A new budget phone
There are not many smartphones today that offer a second display and a full QWERTY keyboard hidden inside. Samsung’s recent DoubleTime is one of the few that have something like that, a fact which will appeal to some of you. And it costs only $49.99. Unfortunately, its design, slow CPU and Froyo OS will probably refrain even fans of a secondary screen from buying the device. With these thing in mind, we tested the product and here is our review.
Thick and compact design
As referred to in the beginning of this article, the Samsung DoubleTime is the kind of device that will definitely attract the attention of people who are tired of today’s offer of the usual tall, thin and black smartphones. This model is made of white plastic and it features 2 sturdy hinges that swing open its primary external display to reveal an identical internal screen within along with a four-row QWERTY keyboard. The dimensions of the DoubleTime turn it into a thick and compact smartphone, unlike many of its competitors. The width of this device was ideal for holding it with one hand while taking photos, something we wouldn’t have been able to do if it were very thin. Also, the 5.2 ounces made the smartphone more durable.
Moving on with our review, the Samsung DoubleTime comes, like we said, with 2 screens. The external one is a 3.2″ touchscreen and its resolution offers plenty of brightness and good colors; it will, however, struggle with bright sunlight and make you somewhat frustrated when reading text or browsing the Internet. The secondary touchscreen has the same size and resolution as the main one; sadly, this one is set back much too far and is way too angled for our liking. The QWERTY keyboard underneath the internal display worked well during our tests, even though the buttons were a little flat. All of the phone’s physical keys have a bright pink accent.
The Samsung DoubleTime comes with the TouchWiz interface and the Android 2.2 Froyo OS. These 2 enabled us to see an overview of the smartphone’s 7 home screens when we pinched in, as well as access system settings when we pulled down the notifications bar. The 7 home screens sport useful widgets on them, such as Facebook, weather reports and news.
All the features present on this device are the same as the ones on other smartphones, including a browser, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, support for a multitude of e-mail accounts and GPS, so we won’t go into detail. What we will say is that the product comes pre-installed with 2GB of memory and a microSD card slot that can hold up to 32GB.
The 3.2MP camera on the DoubleTime takes pretty OK photos, but colors appear washed-out and lack enough clarity. The same happened when we shot videos.
The battery offered some 5 hours of talk life time and up to 11 days of standby time.
When we performed tests for call quality, this smartphone delivered fairly good quality. Reception was mostly good and the voices of our friends sounded clear. One thing we didn’t quite like was the volume: it was pretty low. Data speeds were good: a full site needed only 30 seconds to load and a mobile site loaded in about 15 seconds. Download speeds were 0.53 to 1.17Mbps down and 0.09 to 0.14Mbps up.
The Samsung DoubleTime is a smartphone with an interesting design, a secondary internal display with QWERTY keyboard underneath, interesting specifications and a good price. The slow processor, on the other hand, as well as the operating system and camera will most likely make you choose another device.
|Form Factor Slider|
|Screen Size 3.2 inches|
|Operating System Android Froyo|
|Screen Details 320-by-480, TFT LCD capacitive touch screen|
|Megapixels 3.2 MP|
|Camera Flash No|
|Internet Browser Yes|
|Network GSM, UMTS|
|Bands 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz|
|Storage Capacity: 260 MB|
|Processor Speed 600 MHz|
|High-Speed Data EDGE, HSPA 7.2|
|Estimated Talk Time 8 hours 25 minutes|