One of my most important requirements for a mobile device is that it just works — no delays, no crashes, no annoying little quirks. The Moment passed that test with flying colors, in large part due to the beefy 800 MHz processor. Apps launch quickly, and my every command was carried out almost instantaneously, with no waiting.
The only time I experienced any delays was when my Sprint coverage dropped below three bars; at that point I was still able to watch YouTube videos, etc. though there was a small delay while waiting for videos to load.
But as far as regular use is concerned, everything from contacts to calendars is lightning fast and a joy to use.
Call quality is simply excellent. I made some test calls outside this morning while a commercial yard crew was working nearby; one of my test callers simply couldn’t believe that I was standing outside with a guy on a riding lawnmower less than fifty yards away and another guy with a weed whacker just behind me–he would have sworn that I was inside my office! Calls come through loud and clear, and there was no interference and no problems whatsoever with background noise.
Wi-Fi works great with the Moment, which is great because Sprint’s coverage at my house is rather poor. Setup was simple, just a matter of entering in my WEP key. After that I was flying along and really enjoying the best email and web browsing experience the Moment has to offer.
While the Moment has a full QWERTY keyboard, you probably aren’t going to use it to write the next great novel; the key here isn’t so much Office-type applications as keeping you connected while you’re on the go. The email app is great, of course — it works flawlessly with GMail. and the file viewer does allow you to view text and PDF documents as well as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that are sent to you as attachments. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet joined the cult of GMail, because the Moment works well with a variety of other email services such as Yahoo, Windows Live, and others.
The web browser is spectacular, offering a robust experience that is clear and easy to use. The default view is easy to read, but if you need to zoom in just tap the screen to bring up the controls and then touch the plus and minus bars as needed. If you want to see the whole page at once, tap the box in the lower right corner of the screen and then drag with your finger to scroll and tap to select a particular area for a closer view.
Other productivity applications include Calendar and Contacts, which work flawlessly with your Google account once you complete the simple five second setup process of typing in your username and password. You’ll also find an alarm clock a calculator, the Gallery photo and video viewer, Google Maps (which worked much better for me than Sprint Navigation), and Google Talk.
The Sprint Moment includes the typical suite of Sprint entertainment applications such as NASCAR Mobile, NFL Mobile, and Sprint TV. There are also a few applications that seem to come standard with Android devices such as the Amazon MP3 store and a rather basic Music app that organizes your songs by artist or album, or you can make your own playlists. The YouTube client works exceptionally well, with smooth scrolling through video lists and great picture quality. If you enjoy watching YouTube videos on the go, the Moment is a great choice because even relatively low quality videos look great.
A Bejeweled 2 demo is also included, and while we’ve all probably played a lot more of Bejeweled than we’re willing to admit, it does serve as a great demonstration of the beautiful AM-OLED screen. It also was useful for me as a sort of “trainer” for the optical joystick; after a few rounds of the demo I was better able to use the joystick for navigation. The touchscreen is still easier for me, but it’s nice to have the option.
The camera is a slight disappointment at only 3.2 megapixels. It performed fairly well in testing, taking good (but not great) shots. There were a few exposure issues, especially in shots that included sunny and shady areas in the same photo.
Camera setting are somewhat minimal, mainly offering a choice of picture quality and whether or not you want to geo-tag your photos, but not much else. There is a flash, but it isn’t strong enough to rely on in extreme low light conditions. Overall the camera is adequate for infrequent use but isn’t really capable of competing with a standalone digital camera by any stretch of the imagination.
After an extended period of testing, I’ve found that battery life is a concern with the Samsung Moment. After leaving the device plugged in overnight and starting with a full charge each morning, the battery is typically down about 25% to 50% by late afternoon. The only active usage (aside from being on standby) generally consisted of short phone calls, texting, and limited amounts of reading e-mail and browsing the web.