The name may not indicate that, but the Samsung Propel is one of the latest in AT & T’s messaging phone line (Pantech Matrix is another), perhaps a response to the texting craze. Recent documents are spreading across the country. Equipped with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, the Propel isn’t a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean it has no features. In fact, Propel’s 3G and multimedia services are quite appealing, even when we weren’t satisfied with the keyboard design. Samsung Propel is available for $ 79.95 with a two-year service agreement and after a discount by mail.
Propel has a design similar to that of Verizon Wireless Blitz. Both have a slightly square shape and both slide up to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. However, the similarities end there. At 3.85 inches long by 2.33 inches wide by 2.33 inches wide by 0.58 inches thick, Propel is much thinner than the Blitz, with a flatter front design. Although slightly crouched to the left and right, the Propel is also much less curved than its competitors. So while Blitz appears cute and cuddly, Propel is thinner and more mean.
Samsung Propel has a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
On the front of the Propel is a nice 2.2-inch display with support for only 65,000 colors, which is quite disappointing by our standards. The screen looks nice enough, but the colors look muted and dull. Menu interface is typical of Samsung and very easy to use. You can adjust the backlight time, dial font (type, size, color and background color), brightness and menu style.
The navigation array consists of two soft soft keys, a circular toggle button with a middle confirmation key, a dedicated text messaging key, a Delete key, and a Say and End / Power key. The circular toggle button can be pressed in four directions, each doubling into four user-defined shortcuts. The middle confirmation key also acts as a shortcut for the Web browser. Although the two soft keys are raised above the surface, the rest of the keys are completely flat (except for the spin button). We didn’t like the feel of the smooth flat keys, and would prefer the texture a bit more.
Samsung Propel has a 1.3-megapixel camera lens next to the self-portrait mirror.
Slide your phone open and you should see a full QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard doesn’t feel cramped or spacious; somewhere in between. The individual keys, however, are small and feel quite slippery – we would prefer a bit more grip or texture on the keys. In addition to the typical functionality and Caps / Shift keys, the keyboard also has dedicated camera keys, AT&T Mobile Video service, and the phone’s audio profiles.
Propel’s left spine houses the volume rocker and microSD card slot, while the right spine houses a charging jack as well as a Shortcut key. Shortcuts switches between your device, messaging menu, Media Net browser, music player, and game and application folders. When you open your phone, you’ll see the camera lens and self-portrait mirror on the back.