Pros User-configurable display can be made easy to read (though it isn't straight out of the box); shortcut keys on the QWERTY keyboard allow quick punctuation and proper grammar; no mandatory data contract (which should be illegal anyway).
Cons Expected a bigger step-up in quality from my pay-as-you-go freebie; dropped a call in the first few hours of use; crowded number pad makes it easy to mis-dial.
Summary A lot of people are saying things about this phone like, "Well, it's okay for your teenaged daughter, but it really doesn't have a lot of pop," which is all fine and good if you're prepared to shell-out ten bucks a month or more for a data subscription, but I for one find the whole practice of requiring such subscriptions not only valueless for me, personally, but deeply, deeply, DEEPLY odious.Thanks to the two folks who wrote replies to my review, explaining that the text-messages can, in fact, be sorted traditionally. Now if only there was a way to shut down the annoying add-on offers I'm suddenly getting after every call?
Ruling-out all such phones leaves a person with a tiny handful of remaining choices (presumably at some point in the near future there won't be any choices at all), and of those choices this phone seemed to be the most ruggedly built of the QWERTY-keyboard offerings in the Verizon store.
Of course you can't actually use the phone in the Verizon store, so there was no way to tell any number of things about this phone -- or any other -- before buying, another odious practice that should garner more consumer outrage than it does, but I have to say that for all the frustrations I've had with the top-mounted headphone jack, the fiddly little number pad, and the occasionally inflexible interfaces, with the amount of texting I do with my phone, it's still a big upgrade not to have to hit the 4-key three times to make an "L," or whatever.
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DRAWBACK that you should know about, at least as far as I'm concerned: This phone doesn't sort your text messages into an "inbox" and a "sent folder," the way my free phone did, but instead displays the last message of each "conversation," regardless of who sent it. And friends, I really, really, *really* hate that -- because it causes me to glance at a screen full of text messages and, at least momentarily, not know which ones are from me and which ones are *to* me, from someone else. A really dopey design choice that cannot be overridden by the user.
Also, all the neato stuff that you'll be told this phone can do (downloadable ringtones, mp3-player, blah blah blah)? Well, guess what: You have to pay extra to enable each of THOSE, too.
Bottom-line: If you're a Verizon customer who wants a phone with no mandatory data subscription and including a QWERTY keyboard, you're getting this or the similarly-priced LG, which doesn't get any better reviews, anyway. So much for the customer always being right, and all that jazz, huh?
Updated on Dec 7, 2010
Updated on Apr 22, 2011UPDATE: I am now less than a year into my two-year contract with this phone, and frankly it's a small wonder that I haven't stomped it flat in a parking lot. Both the headphone jack and the USB charging port have started intermittently not working, and the keypad lock only works when I don't want it to, as in when receiving a call -- when it freezes up and causes me to answer the call without actually being able to speak to the person on the other end. The number buttons on the outside keypad are way too small, and tilted in such a way as to seemingly *encourage* misdials. The text messaging keypad freezes if I receive a text while composing one at the same time, and the phone periodically drops calls even when I've got good bars. Right now I'm searching on-line auctions for an out-of-pocket replacement. Would go back and give this pone ZERO STARS.
Pros Appealing look, cheap, bright display, good keyboard, good zoom on saved pictures, fancy looking paperweight, great at making you want to take a big rock and pound the **** out of it.
Cons Lagging, lack of photo editing software, dropping calls, weak screen, back panel and battery pop off and go flying when dropped, easy to drop, contact bugs, battery life, rebooting, awful camera (1.3 MP), bad speaker, cheap construction.
Summary People talk about how the Samsung Intensity II is an excellent basic phone for your teenage kid. I'm a tech-savvy thirteen year old guy and I have to say, I would prefer my big old flip phone made for seniors any day. Currently I'm on my fourth replacement of this model, which I dropped into the toilet two days ago. Fantastic.
I text a TON (on average 10,000 messages a month). The inbox total limit is around 500 texts, which is about 2 day's worth of conversations with one friend. At 400 inbox texts the phone starts to slow down even more. 450 is when it randomly crashes, and when it reaches the limit, it restarts every time you try to view your inbox until you delete a couple hundred messages. Having a lot of pictures saved can make it slow down even earlier. If I am typing a long message, it is easy to accidentally view a new text. Sometimes I'll be typing and my phone will simply freeze for a couple seconds before showing the "New Message" notification. Picture messages or voice/sound messages take anywhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes to send. On my first Intensity II, the picture messaging just stopped working. If you're typing and you get a call, the message you have open is saved into drafts. Every week, this brilliant piece of technology decides to send all my drafts to random contacts. This has proved especially awkward in several occasions, including one where a text including teenage boy humor was sent to my dear grandma. Opening the messaging inbox takes more than a couple seconds. Once a regular text is sent, sometimes it sends in 2-5 seconds, but a lot of the time (actually, I calculated a 1:9 chance) the message will fail to send.
