The Samsung Behold II is a pretty smart device -- if you are connected and get a lot of value from Google's online service offerings. I'm only semi-connected into Google, and so the value of the Behold II was difficult to see at first, but it became very apparent as time with the device increased.
Obviously, this is the second iteration of the Samsung Behold handset. I wouldn't have known it unless I asked, but apparently, the Behold proved to be a popular mobile for T-Mobile's customers. The Behold II looks to build on that popularity, and add Google integration to the mix.
It is selling for $230 with a two-year service agreement, making it one of the more expensive models running Google's mobile operating system. It's AM-OLED display probably accounts for this.
DESIGN & BUILD
The Behold II has a pocket-friendly and hand-friendly design. It reminds me of the HP h1900 Series of a few years ago -- it has a similarly curved bottom and button area.
The 320x480, AM-OLED screen is very easily one of the best I've seen on a mobile device. The colors "pop" and, aside from an attraction to fingerprints and oil, the display holds up pretty well to use.
My normal device, the Nokia N97, uses a resistive touchscreen, while the Behold II uses a capacitive one. It took me a few days until I was used to the difference in touching and interacting with the Behold II in that respect. After getting used to it, I can say that with the exception of web browsing, there's really no advantage of one screen type over the other.
This device offers haptic feedback, which is pretty intelligent in that it doesn't buzz on everything -- just selections such as applications and links.
Below the screen is the usual accompaniment of buttons, which I feel are a bit overdone. For example, while I see the point for a Home button, the Call/End button does the same.
The only button that doesn't fit my finger neatly -- though it works well -- is the camera button. It requires a bit more force than the other buttons around the Behold II. The other buttons are well placed and easy to use.
The camera is well placed on the rear of the device, though I wish that it had something to cover the lens when it's not in use.
The Behold II uses a micro-USB port as its sole connector. This facilitates connecting the device to PCs as well as charging it. The port sits just offset the top center of the device, making it ideal for a workplace music device -- the 3.5 mm headset jack sits next to the micro-USB port.
Overall, the Behold II is a pretty nice package from the hardware side. If it were not the fingerprint/oil magnet, I'd probably rate it higher still. Nevertheless, its solid, and garners just enough attention when sitting on a desk/table to spark a conversation or two about using it.
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