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Review of Samsung's Moment for Sprint - AMOLED and Android meet

Review by Michael Oryl on Friday October 23, 2009.

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The Samsung SPH-m900 Moment for Sprint is a device with a few firsts to its credit. It is the first Android based smartphone to be offered by Samsung in the United States, and it is the first device with an AMOLED(INFO) display to be offered by Sprint.

Those two things alone make it an interesting device. The addition of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and an autofocus 3.2 megapixel camera with a flash simply raised my curiosity level. The question is, with hot Android devices from HTC and, more recently, Motorola hitting the market, how good will Samsung's effort stack up? Read on to find out.

Physical Aspects

At first blush, the Samsung Moment looks quite similar to any number of other Samsung touchscreen equipped devices that have been sold by U.S. carriers over the past year and a half. It has rounded edges and corners, a silver front face, and a soft-grip rear cover. The phone is fairly thick, measuring 117mm x 60mm x 16.5mm (4.6in x 2.4in x .6in), and it weighs a hefty 166g (5.9oz). It's comfortable to hold in the hand, but its design lacks any sort of eye-catching traits.

Until the display turns on, at least. The 3.2-inch half-VGA touchscreen uses AMOLED(INFO) technology, which sets it apart from any other phone sold by Sprint so far. AMOLED displays generally offer more saturated colors and higher contrast ratios than LCD displays. In the Moment's particular case, its AMOLED is not the most impressive I've seen on a Samsung device, but it is still quite nice. The capacitive touchscreen(INFO) layer that sits atop the AMOLED screen works quite well, and the combination of the two will impress most folks.

In my opinion, the first major weakness in the Samsung Moment is its slide-out 4-row QWERTY keyboard. The rubbery keys feel cheap, and the space bar does not work well at all (as you can see in the video below). Samsung and Sprint chose to dedicate one entire row of the keyboard to number keys, which is a mistake in my mind. Because of that decision, the bottom row of alphabetic keys gets mangled by the previously mentioned space bar, which sits between the V and B keys where it doesn't belong. There are many smartphones on the market today with fine keyboards. The Moment just isn't one of them.

At least the action of the keyboard's slider mechanism is good, and it does offer some dedicated arrow keys, as well. Many people will probably opt to use the optical d-pad controller instead, however. It works decently, though seems a bit overly sensitive at times. The touch sensitive home, menu, and back keys that sit between it and the display work surprisingly well, and the plain looking call send and end/power keys have a nice feel, too.

It just seems to me that Samsung was not inspired when it designed the Moment for Sprint. I really like the display, but the generic look of the device doesn't tug at the right heart strings, and the keyboard left me feeling entirely underwhelmed.

Unboxing and first impressions

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GTcoupe @ 4:23:02PM EDT on Friday October 23, 2009

Thanks for the great review. It was the most comprehensive found on the web to date. Great feedback on the keyboard.

Darwin @ 12:36:15AM EDT on Saturday October 24, 2009

There was no mention of whether or not the device is more responsive or not.... Considering the hardware improvement it should be so what's the verdict??

glomgold @ 2:39:17AM EDT on Sunday October 25, 2009

Michael, is there any kind of LED notification light on this phone?

ABC @ 1:02:05PM EDT on Sunday October 25, 2009

A great review, thank you so much!
Despite your dislike for the keyboard I think I'll still get it; I currently have the rumor so I'm use to keys on both sides of the space bar...
but this was definately the best review I've found so far on this phone :)

mc-fine @ 12:14:11PM EDT on Monday October 26, 2009

If the browser doesn't have double tap to zoom does it resize text to fit to screen when you zoom? That is by far the most important part of a mobile browser. No one wants to scroll horizontally and vertically to read text

xaey @ 12:33:02AM EDT on Saturday October 31, 2009

Idk, I kinda like this phone and wanna get it. I had the lg rumor for years so im used to that kind of keyboard style with the space bar. :)

SilkySalamandr @ 4:34:59PM EST on Sunday November 1, 2009

Hey guys I found this site just snooping around and I hope I can clear some things up for you. My friend is a manager of a sprint store and actually sold my girl(i bought it for her bday) yesterday so she was one of the first to have it. She had a touch diamond and I have a touch pro. I wanted to get her the hero but he just got that one in so we gave it a try. This is what I think of it. The moment is a very big and boring phone. The hardware keyboard is one of the worst ive ever used. It has a really fake plastic feel and the spacebar is in the horrible spot. Me havin a touch pro,I had a really hard time typing on this thing without hitting other buttons that werent the spacebar. You cannot take pictures and make them wallpapers. You can but the phone does not auto correct the aspect ratio to fit on the screen right. It does it for the preloaded pics but not pics taken by its own camera?? Settings seem stripped down. The only thing this phone has over the hero is the AMOLED screen. even tho its the same resolution, its alot more vibrant. I urge you to stay away from this phone due to its super cheap feel and os. If you absolutly need a hardware keyboard than you really have no choice which droid device you will get. We are taking back this phone today and getting the hero.

