updated 04:15 am EDT, Thu October 8, 2009
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While swinging by Samsung's booth at CTIA, Electronista took a closer look at several of the company's latest handsets. The new Moment was on display, along with the previously announced Intrepid. Samsung also placed a single Behold II handset under a glass case to tease visitors, although it was off-limits for handling or demos.
The Moment handset represents Samsung's highlighted item at the wireless convention. Although it is not a complete redesign of the basic sliding-QWERTY device, the company made an effort to refine a variety of important details.
After firing up the handset, the first notable improvement involves the display. Samsung integrated a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen, which jumps out with much more vibrance than a typical LCD. The technology should also lead to improved battery life, although this could not be confirmed by fondling the device for a short period of time. Touch sensitivity on the primary display is comparable to the variety of other higher-end smartphones, while the optical trackpad also worked well.
While many competitors have worked to develop their own custom interfaces placed atop the Android OS, the Moment retains the same basic layout without many changes. This may not be considered to be a deal breaker, especially amongst Android aficionados. Rather than packing a 528MHz chip typical of other Android-based handsets, Samsung stepped up to an 800MHz variant. Although the performance specs are fairly close, the extra speed makes navigating the user interface extra snappy.
Considering many QWERTY sliders focus on SMS messaging and social networking features, it came as a surprise that Samsung chose to build the Moment with a 3.2-megapixel camera. Customers may still be attracted to the 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD slot, although adding a memory card requires the battery to be removed.
As the market for QWERTY sliders continues to become more competitive, Samsung has decided to improve many of the subtle details while backing away from its TouchWiz interface to embrace bare-bones Android. The Moment is scheduled for an official launch on November 1st for $180 after signing a contract and receiving rebates.
Along with the messaging-oriented Moment, Samsung also displayed its Intrepid smartphone. The device is geared more for business users, with a BlackBerry-like QWERTY keyboard and Windows Mobile 6.5. The device diverges from many similar handsets by combining the front keyboard with a small QVGA display. Like the Moment, the Intrepid integrates a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Intrepid will launch on Monday, October 11th for $150 with a contract and rebates.
The Behold II was recently announced, but Samsung was resistant to show the device with the OS powered-up. Externally, however, the device features a sleek form-factor with brushed metal accents. The AMOLED display should be impressive, much like the Moment, while the TouchWiz interface remains to be seen.