I finally got a cellphone with a full keyboard!
Written: Aug 31, 2012 (Updated Sep 1, 2012)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
While on a mission trip 3 years ago I decided I wanted a new phone because I had begun texting friends while on the trip and didn’t have a full keyboard at that time and was getting frustrated with not being able to “type” as fast as I wanted to.
So when I returned from the mission’s trip I headed to Verizon to look at the latest selections. I wasn't in need of a new one because my Samsung SCH-U520 was a really good phone. I just wanted a phone with a full keyboard. If the Samsung SCH-U520 is available to review I’m going to post a review because mine is still in mint condition and my brother is going to allow my nephew to have it for his 13thbirthday in November. So after much deliberation, questions and answers, I settled on the Samsung Intenstity SCHU-450.
I believe the phone would be regularly priced at $179. Because I was willing to sign a 2-year contract I was able to get the phone for $85 and would then get a $50 rebate. Well, I didn’t get the rebate because careless me accidentally shred the envelope with all my rebate information.
The Intensity has a QWERTY keyboard. I thought that meant full keyboard but then when I saw the position of the letters I realized that they are the same as a typewriter so perhaps QWERTY is a standard keyboard versus keys that might be in alphabetical order. I don't know if that is the case but it sounds good to me.
The Intensity phone has a full keyboard that slides out. So, I can use the phone as a standard phone OR I can slide the keyboard out for more rapid texting. It took a little getting used to the special function keys/orange areas. Some asked if I was concerned about the phone being a “slider.” At first I was because I didn’t know how good it would hold up. Would it slide out and get stuck open or would it get stuck while closed and not open to reveal the full keyboard? None have been the problem for me. The phone is right at 3 years old and I haven’t had any problems at all.
Voice Calling: I live in an area that has a lot of Verizon towers so getting reception isn’t a problem for me. However, for some strange reason, if you are in Walmart the reception tends to get weaker as you move through the store. I have always thought it had to do with all the electronics and yes, wireless providers, running interference with the frequency because once outside the store it is all fine. I have friends that live in the country and when they get to certain “dead zones” they will tell me they might lose me because they are arriving to a bridge, agricultural area, etc. Once again, I don’t think it’s poor reception on my end but rather theirs so when the call is dropped it’s usually because they have lost reception.
The call time is supposed to be 3-5 hours for straight talk time but I wouldn’t know how valid that is because I am rarely on the phone for more than 10 minutes at a time. I may use approximately 50-60 minutes every month. Like I said earlier, the bulk of my time is texting. And when my phone isn’t in use it is on a charger so my phone hardly ever goes without a full charge so once again, I don’t really know how long the life of the battery is going to last before you have to recharge the phone.
I can’t say anything about using Bluetooth or hands-free calling because I don’t utilize either of those functions. My phone stays on silent mode about 20-22 hours a day and only lights up if a text/call comes in. I have an office and home phone so people don’t call my cell unless they can’t reach me at the other 2. I only turn my cell phone off silent mode if I am shopping, traveling, or at a function (ball game, festival, etc.) where it would be safe and proper etiquette wise for me to answer the phone.
Volume: There are master volume controls that you can set from the main menu and if you need a louder volume while engaged in a conversation you can adjust volume with some buttons on the side of the phone.
The Intensity has a camera but unlike my Samsung SCH-U250 it doesn’t have a camcorder. If it does I haven't found it yet! The camera isn't as easy to use as the other phone. If I have it in camera mode it seems that many keys allow you to snap a picture so I have randomly, without knowing, taken several pictures. Speaking of pictures: The Intensity allows you to put a picture with your contacts so I can assign a photo to the caller's name and when they call I can see a picture of them.
The QWERTY keyboard has a smiley function for texting but that has only caused me grief. I sent a message to a friend and said, "Have a great day" and inserted a smiley face at the end. I got a message telling me I used more than 140 characters, SAY WHAT? and my message would have to be abbreviated. Well, then I see the message on Twitter and it has over 100 special characters as if I was using expletives--all that for a smiley! So, I'm not sure about the smiley function at this time. Seems that depending on which provider the smiley goes to determine if it reads it as a “smiley” or some mumbo-jumbo garbage.
With the Intensity you can also download songs to the phone. I haven't gotten a full grasp of that yet either. I plugged the USB cable into my computer so that I could download the songs from my Windows Media Player and the phone began charging. Well, that was pretty cool that I could charge my battery off the computer but I never could upload the music because every time I plugged into the computer like the instructions said to do it began to recharge my battery. So, still no music.
The USB charger allows you to unplug the USB cable from the wall charger and then plug in directly to the computer. So, like at the office I can charge my phone off the computer and have it sitting right near my fingertips instead of trying to find a free outlet and hoping that I remember to take my phone with me at the end of the day.
The Intensity also has a basic wizards set up that allows you to do a really quick set up without having to navigate all the tool settings. I love electronics and will usually read a manual from front to back and figure everything out. I did the quick set up and that allowed me to do my sound, display, and key settings. I went into further detail and was able to do my banner, fonts, etc.
With my other phone I had a rotating screen saver, ringback, and about 20 ringtones. When I got the new phone I was only able to keep the ringback. So, I had to repurchase my ringtones which became a problem. Verizon wouldn't allow me to access their media store because I still had an Alltel plan and Alltel wouldn't allow me to access their ringtones because I was now a Verizon customer. Problem? Nah! Verizon gave me free Internet for the evening so that I could download/purchase all my ringtones.
The Intensity comes with caller Id and free basic voice mail. It also has voice commands; which I haven't used yet. It also has speakerphone and Bluetooth capability.
I've had my phone for right at 3 years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Last year my music minister accidentally dropped my phone in the lake. I thought he killed it so I went to Verizon and purchased a new phone, same style but newer model. I didn’t like it. A friend told me to take my old phone apart and put it in a bag of rice overnight. I did and that absorbed all the moisture and old phone was revived so I took new phone back for refund. And as for durability: This is very durable. I can't tell you how many times I have dropped it on the ground, all the pieces go flying and I just pick them up, put phone back together, turn it on and it's fine. So, it's even easy to "assemble."
Every month Verizon tries to encourage me to purchase a new phone because they know if I want a really awesome discount that I have to renew a contract. I have been month-to-month without a contract for 10 months.
I may get a new phone in the next few months because now I have taken an interest in Social Cam and was told that I need an iPhone or Android to use Social Cam. I can’t use the touch screen phones because I have long nails that click on the screen and drive me crazy. I want a full keyboard that looks like a traditional keyboard and I can actually feel each key as I text/type.
My main complaint or rather concern is that the phone doesn't have a screen protector. Since this one doesn't flip open there is nothing to protect the outside screen.
The Samsung Intensity phone comes with:
Standard Lithium Ion Battery
Product Safety and Warranty Guide
Quick Reference Guide
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Amount Paid (US$): 85-200
Recommended for: World Travelers - Works Anywhere and Everywhere!