mcmel @ 1:38:04PM EST on Tuesday November 3, 2009

Issues I have come across:
There is no "history" folder for recently sent texts. You cannot forward a text, and cannot resend a failed text. As well, if you do not have someone in your address book and deleted a string of texts you have to re-enter the phone number to send them a new text. (Hence the history comment)
Everything has to be synced with Google.
It goes to sleep VERY quickly while on the phone. This makes it really hard to use when you are calling somewhere you have to use number prompts becuase not only does it go to sleep, but the on-screen keypad goes away.
Keyboard is not user friendly. Yes it does seem a little on the cheap side, however it is nice to have a row of numbers.
Touch capability when it notifies you of a received text is a little shotty. You have to tap and drag, well it doesn't work very well.
Also if you have an older type phone (mine was a Rumor) you have to re-set up your voicemail to use the visual vm. Beware! This will erase any prior voicemails you had and you will not be able to retrieve them.
I have asked the sprint community if they have had any luck working with other email companies (I don't use outlook and really only stick to Yahoo..) but obviously since this is a Google branded phone they are going to make it hard. Since I don't use my Gmail account I found this frustrating as I have numerous OLD contacts I didn't want in my phone. And to top that to add someone into the phone you HAVE to sync with some sort of account. I can see how this is a "nice" feature.. but it's a pain when you have to go into Gmail and start fresh with your contacts.
Needless to say.. this phone is going back to Sprint today.

Jurnee @ 2:20:24PM EST on Wednesday November 4, 2009

This fone is terrible....The keyboard is hard 2 type with...sucks because that was the reason why I chose the moment over the Hero. I had a blackberry before this. My phone roams when I'm on tge subway with this phone. I can not access certain webites...due to the fact that it always says foreclose. I don't know any phone today that does not let u access websites...except for this one. I have had this phone for 3 days and it is going back. I am either going back to my blackberry or trading this for the hero...which sucks cuz it does not have a keyboard....I'm not too good with the touch keyboard. You also can not download ringtones unless you install an application. And u can not set a ringtone for voicemail or notifications except for the default one that the phone comes with...WACK!!!...I'm taking this garbage back 2day....

Kin @ 7:12:46AM EST on Monday November 23, 2009

This phone is TERRIBLE!!! The battery life is the worst I have ever experienced. I would have a full charge and by the end of an 8 hr work day it would be dead. All the way dead. I read the manual twice and was still unable to save pictures that people sent to me. I chose this phone over the Hero just because of the keyboard. But it is awful. When someone calls you the phone doesnt even light up until the 2nd ring! You just stare at a black screen. I also could not set up my yahoo email...and paid to have a game and it would not download. This phone is a BIG no no! I returned it a week later. Now I am debating between the blackberry and Hero.

jen @ 11:14:33PM EST on Sunday November 29, 2009

I have this phone and really like it. I wanted an android phone but cannot part with having a real qwerty keyboard. I don't have any trouble with the layout of the keys. As with any new phone it takes somegetting used to but after that its just fine... its not like you are tyoing page long emails on it right? I was already a gmail user to I love how it synced my contacts and calender. And as far as the person saying you can't save pictures people text you??? Must not be good at figuringg out phones. All you do it touch and hold the pic and it asks to save to SD card. Its the same thing to save pics from facebbok, google searcg, etc... just touch and hold. And texts can be forwarded. The only thing I don't like is that you can't save a generic draft text and it is a little difficult to copy and paste texts together. Its nice that it automatically splits texts (1/2, 2/2, etc) unlike some phone that just stop you when u reach the limit. Battery life does suck... but I just bought a car charger and that solved it for me. Wish it had a LED notification light... if it does I can't get it to work.

Steph @ 12:38:52PM EST on Tuesday December 29, 2009

I have to disagree with most of the comments here. I have never had a problem with the internet. I only get 1 bar where i work and the internet is always faster, waay faster than my friends g1. The battery does suck at first, but I think it's a sprint thing. Because they don't fully charge it b4 they test it messes with the battery. the 1st week I had the phone the battery only lasted about 7 hours. Then for the next week I would use the phone until the battery completely died and would not turn on, then charge it. My battery right now is still going from my charge from yesterday at 7 am (and it's still at 15%). I play with the phone a lot and use web browsing constantly, so I'm happy with the battery now.. I can take pictures and set them as wallpaper, and they look good. I can download music and just hit a button that says set as ringtone. (I don't have to pay for ringtones anymore, it just uses the 1st part of whatever song I selected.) It is very easy to adjust zooming in or out when webbrowsing..As for no history folder for texts, it keeps them like chat lines. You can just leave them and go back to reference the conversation at any time. I can save pictures people send to me to. It's pretty easy. Almost anything you want to do, you can do it, if you give the phone a chance....

zumbie @ 7:19:24PM EST on Saturday January 2, 2010

Great web connections, love all those apps. Very fast download and easy ui. I currently have my phone on security lock but i keep calling 911 because its on the lock screen. Bad move.

