My First Day with the Samsung Reclaim
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):
- Qwerty keyboard
- Text messaging and social networking focus
- GPS / Google maps
- 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.