Samsung Fascinate

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Reviewed by jptech (Currently owns)

Here is a breakdown of my scores:

9 of 10 for Design - Even today, the Fascinate is considered a thin phone. In my time of ownership, it also has been durable. The design is simplistic, but it works well.

8 of 10 for Display - The SAMOLED screen on this device was top-notch when the phone was unveiled. Even today, it has a good display, but the PenTile layout with just a 800 by 480 resolution isn't worthy of a 9.

7 of 10 for Camera - The camera is good, but it fails to impress me. A solid 7 is my score for it.

7 of 10 for Reception/Call Quality - I haven't noticed any significant difference between the Fascinate and any other average Verizon phone, so I'll give this another solid 7.

8 of 10 for Performance - This phone, even after one year plus, isn't really too far behind in the spec race. The Galaxy Nexus uses the same graphics chip, and Samsung just came out with some phones with the same Hummingbird CPU/SoC. When you load CM or ICS, the phone really performs well, and even on the stock Samsung hardware, it does fine... although some animations aren't as smooth as I'd like.

5 of 10 for Software - The Fascinate has been crippled by slow software updates (a year to get Gingerbread... seriously?) and a stupid skin called TouchWiz. Granted TW4 is better, TW3 seems to slow down the phone. If you load CM7 or the new ICS build, the software goes back up to an 8 or 9.

8 of 10 for Battery Life - The battery life, for me at least, has been quite good. In a full year of ownership, I have been fairly impressed by my phone's battery life. High screen brightness and running the GPS can put a damper on things, but in average usage, I'll have nearly enough for two days or at least a day and a half.

7 of 10 for Ecosystem - This isn't an iPhone... The quality and quantity of games is much lacking compared to the Apple App Store, but for most things, the selection on Android is good enough. Google Services work well, and they get you back up to speed quickly even after wiping your phone to factory condition. The Fasciante has a pretty good development community spearheaded by jt1134 which has improved the phone ten fold for me.

Final Score 8 of 10 - I am very happy with this device even after a year of ownership. With minor tweaks (cough.. Ice Cream Sandwich & LTE), this phone could probably be released today as a solid phone just below the dual core flagships. The Galaxy Nexus is one of the first real improvements over this generation of devices in my opinion. If only Samsung and Verizon could figure out how to update the software in a timely manner....

The Breakdown

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  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Display 8
  • Camera(s) 7
  • Reception / call quality 7
  • Performance 8
  • Software 5
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 7
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