We'll admit we don't usually associate MetroPCS with high-end phones--most of the carrier's lineup tends to consist of low-end devices like the ZTE C78 and the Kyocera Mako S4000. The Samsung Finesse, however, bucks the trend. It is MetroPCS's first and only touch-screen phone, and is the second highest handheld in its stable next to the BlackBerry 8330.
The Finesse has a design and interface very similar to that of Alltel's Samsung Delve and T-Mobile's Samsung Behold, but it's not exactly the same. It is stylish and sleek and it offers decent multimedia features. It certainly adds flair and, dare we say, finesse to MetroPCS's otherwise dull lineup. The Samsung Finesse is one of the most expensive MetroPCS devices at $350, but bear in mind that the company doesn't require any contracts.
Like most touch-screen phones, the Finesse is one big slab of a phone with a large touch-screen display dominating its entire front surface. Measuring 4.6 inches long by 2.3 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick, the Finesse is almost a dead ringer for the Delve, with its silver and black color scheme, rounded corners, and mirror finish on the front. It does have a few differences however--the three physical keys underneath the display are not as flat, and the power button, which also doubles as the screen lock key, is on the top. Those three keys under the display correspond to the Talk, Back, and End keys respectively.
We rather like the Finesse's 3.2-inch display. Though it's not as wide as the 3.5-incher on the Apple iPhone, it's marginally bigger than the 3-inch one on the Delve. The 262,000-color screen is bright and vibrant, and we like the colorful animated icons. You can change the brightness, the backlight time, the banner on the home screen, and the main menu style. The touch-screen interface has a vibration feedback, but if you don't like it, you can turn it off. You can also adjust the vibration's intensity.
The menu interface is very similar to the Delve's. It features Samsung's TouchWiz interface, which has an extendable tray of 10 drag-and-drop widgets that you can place on the home screen. The widgets range from clocks and calendars to a music player interface from which you can control your tunes without digging into the player. On the top of the home screen display is a collapsible shortcut bar for messaging, the Web browser, the music player, and the Bluetooth menu. Along the bottom of the display are shortcuts for the phone dialer, the contacts menu, the messaging menu, and the main menu.
As with all touch-screen phones, you must use the display to dial and text. We quite like the large keys on the virtual dialpad, and we also appreciate the shortcuts to your contacts, caller groups, and favorite contacts. You can also add a number to your contacts list from the phone dialer.
There are several ways to send a text message: you can either use the landscape QWERTY keyboard, the virtual keypad for T9 entry, or a handwriting recognition tool in either full or half screen. We liked both the virtual keypad and handwriting recognition, but would prefer the QWERTY keyboard for typing out text. The keys are very responsive and we like that there's a dedicated keyboard for shortcuts like the @ symbol and top-level domains like .com and .org, which come very handy when entering in e-mail addresses and Web URLs. We made a few errors when typing things out in a rush, so we'd appreciate some kind of autocorrect feature. Bear in mind the Finesse does not have an accelerometer, so you can't simply switch keyboards by tilting the phone.
On the left side of the Finesse are the charger jack and the volume keys, while the right side is home to a microSD card slot, a voice dialer key, and the camera button. The headset jack is on the top next to the power button. On the back is a camera and self-portrait mirror.