Samsung t528g Straight Talk Review


This compact, light weight handset represents a leap forward in feature phones for Straight Talk because it's the first non smartphone with 3g and WiFi capabilities. It is also the first affordable touchscreen to be offered for the Straight Talk service. All around a very good handset and nicely priced at just under $100.

We should mention that this phone works with either Straight Talk plan which is very nice. You don't have to use the Unlimited plan on this one like you do with the Nokia E5, E71 or 6790.

Release Date July 2011.

Carrier Straight Talk

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Samsung T528g Specifications

Manufacturer
Samsung

Dimensions
4.3" x 2.0" x .50"

Weight
3.2 ounces

Form Factor
Capacitive Touchscreen

Firmware
Samsung TouchWiz interface 2.0

Screen Size:
1.5" x 2.4" - 3" Diagonal

Battery Life:
Up to 11 days (standby), Up to 6 hours (talk time)

Technology:
3g GSM

WiFi:
Yes

Signal:
Excellent

Call Quality:
Excellent

Camera resolution:
2 Megapixels

Bluetooth
v2.1 with A2DP

Data cable
Micro USB cable

Headphone Jack
3.5 mm (Standard iPod type)

Micro SD card
Yes, up to 16 GB

Samsung T528g Features

3g data, WiFi, Personal/Business Email client for Exchange/Gmail/Yahoo/etc, Facebook widget, MySpace Widget, YouTube, full HTML browser.

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First Impression:

At first glance, it's obvious that this is a quality built phone. Simple design with high grade satin dark turquoise body really stand out. We were pleasantly surprised to find a quality highly responsive capacitive screen, so no resistive push touch here. Other small details that lets us know this is a quality handset is the external SD card port with cover on the left hand side and the sliding door covering the charge port at the top. Below the touchscreen, you will find 3 physical push buttons (Send, Back and End). The right hand side houses the screen lock button and the camera quick launch.

Overall, this is an excellent device that's both compact and light weight. Don't let the relatively simple design fool you though because this phone has features found on no other Straight Talk non smartphone device.

Usability:

We found this phone to be extremely user friendly. The TouchWiz 2.0 interface is extremely easy to use and very "Android" like. It features three independent home screens where widgets can be added and removed by expanding a hidden widget tab. The touchscreen as mentioned previously, is extremely responsive because of the capacitive design. It was also nice to see the motion sensing screen. When texting and browsing, it goes into QWERTY mode when horizontal and standard keypad when vertical. The physical Send/End keys make placing and receiving phone calls extremely easy. One of the cool features is the ability to browse on WiFi "off network" so you don't get billed when doing so. In fact, the phone doesn't even need to be active to use it.

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Browsing:

One of the highlights of this phone is the browser. The Samsung Dolfin browser is very good for a standard out of the box browser. The interface is clean and looks very computer like. We liked the fact that the virtual keyboard/keypad has a .com key. The browser also has lots of settings you can customize like changing your default search engine when using the browsers built in search. While it does not support multi touch or pinch zoom, you can zoom in and out easily with one finger by holding it on screen for a second or two.

Other notables include full javascript support so dynamic sites work great. We were pleasantly surprised by the ability to play Youtube vids while on WiFi. You don't need a dedicated app as the phone has it's own built in Flash player.

Applications:

While the 528 technically supports apps, a source for such apps does not exist at the time of writing. Samsung has an app store but it is quite pathetic and not complete. That being said, the phone comes with a built in full featured Facebook app and MySpace app. You also get a fully functional email client for connecting to email without using the browser. It even has an Exchange app for connecting to your work Exchange server provided your System Admin has the Active Sync enabled on the server. As we mentioned previously, you do get a Flash player for watching Youtube videos without a dedicated app. There are other little useful apps like Memo writer, Calendar, Picture viewer, Alarms and Voice Recognition. The phone does not support Java apps.

While the lack of app support is somewhat disappointing, the phone really does come with just about everything you need. Hopefully, Samsung will have its app store up soon and will have support for this phone.

WiFi:

Wifi is fully supported including WEP and other popular encryption. The WiFi interface is interesting because it looks like a radar displaying available access points within range in addition to signal strength. Simply tap and connect with ease (be sure to enter the security key for access). We did notice some slight connectivity problems when moving between the 3g service and the access point but this can easily be resolved by restarting a browser or other application that uses the internet.

Summary:

Overall, the Samsung 528g is a solid device. You get fast 3g speeds, WiFi support and a very easy to use TouchScreen interface. The lack of apps was dissapointing but we didn't find it to be a big deal as the phone comes with plenty of popular built in apps. For just under $100, you really can't go wrong with this phone. You get smartphone like functionality without having to spend over $200 and without having to use the unlimited plan.

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