Augustina's Technological Blog

Technology, Perl, Linux, and a Woman's perspective on the FOSS community

My First Day with the Samsung Reclaim

with 9 comments

I’ve been using a Motorola Razr for the past 3 years and I’ve been less than satisfied. My former employer provided me with a Samsung Blackjack running Windows Mobile, so I had no reason to upgrade my personal phone. When I was laid off in June, I had to give up my Blackjack.

Based on my experiences with both the Razr and the Blackjack, I created a list of features I wanted in my new phone (in order of importance):

  1. Qwerty keyboard
  2. Text messaging and social networking focus
  3. GPS / Google maps
  4. Web browsing at least as good as the Blackjack running Windows Mobile

Deal-breaking features: Decent battery life and responsive OS (minimal lag/slowness).

I originally considered the Palm Pre because it covered most of those things and a lot more. I hesitated because of the battery life issue. I didn’t feel the price of the Palm was worth it because of the battery life issue and because it’s a 1.0 piece of hardware. Furthermore, I don’t need all the bells an whistles the Pre has to offer. While it’s “cool” it’s not worth the price tag to me when there are mid-tier phones that can fit my needs. Finally, I would have to change my current plan to accommodate the Pre.

I saw an advertisement on Instructables for the Samsung Reclaim. I had never heard of this phone nor seen it before, so I started reading about it. The Samsung Reclaim’s plastic casing is made from corn-based bio-plastic material (40%) and Sprint claims the phone is overall made from 80% recycled materials. I was under the impression that meant the phone also had parts made from recycled plastic, but they may be counting the packaging. I checked on both the Sprint and Samsung websites and I was unable to find a whitepaper outlining exactly what the recycled content of the phone is. Regardless, I liked the look of the phone and I like the direction Sprint is going with it’s eco-conscious image.

I went to the Sprint store to try the phone out and I was pleased. The Samsung Reclaim comes in both a bright green and a bright blue. Both are great colors, however I liked the green better. I wanted to test the QWERTY keyboard for usability and although small, it is very accurate. I have small fingers and am comfortable with small buttons. The phone slides out easily and I can hold it without accidentally pressing any other buttons (unlike the Razr). Because I felt the phone meets my basic requirements, I purchased the Samsung Reclaim.

The OS is Sprint’s own operating system that is similar to the Pre’s WebOS in look and feel. The button navigation and labels are similar to my Razr so I could easily figure out how to move around. Other aspects had the same labels and organization as the Blackjack so things I had figured out there also applied to this phone. I haven’t read the manual yet and already I’ve changed my screen pattern and ringtones, set up twitter and facebook, set up email and instant messaging, updated my contacts using bluetooth from my old phone, set up Google applications, taken photos including a panoramic, made phone calls, and sent text messages. For me, this phone is super easy to use.

While the Reclaim is not a smartphone like the Pre (in fact Gizmodo coined the term “dumbphone”), the Reclaim has enough applications and features to sufficiently meet my requirements. The up front cost was $100 plus tax and the mail-in rebate takes 6-8 weeks to process. I am very pleased with this phone and will write a further update once I’ve used it awhile to discuss how well it does at meeting the requirements I’ve listed above.

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Written by missaugustina

August 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Gadgets

9 Responses

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  1. Did you figure out a way to configure your own mp3s as custom ringtones on the phone? My mother just got a Reclaim and wants to transfer over the ringtones she was using on her RAZR (most of which I stuck on there myself two and a half years ago) but I haven’t figured out how to manage this with the Reclaim yet, and what I’ve seen online doesn’t look hopeful so far.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Evan

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 am

    • Hi Evan, good question. I’ve always used the ringers that came with the phone.

      missaugustina

      August 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      • Have you tried to sync with outlook?? I am reading conflicting answers to this question.

        Tracy S

        September 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  2. You can convert audio files to 3G2 format and save them to the phone or the phone’s microSD card, then set a ringer to use the corresponding file under “My Videos”. There are forum posts you can search for online for more info. I’ve done this with two different Reclaims, and it works. The downside is that you cannot use 3G2 files for text messages or other message alerts–only incoming calls.

    x

    November 24, 2009 at 1:23 am

  3. Hi there – I’m looking at one of these right now, I’ve finally dropped my Motorola Krzr one too many times. I’d love and would really appreciate an update a few months later. Thanks!

    Jen P

    December 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm

  4. What you could do is transfer the files to your or her PC and from there upload them to this handy site:
    http://rumkin.com/tools/sprint/. From there you can send them to her phone number, and her phone should be able to open them.

    I have a Reclaim, and I use the above site quite a bit. What it does is send a text to the phone number you want to send the file with a URL. Go the URL, and your phone can download it. If unable to, there are instructions.

    Hope this helps.

    Tabitha

    January 12, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  5. It should be added that gMaps does NOT work for this phone, and Sprint Nav, which costs 9.99 per month with a 7 day free trial I found to be woefully inadequate.

    Otherwise, the phone’s great.

    Casey Allen

    February 27, 2010 at 1:53 am

    • The default google maps in the menu does not work. You can however install google maps from google’s mobile site and it will show up in My Stuff. I currently use it and it works pretty well, there’s just no GPS.

      missaugustina

      June 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

  6. I am also interested in whether or not the Reclaim can use custom made/purchased mp3 tracks as ringtones. I started making ringers a few years ago when I got a razr and haven’t stopped, so it would be quite nice if the Reclaim can use these custom made ringers.

    Robert

    March 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm


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