in. You can see at a glance who it’s from, and just how long you can safely ignore it.
The fact that the Gmail client, Google Talk, and Google Maps Navigation don’t work with the Ticker is maddening. They have to be installed, they are always signed in, and I don’t see how they were left out.
If you’re not gazing directly at your phone when the message comes in, you’ll need to go all the way into the Social Hub from the main screen to access it, anyway.
Moreover, the Continuum might be even handier to use if other controls showed up in the same place as the music player control button. It might be a good idea to move the camera button there, for starters. I suppose that otherwise, you might mistakenly turn on the camera while groping around to grab the grip sensors on a busy day.
The 5 megapixels camera on the Continuum is accompanied with a LED flash. The camera can not only capture images but also videos. It offers various options and settings. Image quality is very good with negligible amount of noise and accurate colors. The video quality was good too.
The Samsung Continuum offers more attractive media player compared with few of other Android handsets. Some of perks include 5.1 channel surround, Cover Flow-like UI, DLNA support and DivX video playback. It supports Samsung Media Hub video store for movie and TV show rentals and also purchases.
Video Sample of Samsung Continuum
As we mentioned above, Samsung expects the 1500mAh battery to achieve seven hours of talk time. The Continuum deserves a sticker here. We got through a day of use and background notifications without a hitch. Whatever Samsung is doing, they’re doing it right. Keep a second charger or car charger nearby for those just in case situations, but we think you’ll be fine.
As far as connections, you’re going to see 3G Hotspot through Verizon, Bluetooth 3.0, Wifi along 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, GPS location service with A-GPS, E911 and live mapping through apps, USB through microUSB USB 2.0, charging through that USB, headphones through a 3.5mm jack, DLNA, and tethering supported. Some other fun features are the fact that it’s cot an accelerometer, supports TTY/TDD, and has a rating of M4 for interference.
Samsung Continuum Specification
Dimensions: 58 x 125 x 12 millimetres
Mass: 125 grams (battery included)
Embedded-Operating+System: Google Android 2.1
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CPU-Clock: 1000 MHz
CPU: Samsung-Intrinsity S5PC110
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RAM+capacity: 384 MiB (accessible: 336 MiB)
ROM-capacity: 512 MiB
Secondary-ROM;capacity: 1.9 GiB
Display:Type: Super AM-OLED , 16777216 scales
Display:Diagonal: 3.4 ”
Display;Resolution: 480 x 800
Secondary_Display+Type: color AM-OLED
Secondary:Display_Diagonal: 1.8 ”
Secondary;Display_Resolution: 480 x 96
Cellular-Networks: CDMA800, CDMA1900
Cellular+Data;Links: cdmaOne, CDMA2000 1xRTT, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rel. 0, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A
Call:Alert: 40 -chord melody
Positioning-Device: Multi-touch screen
Primary-Keyboard: Not supported
Directional:Pad: Not supported
Scroll:Wheel: Not supported
Expansion;Slots: microSD, microSDHC, TransFlash
USB: USB 2.0 client, 480Mbit/s
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
Wireless_LAN: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Infrared_Gate: Not supported
Analog:Radio-Receiver: Not supported
Digital;Media_Broadcast_Tuner: Not supported
Complementary+GPS-Services: Assisted GPS, Geotagging
Main_Camera: 4.9 MP
Optical Zoom: 1 x
Built-in-Flash: mobile light (LED)
Secondary;Camera: 0.3 MP
The Samsung Continuum’s ticker is a great feature, and it’s surprising that something similar hasn’t been released before. When playing games or browsing the web, just take a glance at the ticker and you know what time it is without having to exit. While watching a video, if you get a call from a number you don’t know, you can just ignore it right on the ticker. It’s these small features that make the Samsung Continuum’s ticker a very innovative and helpful addition to an already beautiful phone.
PROS AND CONS
- + High resolution sAMOLED screen
- + Ticker screen is a great feature
- + Thin and light
- + Bright LED flash
- + Great battery life
- - Cramped onscreen keyboard
- - Low amount of RAM limits multitasking
- - Call quality (likely due to hardware)
- - Limited application integration with ticker