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Samsung Juke review

January 1, 2008

in All Articles,Cellphone reviews

Let’s waste no time, and get to the good stuff. We’ll talk about the Juke’s coolest feature first: the size.

For any review of the Samsung Juke, the first thing any responsible reviewer must do is mention that this is a tiny, tiny phone. It’s about the same size as a pack of five sticks of gum. Below are pictures of the Juke open, closed and (for size comparison) next to a Leatherman:

Yes, it’s small. This is a great thing, because while it’s small, it’s the right kind of small. I was worried at first, because when I first saw the phone I thought two things: One, it’ll be too uncomfortable when I open it up to talk. Two, the buttons on the phone couldn’t possibly work well with my chunky fingers.

I’m happy to say I was wrong on both counts. When opening the phone, the top half swivels up, doubling the phone length. While the phone may feel a little different (it’s certainly skinnier than any other phone I’ve used to date), it works just fine in conversation. And while the buttons are indeed small, and there are 18 of them, they measure about .75-inches on a side. That’s big enough for fast punching, including writing instant messages.

So the size was great, and there are other aspects of the phone I particularly liked. These exist in other phones, but I want to make note of them here. I say this because these features aren’t often found together in phones of this price range, or all together in a single phone.

Memory: The Samsung Juke comes with two different memory partitions. One is 22MB used for ringtones and downloaded phone applications. The other is a generous 2GB used for music. The music can’t be downloaded over the air – you must use the V Cast Music Manager to perform the transfer. But with 2GB of MP3, WMA and AAC file types, that’s plenty of space to store plenty of playlists.

Music: The phone is a music player, as mentioned. And while the speaker does a good job, be sure to use headphones – either wired or Bluetooth. The Juke supports stereo playback via Bluetooth. The music can play if the phone is opened or closed.

Size: The Juke designers put effort into squeezing good functionality into a very small size. No holster is needed with this phone. It’s small and fairly flat – great for keeping in a pocket, purse or jacket. The Juke is also great for those who go to the gym or out jugging – no separate iPod is needed.

Style: Yes, it may be vain to consider such things, but there’s no denying the Juke is cosmetically impressive. From the shape itself to the rotate-action, it’s a cool looking phone. Every time I showed my demo unit to friends, coworkers and family, everyone wanted to try it out. Mastering the rotate-open-while-you-bring-the-Juke-to-your-ear technique is particularly impressive.

Conclusion of the Juke review

Would I use this phone myself? My current job requires a “smartphone”, a phone that checks email, maintains a corporate-synchronized calendar and contact list, and has various administrator-level utilities on it. I’d have to answer no, I can’t make use of the Juke. That’s not meant as a bad thing – this review of the Juke left me positive and liking it. It’s not for me, but that’s due to my job description, not personal preference. If my job allowed it, I’d seriously consider the Samsung Juke.

Who is the Juke for? It’s for those who want a small phone that excels at the basics. It’s for those who want a couple perks as well, like stereo Bluetooth, music player capability, great battery life and memory storage, and yes, impressive style.

The Samsung Juke is available from Verizon Wireless for $50 online with a 2-year commitment.

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