The Samsung Continuum is a candy-bar style phone with Google's Android OS and an unusual feature: two Super AMOLED displays. It also has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video capture, plus 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth wireless networking.
It is currently available exclusively from Verizon Wireless for $200 with a new two-year service agreement.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Continuum is made of plastic and is almost entirely black with the exception of the back cover, which has a subtle dot pattern that looks pretty cool. The Samsung and Verizon logos, buttons and the border around the camera lens are silver.
Unlike most of the current crop of smartphones, the focus here is not on a giant screen. Since the Continuum has two displays, it is longer and narrower than most. It fits really well in my hand, and is much more comfortable to hold (and easier to hold onto) than the big-screen giants like the EVO 4G and similar devices.
It is also very light, to the extent that once again I get that feeling that the battery must not be installed almost every time I pick it up. It won't weigh you down, and the relatively long and narrow shape won't make an unsightly bulge in your pocket. It is slightly thicker than some other phones, but not to a worrisome extent.
This phone actually has two Super AMOLED screens. At first I found it to be somewhat distracting, but now I'm wondering why more phones aren't designed like this.
The main one is a 3.4-inch display running at 480 x 800 resolution. The second is a 1.8-inch "ticker" display. As you've probably already figured out, the main display is what you'll use for everything from games to web browsing, while the secondary screen is for quick updates such as news, RSS feeds, and social networking updates.
Both of the displays are ultra sharp and clear, with dark black backgrounds and colors that really pop. You definitely won't see any pixelization or ghosting on either one.
The secondary display is extremely useful, and once I got used to it, I used it a lot. The time and date are shown when you first wake the phone, and a single press on the weather icon brings up the day's forecast. After a few moments, it switches over to news updates (or whatever type of information you have set it to display), and if you see something interesting, you can tap to get more information.
The Continuum's keyboard is a virtual one, as this smartphone doesn't have a physical QWERTY keyboard. It works well enough, but is a bit cramped since this device is narrower than some of the others I've reviewed recently.
Things are easier when I switch to landscape mode, and the built-in Swype support does make things easier. I hit a few wrong keys at first, but with some practice my accuracy improved and I was soon texting with abandon.
Other Buttons & Controls
The power button and the headphone jack are on the top edge of the Continuum, and the volume keys and charge/sync port are on the left side. The right side houses the microSD card slot (with a permanently attached rotating cover) and the camera button. The back is where you'll find the camera lens and LED flash.
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