WRR Gadget Review: The Samsung Blackjack

By request, here is a review of the Samsung Blackjack brought to us by none other than Patricia Babishkin from The Mail Buoy Podcast.

We spend 20 minutes talking about the phone plus Patricia was kind enough to include some notes.

I’m not the cutting edge tech girl, when it comes to many things, including phones. If you are looking for the indepth review of all the features and functions, I think Cnet will meet your needs more than me. However, I am a user of a phone and I have opinions, which I think gives me as much ability to review as anyone else — but keep in mind I’m not pushing phones to their limits and as I mention often, I don’t like to fiddle so I tend to ignore features that require any fiddling or become frustrating quickly.

That said, I think there are a few things of note that DB and I missed on our quick review. I think in bullet points, thus I write in bullet points.

  • This morning I found a super neat feature of the phone. It has (like my old Blackberry) profiles that define the rings, alerts, and such so you can quickly jump between normal and silent. Well, the BlackJack took this feature and expanded it. There is an “Outdoor” setting that makes everything louder and my favorite new feature “Automatic.” This automatically switches from default mode to ‘meeting’ when the calendar reads ‘busy.’ No more forgetting to throw the phone in silent. You can even tailor each profile as you would like, but it is a great guide for polite behavior during meetings ( or the movies).
  • I mentioned that I had a problem entering my password into a site because tabbing didn’t highlight the right fields. What I forgot to mention is that this phone has no ‘joystick’ or ‘mousing’ capabilities. Hence a new found respect for accessible sites.
  • Speaking of navigation, one of the things that makes me like this phone so much is that it has the same side button configuration as my old Blackberry (a scroll wheel, esc/back button, and volume controls). They work well and with the slim design of the phone, the scroll wheel works well for getting around
  • There is additional memory slot. It takes a micro-SD card and those are SERIOUSLY small. I would say smaller than a Chicklet and not nearly as thick. In fact, I don’t know how well it works as the small size makes me SURE I’ll loose it in seconds.
  • One of the more disappointing things about the phone is that it doesn’t have a mini-USB plug like so many phones these days. It has a proprietary plug for both charging AND headphones (which I was shocked to find that there were no headphones in the box). There are stylish covers for all the plug locations, and I’ll be interested to see how long they last with normal use.
  • You can get the unlocked version of the phone and put it up on T-mobile’s network — if you wish.
  • The phone is capable of going on the 3G network, but it is unavailable where I live right now, so I don’t know how well that works. I’ll report back once I get a chance to play with it.
  • My current biggest disappointment is the lack of cases available. I’m sure it all is because it is SO new, but thus far I’ve not found one I like.

Ok, so there’s my review. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any questions. I do promise to keep and eye out and I’ll be happy to answer whatever you want — best I can.

I’m working with some other people right now to make this a once or twice a month happening. Of course, your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Samsung Blackjack Audio Review:

9 replies on “WRR Gadget Review: The Samsung Blackjack”

  1. You can get the unlocked version of the phone and put it up on T-mobile’s network — if you wish.

    Just to clarify, since this is a GSM phone, you can get an unlocked version (or unlock the one from Cingular yourself) and use it on any GSM provider in the world.

    And another thing to clarify for those interested, the Blackjack runs Windows Mobile 5.0 (for better or worse).

  2. Sorry but…what the relation between MINI and a cellphone, please keep the “brand” of WRR focused on the MINI and not on “gadgets”, there are already several sites (and podcasts) that review these gadgets.



  3. Joel, Chill baby!

    The fellas are simply throwing me a bone, and it’s hilarious! I’ll skip my whole long story, but I was surprised to see to see an unheard WRR and went to check it out… I’ve now just stopped laughing and am heading over to my shop to listen!

    You guys rock (and have a great sense of humor too)! AND, big ups to Patricia! A roving WRR reporter!

    I’ll try to keep my requests MINI-related from now on Joel, LOL!

    Can’t wait to hear the review!
    (I’m telling ya, Gabe’s Gadget Corner is gold baby, GOLD!)

    (You’re keeping me sane during the Xmas rush)

  4. I thought it was good. I don’t think it should be just to keep WingNut happy 😉 and I don’t think it dilutes the brand of WWR. We all share similar enough taste to drive the same car – it’s nice to hear real world reviews from people who you already have an idea whether you think like them or not.
    I say keep it as an occasional feature, but please don’t let the next one be Todd reviewing blue light bulbs..! 😉

  5. I’m of the opinion that db, todd, and gabe should podcast about whatever the hell they want – and don’t get me started on your misuse of the word “brand.” Here’s a group of people who do a podcast in their spare time, [mostly] about MINI stuff and people have the gaul to gripe about something being off-topic. When the black 7 series BMWs start showing up with trunks full of cash, then I think we can complain. But until then, you guys and gals can talk about whatever you like tangent to MINIs.

    As for the review itself, well done! I especially enjoyed it because here was a mostly non-technical person giving a review of a very technical item. Whether or not a CNET person liked it has its own value, but when your woman-on-the-street has a real experience with something like a smart phone, that’s really valuable to me.

  6. To me the blackjack was a great disappointment.

    It is advertised falsely by Cingular as a PDA-smart phone that can “do it all”, and the Cingular ad on Google specifically lists as applications, word and excel.
    But surprise. It doesn’t have those programs. It can read those files in a different program, but it cannot create or edit them; it has no spreadsheet application. In fact, you can’t even buy the MS Office Mobile version for it.
    One great feature on the Nokia 62 is that you can record telephone conversations while they are in progress. So while you are driving, and need to take notes, you just tell the person, tell me again, I am going to record it. Later you can save it as a named file and replay it. Saves taking notes when you can’t write them down. This is good too, for saving messages voice and all, that cingular is going to erase under their new 14 day erase policy. ANYWAY, BLACKJACK CANNOT DO THIS.
    So it comes down to, its a good communication device…but it is not a pda.

  7. You’ve got to remember though that the Blackjack runs Windows Mobile for Smartphones. That’s an OS that was designed for devices that are intended to be phones first, and PDA’s second. It’s designed for devices that have limited input capabilities and significantly limited display and memory. It’s intended to be less capable than a true PDA/phone hybrid but more capable than your typical cell phone.

    It sounds like what you’re looking for is something that runs Windows Mobile 5 which is designed for PDAs and devices that are intended to be PDA’s first and phones second. However even WM devices have limited functionality with MS Office, and few if any have the ability to record phone conversations. That’s not a functionality that Microsoft builds into the OS, it would be something that the carrier or device manufacturer would need to build in.

    The Blackjack and it’s peers (T-Mobile’s Dash, the Motorola Q) are a really good fit for Blackberry users who want a little more from their phones than what Blackberry had to offer (until the release of the Pearl) and cell phone users who want a phone that’s smarter than the average bear but not as expensive as a true PDA/phone hybrid.

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