Diziyer @ 12:32:35PM EST on Sunday January 3, 2010

I am sooo lost. I have the samsung google moment and caNNOT find actual files for my ringtones eventhough they downloaded. Have NO idea how to retrieve them or other unwanted files. Even tried my file viewer and manager and they don't even APPEAR. Any help is appreciated.

beba @ 12:51:59PM EST on Tuesday January 5, 2010

I have the moment and it is a great phone. At first I thought this phone it was a piece of crap but I figure how to forward texts, save pictures and videos coming from others... you must select the picture, then open you slide keyboard and press the "enter" key hard enough and it will bring up a menu with different options. For all of those who hate this phone! READ YOUR MANUAL!!! :) :)

shyne23 @ 12:31:49PM EST on Sunday January 17, 2010

I just got my phone and I love it..It did take some getting use to but I'm learning more about it everyday thanks to blogs like this..I have to agree about the battery life it sucks but I will try letting it die completely a couple of times to see if that works for me(I had to do that with the last phone i had also when i first got it and it seemed to work)I think the manufactures need to study the battery life a little more before they market the phones..but with more technology comes more headaches..maybe all smart phones should come with a second battery because of all the things they can do at once....anyway I keep calling 911 also I'm sure they are tired of getting mistake calls from me..I called them twice while i was on the phone talking and don't know how it happened and then when it happened sometimes when I'm unlocking my phone...but if anyone can tell me how to delete my emails from my phone i would appreciate it I can delete the message but not the senders info from the trash...

Ted @ 11:32:01PM EST on Friday January 29, 2010

You can forward......wow you have to be really right before you put out that this phone cannot forward texts that have been sent to it.
All you do is hold down the text..actually push right on the screen and the forward option comes up.

DJ @ 12:02:34PM EST on Tuesday February 9, 2010

I have the fun and love it... the keyboard work great and i do a lot of text.

Len @ 7:58:19PM EST on Thursday February 18, 2010

I just got the phone and love it! Shot out to Jen for helping me figure out the foward issue and saving pictures! Also, I was able link my yahoo email onto it but I had to go online and google it. There is a code you must enter to make it work.

Starryman @ 8:30:13PM EST on Thursday February 25, 2010

Personally I thought the reviewer by M. Oryl was a bit pessimistic about the phone - especically being sparse on included software apps. I'm actually on my 2nd Moment... Why? Well I bought my first Moment and had buyers remorse after a week because I saw all of the great reviews of the HTC Hero. I was happy with the Moment but my human-ness got to me and I went to Best Buy and traded my Moment for the HTC Hero. People say that the 800MHZ processor in the Moment is useless or not noticeable... Ha ha... unless you have owned both and physically use them, you will quickly realize how annoying the HTC is with the intermittent lags in operation. I still think the HTC is "prettier" and has a cooler calendar app but MY GOD, that big clock and weather thing is such a huge waste of space. You need 7 screens on the HTC because all of the full screen apps require a dedicated a whole screen for it. It took me a week to get to buyers remorse for the Moment. But it only took me 3 days to realize that the HTC Hero was pretty but slow. I wasted 2-3 hours swapping phones but it was worth really getting to know both phones. Samsung Moment would be perfect if it had a visual indicator light for notifications. HTC Hero would be perfect if it had a 800MHZ processor and a physical keyboard. FYI - You can jump up and down all day that a virtual keyboard is better or equivalent to a physical qwerty keyboard... No way, hands down having a physical keyboard is better. Here's a test... try using your iPhone or HTC Hero outside when the weather drops below 10 degrees... I did and my HTC became dyslexic.

donteenac @ 11:40:16PM EST on Thursday February 25, 2010

First of all "Jurnee" is not correct about not being able to download ringtones for notifications...I havent been able to assign a totally different ringtone for voicemail so its not the same as the text ...if anyone knows how..please let me know....another problem I have is that I accidently added the same ringtone 3 times and cant figure out how to delete the extras....any help? thanks

swagxengaged @ 8:20:18PM EDT on Wednesday March 17, 2010

I just got this phone yesterday and it seems pretty great. The space bar is fine, its not in a horriable spot, what do you want them to do dedicate a whole row to it? dumb. Only thing i dislike about it is battery life.

tracifritz @ 11:37:15PM EDT on Monday April 5, 2010

3 out of 3 doctors hates this phone!

