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Samsung Behold II Android smartphone review for T-mobile USA


Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday November 17, 2009.

samsung sgh-t939 behold ii · t-mobile · android reviews · smartphone reviews · samsung news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Core Functions

The Samsung Behold II's main problem as a phone is its relatively weak reception. If you live in a reasonable signal area, though, this might not impact you as much as it did me. Voice quality is a bit mixed, sounding pretty good to the Behold II user, but coming across with a bit too much hiss for the remote caller. The speakerphone, however, earned praise from remote callers and worked satisfactorily for the Behold II user. The phone's large 1500mAh battery is rated for 6 hours of 3G talk time officially, and I was able to get a good two days worth of use out of the phone between charges.

Samsung completely replaced the standard contacts application on Android with one that looks like it was ripped from one of its feature phones. The app features convenient one-press access to calling and messaging for a contact, and has a convenient scrolling tool, but is far more cluttered than need be. The search system only works on the first names of contacts, which is a real disappointment. All of the needed data points can be assigned to a contact, though, and custom ringtones and groups are also available. A separate version of the Contacts application, without the clutter, can be accessed from the phone dialer. There is a bug in that application, however, that causes it to crash whenever we access a particular test contact record.

I was much more satisfied with the Behold II's profile system. Most Android devices have relatively weak profile support, but the Behold II has multiple profiles available, and they each can have a separate set of ringtones assigned to them. The normal, vibrate, and silent profiles can easily be switched to using just the volume control on the phone's left edge, but the separate driving and outdoor profiles are also available through the behold II's settings system.

The standard Google speaker independent voice dialing and command system is available on the Behold II and can be used to dial numbers or open applications. A speed dialing panel is also available inside the dialer application, for those that prefer that method.

Like most recent Android smartphones, the Samsung Behold II does quite well at messaging tasks. There is proper support for text and MMS messaging, and both Exchange and regular POP/IMAP email support in addition to the included Google Gmail client. The Exchange support is decent on the Behold II, even supporting Out Of Office messages, but lacks real-time subfolder synchronization. Still, it does support contact and calendar synching on top of the normal push email. A Gtalk instant messaging client sits apart from the 3-in-1 AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! IM client that is also pre-loaded onto the Behold II.

3G data speeds on the Behold II appear to have been hampered by the internal antenna's relatively weak reception. In general, when it could get a 3G signal at all, the phone averaged around 525Kbps for download speeds, as reported by DSLReports.com. WiFi worked well, though. Bluetooth and USB support is also on the Behold II, but I failed to ever get USB mass storage emulation to work over a USB cable, and had to remove the memory card in order to copy off photos and videos.

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Candiria92 @ 10:20:16AM EST on Thursday November 19, 2009

You've got a defective phone. I've used this personally and there are no problems with the I's. Lowercase come out as lowercase. I've watched every video preview and review I could find and no one else mentions it which leads me to believe they did not have that problem either. Also, although the cube is not very important as you say the data takes no where near as long to load as it does on the phone you have. If you watch other review videos you can see this for yourself. You may want to put a disclaimer along with this review stating that you most likely have a defective device.

Jason @ 12:28:22AM EST on Wednesday December 9, 2009

I just purchased this device and I would give this phone a defined 4.7 out of 5. The only reason I give it a 4.7 is because the touch screen some times freezes for a brief moment. also the touch screen when in either mode is a bit to close with the L key,delete key, and the return key. This a times causes issues when typing. Other then those complaints this is a great phone. Also my first all touch screen PDA.

jsharbour @ 5:34:55PM EST on Sunday January 24, 2010

I have a new Behold II bought just last week.
No matter what I try to do, lowercase i comes out as uppercase I, both portrait and landscape input. Very annoying. it's impossible to get a lowercase i unless you press a word shortcut. I hope there's a software update to address this bug.

Shann @ 7:57:35PM EDT on Thursday June 10, 2010

Tmobile is sending me my 6th Samsung Behold 2 due to every one of them being defective. When I'm on the phone, I cannot get a keypad, do speakerphone, put the caller on hold, etc. The screen is frozen. The 4th phone worked fine as far as that part goes, but it kept deleting everything on my SD card and then when I went to take a pic, telling me that there was no SD card in the phone, when there was!! Very disappointed. I love the phone besides this big flaw..

Mike Burtner @ 6:42:51PM EDT on Tuesday August 10, 2010

I stopped by my local Sprint office and showed them my Behold II. Since their retail staff in my area is fairly knowledgeable, they laughed a little, patted me on the back and offered my condolences. The T-Mobile office is just down the street. I bought the phone based solely on the premise that the Android platform would be iteratively upgradeable. I have been with T-Mob for over 5 years and am a "Loyalty Unlimited" customer. Sprint offered to buy out my ETC, give me a Droid for $50 and a contract with the same terms (Unlimited voice/data) for roughly the same price as my current contract. When I called T-Mob and spoke to a "Retention Specialist", her best offer was to sell me a Samsung Vibrant for $400 if I re-upped for two years. I told her to look for me in a Sprint advertisement soon. I have had no issues with T-Mobile up to now, but it is obvious they are not willing to back up their customers.

Aaron @ 9:52:42PM EDT on Saturday October 30, 2010

The battery on this phone lasts less than 8 hours. It crashes frequently. The 3G is extremely slow. It has very little internal memory.

steve @ 11:57:23AM EST on Wednesday March 9, 2011

this phone is sick. i have had it for 2 weeks and have had no problems plus im hungry!!!!

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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