Samsung Gem SCH-i100


An entry level smartphone

The Samsung Gem SCH-i100 we’ll talk about in this review is an entry-level smartphone that, according to its manufacturers, is aimed at people who don’t have generous pockets to spend on sophisticated devices with too many hard to understand features and such. But, if you want something with a much bigger display and better performance and handset, this is not the product for you. Here is what we came across when testing this cellphone. Here’s to hoping it will make up your mind on whether or not to buy it.

3.2″ capacitative touch display

The Samsung Gem is, like its name best describes it, just like a gem in terms of design. Its body is a glossy black with sharp lines and points and certainly attractive angles and curves. When touching it, it felt very smooth under our fingers. The Select key, camera lens and front-facing speaker are bordered by a stylized element. This product has the following measurements: 4.5″ x 2.2″ x 0.5″; its weight is 110g; if it were not for the plastic it is made of, the latter value would have made the smartphone heavier. Even though it doesn’t look as solid as the Motorola Electrify, the Samsung SCH-i100 managed to remain scratch-free and didn’t break when we threw it on the floor.
The screen is a small 3.2″ plastic capacitative touch one, with 432 x 240 pixels; there’s support for 262.000 colors. The resolution made fonts look fuzzy and we didn’t like the low brightness. Colors, crispness and so on weren’t much to talk about; another downside to such a small display: during our test we saw that the icons and graphics were much too shrunken and we had some problems which is which and what it does.Samsung-Gem

3.2-megapixel camera

In terms of keyboard, the Gem SCH-i100 smartphone offers the Swype type, but the buttons aren’t well-spaced; we weren’t able to type in the best of conditions, and that was a serious drawback on all the review time. It was tiny even after we activated the portrait mode. As for operating system, this Samsung phone uses Android Froyo; the interface is the usual TouchWiz which offers five home screens which are all customizable. Let’s continue with the description of the exterior: while the right side has the camera shutter, the left houses the microUSB charging port and the key for adjusting volume. On the back we came across a 3.2-megapixel camera lens and on top we spotted the 3.5mm headset jacks along with the power button.

Flash support

The Gem SCH-i100 is preinstalled with a 4GB card; moreover it can accommodate up to 6GB of external storage.
Now that we’ve finished talking about those aspects, let’s move on to features. The Gem model provides Gmail, Google Maps and Places, support for Flash Player version 10.1, shortcuts to Web portals for backing up your contacts, calendar, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, TeleNav Navigator and many others. We should not forget the text and multimedia messaging possibility, support for POP3, IMAP and Gmail accounts, a unified box and the list can go on.

Weak overall performance

The Android Market lets you access over 150.000 applications.
If you are the kind who takes photos with your phone, then you shouldn’t rely on the Samsung Gem for that, since image quality is poor. The same can be said about videos. Also, 3G speeds were slow.
Call quality can and should be improved: voices weren’t that clear, we heard distortions and so on. If call quality was decent, the speakerphone was really bad in terms of general performance.

Review conclusion

After the test performed by our review team we can conclude that the new Samsung Gem SCH-i100 is a simple smartphone, without a lot of features and expectations.

Technical specifications

Operating Systemv2.1, Android OS (Eclair)
Network2G: CDMA 800 / 1900
Dimensions113.8 x 55.4 x 12.2 mm
Weight109.2 g
Type256K colors, TFT touchscreen
Size/Resolution3.2 inches, 240 x 400 pixels
Swype text input
OthersScratch-resistant display
Audio PlayerWMA/ MP3/ WAV/ eAAC+ Player
InternalUpto 124 MB
ExternalUpto 16GB, microSD
CPU800 MHz processor
CameraResolution: 2048×1536 Pixels
Still Images3.15 Mega Pixels
Video RecordingYes
Video CallNo
Video PlayerMP4/ H.263/ H.264 player
TypeLi-Ion, Standard battery
Talk TimeUpto 6 hours 50 mins
Stand-byUpto 800 hours
BrowserWAP 2.0/ xHTML, HTML
USBv2.0, microUSB
Infrared portNo
Bluetoothv2.1 with A2DP