Call it envy, but much of the UI looks just a bit outdated now that we've seen the beautiful Ice Cream Sandwich interface. This is especially apparent in the Contacts app, where the huge font and black and blue color pallet looks nearly archaic.
As usual, contacts are synced with Google in the cloud. You can import contacts from a SIM as well as a your social networks - if you configure them. There are a number of networks to integrate with, including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (for some reason).
Names are presented alphabetically, and Contacts pictures sit on the left. At the top, there are four tabs: Contacts, Groups, History, and Activities.
The keypad is big, taking up about half of the screen. Hitting the menu button from the keypad will allow you to add special characters (like a 3 second pause, or a "wait"), as well as adjust speed dial settings or send a message.
Smart dialing is supported, whether you're tapping in the numbers or the name on the astronomically huge keyboard. Yet only one name can be displayed at a time, and you'll have to press a button to display a pop up box with the others, and at that point it's not much easier than just keying in a few more numbers.
You can quickly thumb between the keypad and the activity logs (which show you the times of calls, as well as texts), but bafflingly, accessing a specific text from those Logs isn't possible - so why bother showing them in the first place?
Despite a few weird quirks, actually making calls is all that we'd hoped. We made calls in three states and experienced fine signal strength, though we did have a bit of voice echoing in Seattle, Washington.
This occurred only when we were the ones who made the call, which leads us to believe it was a fault on the part of the carrier.