Every now and again I am reminded of older, much simpler days, back when phones storage space was measured in KB and when internet pages would take whole minutes to load up (that of course if they had no images on them). I remember a Motorola phone I used to have and being one of those fold up models which you would break in two when opening, I remember it having a small display on the outside. Now common sense is telling me, why don’t you add a small screen to an Android smartphone as well and thus spare the battery. With one glance on the smaller screen you would see if you had any missed calls or anything like that. So after that short introduction I met the Samsung Continuum out by Verizon.
In a world controlled by huge displays and simple black slab designs this device by Samsung stands out with its “Ticker”. The device is part of the Galaxy S family so it’s featuring a Super AMOLED display which spans 3.4 inches in diameter and a smaller display separated from the main display by the standard capacitive Android buttons. The smaller display measures 1.8 inches and displays certain information, thus helping you save some battery life by checking missed calls, RSS feeds, tweet updates and the sort on it instead of going for the large display. In theory it sounds good but once you start using the Continuum you quickly realize you will have to bring your charger with you as the battery will go down in a day.
The specs are pretty much what you’d expect from a device in this category. The Samsung Continuum is packing a Hummingbird cortex A8 CPU packing 1 GHz, 512 MB of ROM and 384 MB of RAM along with 2 GB of internal storage. Performance wise the handsets moves along nicely so no problems on this part. The real deal breaker should be the Ticker and considering some of its features it should be that but it isn’t. Sure you can see messages, calls, Facebook, Twitter and Mail updates but the problem is that it does not support any 3rd party apps running on it. So you will have to use only those Samsung added when making it. As such here’s a list of what you will be able to play with on the Ticker :
- Verizon’s Navigator
- Samsung’s RSS feed reader
- Samsung’s IM client
- Verizon Voicemail
- Samsung’s mail client
- Missed calls and SMS messages
The problem I have with it because of it is rather the possibilities it has opened. But if I am going to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory I do expect the whole tour not just a handshake and a warm chocolate at the entrance while he sends me on to play with my toys. The issue is that the Samsung Continuum didn’t go all the way with the idea. They stopped midway through and that shows. Battery gets eaten rather quickly even with the Ticker and as soon as you start using the device to browse around and perform your daily routines you will quickly notice the smaller display come into the play. The keyboard seems stuffy because of it and browsing will be somewhat more difficult.
A larger issue that actually comes to the surface is the fact that the phone itself doesn’t feel that good in the hand. It has a sort of a cheap feel to it because of the plastics used in making it. Considering the specs I would simply recommend you just go out and buy a regular Samsung Galaxy S with its impressive 4 inch Super AMOLED which still makes me hold my breath and drop my jaw in astonishment.
Closing up this little review, I liked the idea and the basic thought that went behind it, but the execution was somewhat flawed. Instead of doing something beneficial it ended up having a reverse effect on things and it gives the impression of locked out because of its inability to adapt. If Samsung does plan on making a 2nd edition of this device then please allow us to set our Ticker up the way we wish to, with the apps we wish. Still, trying to see the brighter picture I must say that the device itself works very well and because of its specs it can handle anything you throw at it. If you are someone very connected with dozens of messages every hour, with tons of Facebook updates and Tweets I will recommend this device to you for it does those things quite well. As for the rest of us wait for version 2.0 of this one. Until next time, check them tweets manually.1