Samsung Transform Ultra


A good phone at a good price

Boost Mobile’s low-cost lineup began with the Samsung Galaxy Prevail smartphone. It now continues with the most recent Transform Ultra device that comes with an added QWERTY keyboard for all of you who love real buttons instead of touch sensitive ones when writing a text message or looking for something on Google or Yahoo. This is one of the few products to offer Mobile ID, a feature which will be appreciated by some and disliked by others. With these things in mind, the smartphone we tested a while back is a worthy handset to join the Boost Mobile lineup. Read our review to find out why.

Slide-out QWERTY keyboard

Measuring 4.5″ x 2.4″ x 0.6″ and weighing 4.9 ounces, the Samsung Transform Ultra comes with a few changes that make it different from its predecessors. They include a bigger frame, new buttons, improved fit and finish and a somewhat different keyboard. This smartphone is available in black and features a shiny front with matte gray sides; corners are rounded for better grip, the back has a diamond-patterned surface and is made of gray plastic. The spines of the device have a silvery trim. The keyboard provided by the Transform Ultra is of the Swype type, but users can switch to the classic Android keyboard or the QWERTY keyboard should they like them more than the first one. But let us tell you that, when we tested the smartphone, the slide-out keyboard proved frustrating to use because of its flat keys.Samsung-Transform-Ultra

Some shutter lag problems

The screen size is 3.5″, therefore smaller than what today’s smartphones have to offer. The resolution is a HVGA one with 320 x 480 pixels and, thanks to it, the display delivers beautiful colors and good levels of brightness and sharpness. The screen even comes with support for 16 million colors.

Features on Samsung’s Transform Ultra include the following (besides the usual ones): Mobile ID, the possibility to import Google contacts online from the user’s Google account, sorting options, a music player, shortcuts to voice e-mail and voice search, Wi-Fi, 2 cameras and many others. The Mobile ID feature offers additional ID packs that sport a multitude of different apps. We could also, with its help, switch IDs, look for new ones, check for updates and so on. Since we mentioned the presence of two cameras, we have to tell you that neither of them was able to snap or shoot impressive pictures or videos. The main problem was with the shutter lag.Samsung-Transform-Ultra

1GHz processor

As for memory and storage space, the Transform Ultra ships with a microSD card slot with a 2GB card that can hold up to 32GB of memory. The 1GHz processor made the smartphone run fast and lag-free for most of the time while navigating; opening apps, browsing the Internet and other activities done simultaneously didn’t represent a problem for this kind of processor.

Mobile sites managed to load in about 35 to 40 seconds, while full sites took between 45 to 50 seconds to fully load. Battery life and talk time was around 7.2 hours.

The quality of both made and received calls was overall decent. Despite sounding strong, our friends’ voices had some white noise to them; they had no problem to report when we called them, though. Holding the smartphone at waist-level resulted in a drop of call volume and we couldn’t really hear our friends in noisier places.

Review conclusion

In conclusion, at the end of this review, the Samsung Transform Ultra is no HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S II, but it is able to hold its own among the competition.

Technical specifications

Form FactorQWERTY-Slider
Available Operating SystemsGoogle Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS
Processor1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Single-Core Processor
3G NetworkCDMA2000 1xEV-DO
2G NetworkCDMA 800, 1900 MHz
Memory512MB RAM
Expandable MemorymicroSD card Memory card slot For Memory Expansion Support Up To 32GB
Internal Memory2GB Internal Memory Data storage
Internet Browser & MessagingMMS, SMS, IM, Email, RSS
HTML, xHTML, WAP 2.0, Flash
Dimensions3.5 inches
TypeHVGA touch screen
Input/ User InterfaceMulti Touch
Definition480 X 320 Pixels
Proximity Light sensor
Camera specifications
Still– 3 Megapixels
Movie RecordingCapable
LED Flash
Secondary (Front-Facer)VGA
Bluetooth & USBv2.1 with EDR Stereo & v2.0 Mini USB
Wi-Fi Hotspot
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Headset3.5mm stereo headset jack
RadioStereo FM with RDS
Audio files compatibilityMP3, WMA, WAV
Video FormatsMPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV
External dimensions
Total weight139 grams
Dimensions116 x 61 x 14 mm
Included FeaturesAdobe Flash compatibility
Friend Stream, Skype included, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
Quickoffice, Digital compass
Wi-Fi Hotspot Functionality
Android Market, G-mail, Google Maps, G-Talk
Available ColoursBlack
Standby Time
Estimated talk timeUp To 7 Hours
TypeLi-Ion 1500mAh Standard Battery