"Nice Phone, with room to improve"4.0 starson by Weudel
Pros: Smaller in the hand than many similarly featured phones, beautiful display, DLNA support
Cons: The Ticker needs better customization options and more compatibility to third-party apps. The Froyo update promises to open this up some. Oh, and Bing, though it is easily worked around.
Summary: The Continuum is the latest phone released in the US in Samsung's Galaxy S Series. And while it is a part of that series, it also stands alone. The Continuum has a smaller display than its brethren at 3.4?, though it maintains the 800 x 480 resolution meaning that the pixels on the Continuum are smaller than any of the other Galaxy S phones. So, while its screen is .6? smaller, the display is just as awe-inspiring as any of these Super AMOLED beasts. Graphics and video are crisp and clear, and with the 1GHz Hummingbird processor, render flawlessly.
The thing that truly makes the Continuum stand out, not only from the Galaxy S phones, but from all Android devices is the 480 x 180 Ticker display located below the standard Android function keys. The Ticker can be used to display your RSS feeds, SMS, incoming and missed calls, emails, social network feeds, music controls, and time and weather. It is a little display that keeps you informed without having to open up the main screen. While it is useful, it also has its limitations. The news items go by so fast that if you aren't looking at it when they come up, you have no chance of catching what they say. Also, the social networks sync every thirty minutes or so and when they do you get all of your feed in the matter of about a minute. While Facebook has options to limit what comes over your ticker, Twitter does not. The Twitter feed is all or nothing, though I managed to figure out a work-around for that using the RSS feed.
I find myself a bit underwhelmed by the current ticker, but Samsung has promised that the further functionality for third-party apps will come with the Android 2.2 update sometime next year. I also hold out hope that some developer will build a custom ROM that better utilizes this space. It seems like being able to add 1 x 4 widgets would be fairly simple and add greatly to the functionality.
The Continuum comes with the Swype keyboard, which is by far the best one available.
USB syncing is made easier by Samsung by identifying the device as a media player, as opposed to my Eris which just showed up as a USB stick. This minor change allows for better options in transferring directly from music software to the phone. Instead of dragging and dropping in the file system, I can transfer files directly in Banshee.
Rooting was easy, using Z4 Root from the Market. This allows, among other things, taking screenshots and removing some of the bloat that comes pre-loaded, although it may be wise to hold off on that, since any OTA update will likely look for those apps before pushing to your phone, so you may end up waiting longer for Froyo 2.2. There do not appear to be any developers brewing ROMs for this device yet, so the benefits of rooting are fairly limited.
Samsung's AllShare app provides DLNA support, allowing you to stream content from your PC to the phone or to a supported TV, using the phone as a remote control.
Overall, this is a great device and the Froyo upgrade and future custom ROMs hold nothing but promise for this unique phone.