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Hands on: Samsung Brightside review

Built and priced like a smartphone, the Samsung Brightside is barely a feature phone at its best

What is a hands on review?
Samsung Brightside
Its actually a descent phone

samsung brightside review

The Samsung Brightside greets users with a lock screen that gives animated cues for unlocking it: The corners curl up in succession, revealing a bit of the home screen underneath. Swiping just about anywhere on the screen (up or down, left to right, etc.) reveals the full home screen with a grid of 12 icons awash in gaudy orange and red (users can change this to green in Settings).

samsung brightside review

The screen itself is a throwback to a kindler, gentler era – one where only thousands of colors could be displayed at once (262,000, to be exact). The main menu items can be repositioned or even replaced under Settings, including options for customizing wallpaper, themes and sounds.

samsung brightside review

While there's no denying that the screen is excruciatingly low resolution by modern standards, the icons are finger-friendly and the touchscreen is overall responsive. However, don't expect the Brightside to jump up and do your bidding immediately – the operating system barely keeps up with the unidentified processor, which neither Samsung nor Verizon disclose.

samsung brightside

Among the default home screen icons are shortcuts for key features like Messaging, Mobile Web and Email, with dedicated icons for Voicemail, Recent, Keypad and Contacts in an extra row at the bottom. Tasks like Calculator, Calendar and Stopwatch are conveniently tucked away under Tools.

samsung brighside review

For what's mostly an underwhelming handset, the Brightside does make an admirable effort to offer features found on more illustrious devices. Nuance-powered voice commands are among these, and in our tests it worked pretty well. Commands are limited to 10 different queries, but those cover most everything on a phone like this one.

samsung brightside review

The Brightside uses a proprietary version of Brew Mobile Platform 1.0.2, which doesn't necessarily try to ape more popular smartphone platforms, but beware: Icons for Media Center and Apps look a whole lot more promising than they actually are.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.