Viewing your "Favorites" in Contacts lags consistently. DO NOT attempt to add contacts into Groups (i.e. Friends, Family, Coworkers, etc.) If you want to erase that contact or erase that group later, it will bug out and create duplicates in your contacts. If you try to delete these duplicates, they simply duplicate again. This can also mess up the alphabetical order in your contacts. From the overly positive CNET Samsung Intensity II review, "Each entry allots space for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, an instant-messaging screen name, two street addresses, company information, a birthday, and notes. You also can add contacts to a caller group and pair them with a photo or one of 21 polyphonic ringtones." To be frank the ringtones are repetitive and annoying as hell.
The camera is abysmal at 1.3 megapixels. It can't take video. Indoor shots have no real color definition, and shadows barely contrast with brights. Outdoor shots are considerably better with more vibrant color definition. Your self-taken pictures will probably be a bit blurry since it has no flash. The pictures have a couple useless filters and when you're taking a picture the zoom is terrible. There are no cropping features and no easy 90 degree rotation. These things are a must have. Apparently the "Night Vision" infrared light aided night camera is a big feature on this phone. It sucks. The pictures it takes are black and white and always overexposed. After clicking the take picture button, you need to hold the phone perfectly steady for around four seconds before the picture is taken. It has a tiny screen for how big and bulky it is.
Calling quality is poor. I get 2 bars maximum in my house, and lose all reception in my basement and at one of my friend's houses. The person on the other end is always telling me to speak up, and their words seems jumbled and crackly. Note that this is apparently one of the best cities in the US for Verizon coverage and quality. I get a lot of dropped calls. How can this be called a phone when it can't even do the most basic of phone features, hold a call? I prefer the voice quality of my first phone, two tin cans connected with yarn, The phone's keypad lock gets unlocked very easily in your pocket. On top of that you can make calls while it is locked. In school I end up sending texts or making frequent calls to random numbers.
The Voice Commands key is obnoxious and easy to press, emitting a loud prompt. This can be turned down by navigating through the Voice Comm. settings. I wish they would just get rid of this feature because I use it about once every million years, and nobody wants a full volume "PLEASE SAY A COMMAND" in the middle of a funeral or date.
Rebooting, don't get me started. After about 2 months of use, your Intensity II will begin to randomly freeze, shut off, and then restart. This takes about ten seconds. Rebooting is annoying and frequent when you're typing a long message, on the phone, not on the phone, when you're using it for not something previously mentioned, when you're not using it, when the phone is warm, when the phone is cold, when the phone is room temperature, or when the phone is rebooting. Not kidding. This is pathetic.
The phone features a 2.5 millimeter headphone jack. Here I have to stop and ask, "Samsung. What were you thinking?" Who even owns 2.5 mm jack headphones? Adapters can be purchased but this lack of judgment is inexcusable. The Micro SD card option seems logical and a fairly cheap way to add a lot more memory to your phone. The charger included with the phone is simple but annoying to plug into your phone because you almost always try to jam it in upside down, like inserting a USB drive into your computer. Frustrating. It does, however, have a male US outlet to female USB adapter, which is good if you want to charge your other devices, like iPods. The II's battery life is bad. I'll have it charged when I wake up and find it dead in my pocket 14 hours later. It does this thing after a quick charge where it says it has maybe 75 percent battery remaining but really after a few minutes it will go back down to 50 or even 25 percent.
The phone has Social Beat, a Verizon app that connects to most popular social networks, like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. It also has a Bing app, Mobile Email and Mobile IM (Instant Messaging). These require a data plan and are painfully slow. VZ Navigator is a paid GPS application included, and I recommend a name change to Get Lost. Sudoku and a limited trial of Eco Quiz are the boring games included. It has a music player that requires a subscription to V CAST Music with Rhapsody.
I think I've covered all the features, and now I'd like to share with you readers a ridiculous quote from a review on samsung.com: "This phone is one of the best so far. It is also affordable! I used to have an iPhone (pretty good) and the Gusto (worst phone ever) but the Intensity II is better. Get this phone!" Maybe he's talking about a different phone, but I don't know who would prefer this phone to an iPhone.
Bottom line: DO NOT BUY
Pros It's cheap.
Cons Save yourself the frustration and go for another phone. Pretty much any phone is better than this one. It's cheap, tacky, and doesn't work well at all. I took excruciatingly good care of this phone, and it still doesn't serve its purpose.
Summary It shuts off during calls, dials random people, the memory card is only read maybe HALF the time if at all, and sometimes it decides not to turn on. I never dropped it, and within the first 6 months of having this phone, I slid it open to the keyboard, and a little black plate came out; I think it may have been a spring. This phone is really not convenient at all, and isn't even worth the low price tag. The list of malfunctions is endless.
"Terrible Phone"on by spacetime6
Pros It look nice and the camera is good for being 1.3 megapixels
Cons Terrible battery, feels cheap, slow, freezes
Summary My whole family got this phone and it has been nothing but problems. It has terrible battery life. It barely makes it through a day of average use before it dies. The phone is slow and lags when going through menus or typing messages. It also freezes and occasionally, buttons will not work. The phone also restarts itself for no reason. We have talked to Verizon about our problems and they don't seem to think the phone really has a problem.
Pros great keyboard
Cons bad colors
no video camera