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Review of the Samsung i637 Jack QWERTY smartphone for AT&T

Review by Michael Oryl on Thursday May 28, 2009.

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The Samsung i637 Jack is the successor to the BlackJack II. It features the same basic feature set and great battery life in a new, more business-like physical design that also just happens to be a bit lighter. We take it out for a spin to see if it can outperform the BlackJack II, one of our favorite smartphones of all time.

Physical Aspects

The new Samsung Jack does away with the somewhat quirky look of the first two BlackJack devices and replaces it with a classier, more reserved suit that should, ahem, please the suits. Its style appears to have been heavily based on that of the BlackBerry Bold, at least on the front, and that's not a bad thing.

The QWERTY keyboard was the focus of much of the change, and it now features larger keys that bump up against each other. While the keys offer good feel, we find the keyboard to be slightly less easy to use as a result of the change. The scrollable d-pad of the BlackJack II has been replaced by a pressure sensitive d-pad controller, which sounds good in theory, but somewhat misses the mark in execution.

Some folks might question the layout of the control cluster that surrounds the d-pad as well, but the buttons work and are very easy to adapt to, in spite of the somewhat crowded organization. The new volume rocker control on the left edge is easy to find by touch, and the proprietary Samsung power/data/headset port remains. The microSDHC(INFO) memory card slot has been moved behind the rear cover, and now requires that the battery be removed in order to be accessed.

The QVGA display on the Jack is the same size and type as the one found on the prior device, but the colors it produces are quite blue in hue for some reason. It is perfectly suitable in use, but its starting to show its age.

The new Jack measures up at 112mm x 60mm x 13mm (4.4in x 2.4in x .5in) in size, which is both shorter and narrower than the BlackJack II, though not by much. A 10g diet gets the Jack down to a very respectable 105.4g (3.7oz).

In the end, we like, but don't love, the design of the Samsung i637 Jack. Even if it is a bit more pocketable than the BlackJack II, it has lost some personality and functionality in the process.

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Ben @ 6:08:12PM EDT on Wednesday June 10, 2009

I'm surprised you guys don't mention how the upgraded CPU enables texters to input key presses accurately as compared to the laggy BJ2 and BJ1 action. Even if the keyboard is better spaced out in the older BJ phones, txting is absolutely poor due to the delay which completely nullifies the spacing issue with the Jack. I don't have an issue with the keyboard at all, in fact, especially since you get a smaller shape overall (i.e. you get something for giving up something).

Plus, the BJ2's keys were overly stiff. The Jack's keyboard is actually one of the best keypads I've used on a smartphone.

Good review, but needs some additional nuance/details. I agree, it is the best WM smartphone on the market. In fact, I'd go on to say it's one of the best smartphones available today, period.

Michael Oryl @ 8:06:59AM EDT on Thursday June 11, 2009

I have no idea what you mean. I used a BJ2 for 9 months straight and never witnessed any kind of slowness doing anything, really. I certainly didn't notice the Jack being any faster - the only thing I saw from a practical view was a different keyboard, which I liked much less, and more RAM.

noe @ 2:48:09PM EDT on Saturday August 1, 2009

Very Good device I am 95% satisfied user of the i637. I bought it in Telcel Mexico. Although the specification is only 1000 contacts I already load it 1,920 contacts, that?s grate since I had not to delete any contact.
My only disappoint is that it does not has or included tree basic key Spanish symbols: accent Open Question mark and Open Exclamation Mark , so I have to look them in character chart and it is not practical.
Very good signal reception and very good audio quality. I have not used the i637 enough time to give an Opinion about the battery time performance.

I do Strong Recommend this Samsung Cell.

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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