I was quite fascinated with the Jet when I first laid eyes on it last month in Singapore. Although a little generic in design it did have that certain je ne c'est quoi quality about it. What really intrigued me was the name of course. Speed of multitasking was the selling point and this I had to see for myself. And after a few days poking around the handset's features and functions here’s my take on the Jet.
The Jet is a neat looking handset and quite well designed. I was particularly happy with the superb 3.1-inch touchscreen AMOLED display that has a 480 x 800 pixel resolution sporting 16 million colors. The visual experience was brilliant. The display is not completely scratch resistant as the test piece I received had evidence to prove that. Above the display is a very responsive proximity sensor and secondary video-call camera. The center button at the bottom which is designed (subtly) to look like a cube can be used to access the menu and if pressed and held, will activate the End Task display. A 3.5mm earphone socket that doubles up for AV out is on the top right beside the micro USB/Charging port.
Volume/zoom keys are located on one side and on the other side you’ll find a screen lock button on top. On the same side at the bottom is a dedicated camera key that’s also somewhat attached to the button for activating the Jet’s Media gate 3D multimedia menu selector. The rear panel gives the handset its sex appeal. It has a dark maroon-ish glossy finish with a 3D effect. The 5MP camera with its dual LED flash is also present at the back. A hot-swap microSD card slot is underneath the rear panel.
It’s not heavy but the little weight it has at 110 grams, makes it quite well balanced and gives it a real feel-good factor.
Features and Performance
I was never particularly fond of Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz UI, but version 2.0 has a lot that has changed my mind quite a bit. Following what seems to be a trend these days, Samsung has also gone with multiple desktops. I’ll never understand this concept if three desktops, especially if you have a plethora of handy widgets to choose from anytime you need to customize it, even those that can give you live updates via net feeds etc. Nevertheless they’re present. Even the menus have now been expanded to include three separate pages of applications, most of which you’d usually find under the ‘Applications’ tab or another relevant heading in other handsets.
The use of 3D menus is a little too much at times. It’s completely unnecessary in the music player and seems like a rather cheap rip off of an iPhone’s. The dedicated multimedia section in 3D is awesome though. This menu offers easy access to almost all of the Jet’s multimedia functions with a super smooth flowing Media gate 3D UI. It makes accessing movies, music and even images so much better. A 3D UI option can also be found in the End Task menu.
The TouchWiz 2.0 UI itself is just about adequate in my opinion. It’s not extremely responsive but its easy once you get the hang of it. I wish the accelerometer functioned for the entire system though and not just specific functions, however the rotation is quick and quite seamless. A few upgrades to the new UI include the press slide and zoom feature for the browser and any other data that allows for the same and the also very responsive gesture unlock control for assigning alphabet gestures to a function, app or even speed dial – when the display is locked press the unlock key and type the assigned alphabet on the screen with your finger, the screen unlocks and runs the function immediately.
The motion sensor has its good points and bad let me add. On the plus side features like the Etiquette Pause which allows you to simply turn the handset over to silence an incoming call and Speaker call for which you dial a number and just place the handset flat on its back to activate the speaker phone (which is decently loud) are just fine. The Motion Tutorial which shows you other motion functions works well enough, although I have to say some of the movements are little weird, but the problem is that I couldn’t get any of the actual functions to work at all no matter how much I shook or tapped the phone in anyway. Damn near almost flung it.
The QWERTY keypad in landscape is well laid out and easy to use. Handwriting recognition is also supported in full screen and two other options. It’s easy and very hard to make a mistake.
With its Qualcomm MSM6246, 800Mhz applications processor, I presumed the ‘Jet’ to be fast and in most cases it was. However I was able to activate just 3 multimedia functions simultaneously as opening a fourth gave me an error indicating that resources were not enough, so I had to close at least one other app. But with a couple of media apps and other functions I had at least nine open before the error message showed up and I had to shut some down. The only thing that got jerky were a few transitions but everything else was still smooth. The only time the handset's UI was sluggish was when deleting messages. To delete just 20 messages it took over 15 seconds. Every single time I tried. Has me boggled!
On the whole I love the new TouchWiz 2.0 UI. It’s fast and funky with plenty of very very relevant and fun features added in.
Updated 19 Jun, 2013, 12:43 pm IST
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