The Samsung Gravity brand has changed quite a bit since its debut in 2008 as a simple messaging phone for T-Mobile. As further incarnations came along, the Gravity handset improved--the Gravity 2 added 3G and GPS, while the Gravity 3 has a slightly more ergonomic design. The Gravity T, or the Gravity Touch, is the latest rebirth of the Gravity line, and as its name suggests, it now has a touch screen. This allows it a few nice touches like a customizable home screen along with gesture-based shortcuts. Aside from that, it has many of the same features as its other Gravity cousins--a 2.0-megapixel camera, GPS, a music player, and more. The Samsung Gravity T is available for $74.99 with a new two-year service agreement from T-Mobile.
The Samsung Gravity T has a similar design to other Samsung touch-screen messenger phones, like the Samsung Messager Touch for example. Measuring 4.29 inches long by 2.23 inches wide by 0.59 inch thick, the Gravity T has a wide oval form factor, with a slightly curved back for a more comfortable feel in the hand. This does mean it rocks ever so slightly when it's resting on a flat surface, but we didn't find that to be a problem. At 4.23 ounces, the Gravity T is also not too heavy, and would fit easily in a large pocket or purse.
The Gravity T has a 2.8-inch resistive touch screen, which we found quite pleasing to the eye. It has 262,000 colors and a 240 x 320 pixel resolution, and the phone takes advantage of that with colorful and detailed menu icons. You can adjust the font type, the brightness, the backlight time, and the greeting message on the home screen.
We found the display to be as responsive as a resistive display gets--it still requires a bit more pressure than capacitive screens, but the transitions and screen reactions were quick enough for our liking. To improve the accuracy of your taps, you can go through the calibration wizard. There's a vibration feedback setting as well in case you want the phone to buzz to let you know you've activated something with your finger taps. You can adjust the vibration intensity if you like.
Like a lot of other Samsung touch screen phones, the Gravity T has three customizable home screens in addition to the TouchWiz interface, which lets you drag and drop different widgets and shortcuts to those home screens. At the bottom row of each home screen are shortcuts to the phone dialer, the contacts list, the messaging in-box, and the Web browser. There's also a "Command bar," which is a list of up to five customizable shortcuts that are only accessible when the phone is open.
The Gravity T also has a unique "smart unlock" system, which consists of gesture-based shortcuts that are accessible while the phone is still locked. For example, you can draw a "C" on the screen, and that'll open up the Contacts list without having to unlock the phone first. The default shortcuts include "M" for a new message, "B" for the browser, "V" for voice mail, and a simple square for just the home screen, but you can change these controls in the settings if you like.
Another nice design feature is an "etiquette pause" that makes use of the phone's motion sensor. If you have an incoming call that you wish to silence quickly, simply turn the phone over to quiet it down. We can see this as a potentially useful feature in meetings, for example.
The phone dialer is pretty typical of most touch-screen phones. We like the large keypad as well as the generous number input area. The quick shortcuts to the Recent calls history, the messaging in-box, and the Contacts list are handy, too. As for text entry, you can do so via the T9 alphanumeric keypad, but we would rather slide the phone open to use the physical keyboard. Underneath the display are three physical keys, which are the Send key, the Menu key, and the End/Power key.
As we mentioned earlier, the Gravity T comes with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard feels quite roomy, and the number and arrow keys are highlighted in red. The keys have a cushy rubbery feel to them, so they were easy enough to press and type. However, we did wish they were a bit more raised above the surface for even quicker texting. We also thought the keys could be a little bigger.
The volume rocker is on the left spine, whereas the charger jack, screen lock key, and camera key are on the right. The camera lens is on the back, while the microSD card slot is located behind the battery cover.
The Samsung Gravity T has an impressive 2,000-entry phone book, with room in each entry for four numbers, an e-mail address, an instant messenger username, a birthday, a street address, and notes. As always, you can add your contacts to groups; pair them with a photo for caller ID, plus any of 20 polyphonic ringtones.