- Good keyboard
- Loads of bundled software
- Problems with buttons on front
- A touch large
A good option for those needing the basics with a possibility for personalized flair.
The Samsung Intercept was recently introduced to the Sprint lineup as an mid-range option. It offers Android OS 2.1, a 3-inch display, a sliding QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.2 megapixel camera.
While the Intercept might not be enough to catch the eye of a seasoned smartphone user, I found it quite refreshing to hear many positive comments from teens and adults about the design and feature set. Maybe in this case, “intercept” means to intercept the attention of first-time smartphone users.
Sprint is now offering this model for $100 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
BUILD & DESIGN
As with many devices that pack a sliding keyboard and touchscreen, the Intercept can seem a bit thick. However, it sits pleasantly in hand, and the keyboard comes in handy for knocking out a few messages.
Overall, it is 4.4 x 2.2 by 0.6 inches, and 4.9 ounces.
The primary feature on the front is a 3-inch, 400 by 240 pixel display. Befitting the Intercept’s lower-cost roots, this is not an AMOLED or Super AMOLED screen, but a traditional reflective LCD.
It’s pretty good in most lighting, and the ambient light sensor adjusts the backlight quickly and well.
Unfortunately, the major issue with this screen is outside light. The screen just washes out in direct sunlight.
The Intercept’s QWERTY keyboard is one of its best features. Each key is labeled beautifully, there’s a good amount of space between them, and there’s a reassuring amount of feedback for the size.
The keyboard was a feature that many people said made the Intercept a likable device. These were people comparing it against their feature phones (LG and Samsung models), and found the quality of the keyboard a significant step up on what they were used to.
Other Buttons and Controls
Below the screen is a touch-sensitive area of the four command buttons (Menu, Home, Search, and Back). These buttons were probably the most disappointing aspect of the Intercept in that they would not always activate when pressed, and many times there was a significant delay between pressing the button and a task occurring. It was enough to make me put the device down several times.
Below that strip are the Call, End/Power buttons, and a directional pad. This is mostly for when you’re holding the Intercept in landscape with the keyboard pulled out. In portrait mode, the D-pad is far down the device for effective usage. In many cases, it was just faster to touch and scroll on the screen.
The volume buttons (left side) and camera button (right-bottom) were a bit stubborn to work initially. They are definitely designed not to be unintentionally pressed, and they performed well in that role.
Tucked away on the bottom left are a memory card slot with a 2 GB microSDHC memory card inside. Compared to its Galaxy S brethren I reviewed earlier, it was nice to be able to hot-swap a memory card without removing the battery panel.
The top of the Instinct has the microUSB jack used for charging and PC data connectivity. The top of the right side of the Intercept has a 3.5 mm audio jack.