Review: Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate Phone
Several months ago I transitioned from a traditional cell phone to a smart phone and selected the Samsung Fascinate from Verizon. There were several key features I wanted, including e-mail connectivity, navigation, web browser and some of the cool new apps my friends were using.
There was much to admire with the Fascinate, its sleek design and text swipe feature which allows users to float their fingers across a 4-inch virtual keyboard to quickly type (or is it draw?) words. The features were impressive. There was a plethora of apps available from Google Navigation and Sky Map to the surprisingly addictive Angry Birds.
Fun: Great navigation using Google Navigation which guided us easily us from Newport Beach, Calif., to Los Angeles International Airport. Google maps offers both traffic and satellite view (plus parking, gas, ATMs and restaurant locators). It's a great app for driving, walking or hiking in unknown areas. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Angry Birds, Paper Toss, Hungry Shark and the cornucopia of online games and nifty apps available for the Fascinate and other Android devices. Though I'm not ready to quit the day job, I do feel that my rapidly improving Angry Bird skills might warrant a new career some day.
Fascinating: It's fascinating to see the GPS apps working so well on this tiny device. From locating a restaurant to pinpointing your location on a remote beach, the Fascinate is truly helpful in this regard.
Of course there is the fascinating Google Sky Map App which identifies constellations, stars, and other celestial objects, free laptop Internet connectivity apps that can turn the Fascinate into a cellular modem and many other apps, which do everything from calling a cab to helping with taxes to turning the smart phone into a Kindle.
Beyond the swipe function that allows users to swipe their finger over the keys to type a message, the Fascinate offers voice to text messaging. It's easy to use and works surprisingly well. Just click on the little microphone while in messaging mode and chat away.
Frustrating: As the sun set over picturesque Laguna Beach, I stealthily reached for my Fascinate and touched the camera icon. A moment later I focused on the horizon a clicked a beautiful sunset photo. Waiting another 10 or 15 seconds, I clicked again—but nothing happened. The camera function froze, not an uncommon occurrence for me, and a one of the many frustrations I have experienced with the Fascinate.Continued on the next page