Pros Size; improved keyboard; improved overall responsiveness; design; upgradeable to 6.5
Cons Not really its fault, but WM 6.5 not available just yet
Summary I've been an avid BJ2 user for the past couple of years. I've been to the iPhone, Curve, but the BJ2 always stood out as the business users phone of choice with excellent battery life, clean piano black design, plentiful RAM, and a real QWERTY keyboard in this touch screen obsessed age.One week worth of use update:
The new Samsung Jack improves on the BJ2 with even more RAM (no worrying about running out of memory while multi-tasking), better camera (Propel Pro-like), superior responsiveness, and a much better keyboard.
It was weird how with the BJ2, when texting, it wouldn't instantly register your key presses. No more of these concerns with the Jack.
I absolutely love this phone and finally MS partner Samsung got it right. I won't be giving this one up for a while now. I just hope battery life is decent with 3G.
Updated on May 28, 2009
I don't have a lifestyle where I can simply plug in someplace in the middle of the day to ensure I have sufficient battery life while out and about at midnight. My settings are simple: 1) Exchange ActiveSync set on as items arrive; 2) Windows Live set on as items arrive; 3) some internet use to check up on my news sites like NYTimes.com; and 4) maybe 30 minutes worth of call time.
The next step to help the phone meet my battery life expectations is to set ActiveSync to every X minutes and do the same for my Windows Live mail for hotmail.
My complaint about battery life is not specific to the Jack; rather, it's a call for a need for better battery technology or more efficient, less power hungry radio on phones. Overall, I love the Jack, I think Windows Mobile did a kick !@#$#! job with the sliding panel display (Blackberry OS is clunky in comparison) and not sure I even need/want 6.5!
"Poor reception"on by ripped55
Pros Size, full qwerty, speed
Cons phone call reception
Summary After researching both the Jack and the Nokia e71x for a while, I finally decided to get the Jack. I took it home, charged it, and started making calls. Much to my dismay, the reception was not as good as my old Sony-Ericsson w300i. In fact, after a few minutes on the phone, my calls all got dropped. The next morning I called AT&T tech support and we came to the conclusion that the phone was defective (since I live in an area with great coverage).I should add that my comments in the 2nd half of the review are about the Nokia e71x, which I found to be a little more intuitive to use than the Samsung Jack.
I returned the phone to my AT&T store the next day and tried my sim in another Jack. Although this one was better than my defective one - it still got only 2-3 bars of service. I made some calls on it and it was okay, but voice levels fluctuated. Then I tried my sim card in a Nokia e71x. Wow! What an improvement! The call quality was remarkably clearer and cleaner.
My decision was made. This is, after all, a phone. The most important factor is call quality. The Nokia is outstanding in this department.
I've never owned a smartphone before, but it has been fairly easy for me to figure out all of the basic phone functions. The phone is quite comfortable in the hand and although the keyboard is small, it isn't a problem for me. I love the fact that I can carry this in my pocket if I choose, although I'll probably buy a case for it soon.
The battery life is excellent. I've been playing with it a lot and the battery still has a long way to go.
Overall, I'm glad the Jack was defective, because I think this phone is better built and a little more intuitive to use. And of course, the call quality is great.
The one thing that I don't like is that text messages don't automatically show you the date and time. You can find this out by going down into the menu, but it would have been better if this wasn't necessary.
Updated on May 28, 2009
Pros Stylish looks, responsive, easy to use, great call quality.
Cons Battery life, seemingly endless Windows Mobile menus, not to be used in sunshine.
Summary Upgraded from a BlackJack to a Jack, and went from a good phone to a very good phone. Very impressed with the speedier responsiveness of the Jack over the BlackJack. Email is a breeze, calendar is a snap, contacts are easy. Often, though, have trouble finding some programs as they get buried in a folder. (Found out the other day there's a tip calculator . . . didn't know that.) The rounded edges and sleeker design also aids in droppiness -- as in oops, I'm glad I was on carpet.
