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As much as we'd like to point fingers and laugh at Samsung for even offering something like the Array in the year 2012, the fact remains that not everyone wants a smartphone – and for those who simply want to talk and text for cheap without the distraction of cloud connectivity, apps or push notifications, this one is as good as any.
While there is value to be found here, what about flexibility? Is two years with this device really a smart option?
While there's very little to differentiate the Samsung Array from a thousand other "dumb" phones – some of which can be had for free with a two-year contract – this one offers up the increasingly rare QWERTY slider keyboard. While the keys are a hair too flush with the slider, we had no problem banging out short text messages with it.
Beyond that, the camera does offer up more than just a basic set of software features, and the 286 ppi display is a modest step above other handsets in the same league.
Sprint's 3G network is one of the slowest around, and with no WiFi to be had, you'll need plenty of patience. Bluetooth file transfer was also painfully slow, so purchasing a microSD card is recommended for anyone taking advantage of the dubious multimedia features on the Array.
For its size, the display is sharp enough considering its size, but poor viewing angles thwart the screen at almost every turn. Using the Samsung Array as a video camera is laughable at best, and those so-called "applications" are mostly borderline useless.
Back to that two-year contract. A two-year commitment to such a dated device is a deal breaker for us, especially when you can get the same phone at a comparable value from Boost and Virgin Mobile.
So just what kind of room is the Samsung Array trying to play to? There's an aging generation of users still buying basic phones to stay connected on the go, although many of them lack a QWERTY keyboard for more efficient text messaging.
In the grand scheme of things, 20 bucks is cheap for something that would have cost hundreds just a few years ago. But given the pace of innovation with mobile devices today, hitching your wagon to the Samsung Array for the next two years just doesn't make a lot of sense to us.
We recommend that the talk-and-text crowd looking for a bargain investigate pre-paid, no contract options. The Array is decent hardware, if a QWERTY slider is what you want, but Sprint just isn't offering a compelling deal.