My girlfriend has the Verizon version of this phone. She loves it, and she has patiently walked me through some of the features. I have resisted the urge to bust this phone to bits since I got it. I am a resident doctor, working in a technology savvy field. Took it to work, and another doc that has the HTC hero tried to show me some of the functions of the operating system she loves, like calendar, email, etc. She tried to show me how to do basic stuff w mine, got frusterated and gave up too. This phone is good for some web browsing, and the screen is pretty. That's it. If you need a phone to send text messages, or to make a phone call, or be able to sync to your computer VIA USB cord... forget it. My palm Treo is a brick but it does the job much better than this piece. Oh, and if you merely hold the phone up to your head during a phone call, touch one of the buttons on the side, and the call will be stuck in awful speakerphone until you hang up and call again. I have a major headache just writing this. If I could give this phone negative stars I would. Returning this asap.

Rochie @ 1:30:02AM EDT on Wednesday April 7, 2010

I read in a previous comment that you are unable to forward texts with this phone... That isn't true. If you touch and hold a specific text an option menu will pop up. I wish people would try things out before giving a review. However, I still wouldn't recommend this phone because there isn't a lock feature while you are on a call, so I often mute or put my call on speaker, and it's SUPER frustrating!

joe b @ 3:28:52PM EDT on Tuesday April 27, 2010

I just got this phone a week ago and love it, theres a few issues, but due to not reading manual and researching it, battery life sux, but if you uncheck the gps when not in use youll get longer use,it does not need to be running, unless your scared of crashing into a ditch and someone not being able to find u. the blackout screen turns off to fast, but i found an app call screebl, if u use it it keeps the phone lit at all times till u lay it flat,then it turns off.happy so far.

Manny Naize @ 12:43:53AM EDT on Sunday May 2, 2010

The Samsung Moment is a very good phone.. Fast, great screen, very intuitive, Better looking than the Motorola Droid hands down, and actually very easy to work with once you get used to it. Give the phone a chance and you wont be let down.. I would take this phone over the iphone, Droid, Hero, or Ares anyday!

nick @ 3:13:35PM EDT on Friday May 28, 2010

I have had the phone for 30 days so here is the good and the bad.
The Good - big screen, rich colors, slide feature is solid, very iphone-ish.
The Bad - very sluggish operating system (even with the update), the keyboard is hard to get used to, the space bar SUCKS, sometimes it is hard to answer a phone call due to screen flashing because I like to see the caller id first before answering (this randomly happens), very easy to butt dial, the battery is terrible (I can barely get through a whole day even when I use it sparingly), it is sort of heavy and weird feeling when held up to your ear.

Bottom line is that it is a decent phone if you don't expect the world. Its not for me. I would rate it 5 out of 10. Just average but nice to have a smart phone.

Jo @ 3:24:47PM EDT on Sunday June 20, 2010

Is there anyway to forward to a group of people without having to type each name. I'm used to being able to hit forward and bring up my contact list and check off who I want to forward to. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Haha Person @ 9:59:00AM EDT on Wednesday June 23, 2010

I have the samsung moment and i didnt find any problems with the space bar. The keys feel fine to me, they feel like any other phone. Its a really nice phone, and this review does not cover a quarter of all the amazing things it can do.

marlene @ 12:39:19AM EDT on Wednesday June 30, 2010

i have a samsung moment and i have it connected with cricket the picture messaging dosent work my space and youtube dont either... my space worked for like about 2 wks. a little help?

Dania @ 2:03:41PM EDT on Wednesday July 14, 2010

I absolutely love this phone. I love the keyboard, the applications, everything! It does take a little getting used to, from figuring out how to save files to the phone to forwarding pictures, but once you do it's a very fun phone to have. Best phone I've ever owned!

Lisa @ 9:41:04AM EDT on Thursday August 12, 2010

HATE this phone. The touch screen is super sensitive and the phone locks up often. Recently, it deleted all of my text messages, some of which were very, very important. The keys are tough to push and texting takes forever. Hate using the touch screen for texting as it is very sensitive and too much work to type simple texts. Would NEVER buy this phone again. Have had mine almsot 4 months now....

SHERLYN @ 1:57:06PM EDT on Tuesday August 17, 2010


SHAY @ 9:49:12AM EDT on Friday August 27, 2010

Please help me i just go this phone a few days ago and i have download a ringtone but dont know where it is also i had my contacts transferred frm my blackberry and dont know where they are please help a new user to the this phone. thanks in advance

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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