Battery life is more like half-life, but since the BlackJack wasn't all that great on battery time (remember the thicker/longer life battery they had to send out for the early BJ owners?), I am aware of its limitations and work with them. It's like having a fast car that doesn't go very far, or a car that goes a long ways but doesn't go very fast -- trade-offs are everywhere. But I can live with them if I know what they are and how to deal with them.
The Jack is a very good phone for what I need, and what I expected.
Pros fast cpu, WinMobile 6.5 support, great screen display, good camera, great button interface, good price, MS Office mobile
Cons default interface and setup, needs Add-on's to maximize full potential. Programs sometimes need
Summary This is definitely an absolutely great Windows Mobile device. The folks talking about the difficult to use interface and navigation need to all download one FREE (freeware) necessity of an add-on, and that is called Smart Toolkit. It provides a Windows-XP like start button menu, with all shortcuts navigable from the home screen in a tree-liike fashion, just like in the regular windows (2000, XP, Vista, etc).
I came from owning a touch-screen windows mobile 6.0 AT&T Tilt, followed by an Apple iPhone 3GS. I like this phone better than both of those simply because it actually has keys on the front, a number pad to dial, real buttons. The headphone adapter included in the package is a great bonus, the camera works great and is easy to zoom (using the volume buttons) has great features (night-time mode, extra lighting, etc) and output great pictures, in my opinion.
The GPS built in is absolutely great. Using Google maps it pinpointed my location in under a minute, probably around 20 seconds or even less. The application support is great as usual, I love being able to turn my phone in a gameboy, NES, SNES, Genesis - all the old game systems have emulators that run perfectly. Email and threaded text messaging works perfectly. Everything is quick to get to from the home screen or SmartToolkit Start menu list.
About the only annoying thing I find is the fact that Windows does not actually close and kill programs you were using but then "exited" out of, or returned to the home screen. It would be nice if one button were dedicated to "put this program in the background" and one dedicated to "close/kill this program". But everything is easily accessible from the home screen task manager, or Smart Toolkit taskbar add on, making it even faster to manage what's running.
I upgraded this device to Windows Mobile 6.5 and it worked perfectly, things only got better and faster with this update from 6.1.
All in all, if you like windows mobile, you will love this phone - provided you use Smart Toolkit, that was huge for me. Try it!
Pros Nice form factor, capable imaging system hardware, can be used for personal telecommunication.
Cons Battery may last 2.5 days, usually 1. Contacts list may come up when you press the button, may hang the phone for 5+ minutes. Sometimes camera app necessitates battery removal reboot. Signal reception pathetic. There is much, much more.
Summary It's sad when you have to revive your ancient (3+ years old) Samsung Sync to fill in the massive gaps in functionality of this "new" Samsung device. Mind you, I don't blame Samsung so much as the idiotic programming present on this device. I'll still buy Samsung products for sure. But no more WinMo Samsungs if they are anything like this. It has to be rebooted at least once a week, else it just... sits there. Many times a day it switches moods. Not modes, moods. By this I mean sometimes you can hit the "contacts" button and get your contacts. Other times you can't, at least not without waiting OVER 5 REAL MINUTES each time. That's a long time, kids. Sometimes you want to take a picture. The cam hardware actually is pretty good by phone standards. But again, sometimes it decides you just want to wait; hit the cam button at your own risk. Sometimes you just got a "hard lock" and have to remove the battery to resume functionality. It likes to use wifi. Cute. It connects to wifi when the screen lights up if enabled. Great, but some days it only stays illuminated for about 3 seconds when you hit a button, which means (if you have fast wifi in your house) you are only on wifi for about 1 second before it disconnects again. Sure, you can make wifi perpetual, but then that 30 hour average (from a full charge) battery life you've come to enjoy gets reduced to, say, 3. All in all it's driving me insane. Nothing like having that urge to call someone to say something time-sensitive and having to wait 5-10 minutes before your contact list comes up. Strangely enough, my nice new Win7 laptop sees my OLD OLD Samsung phone and immediately goes "hey, here's a neat device we can use!" as does my Linux machine. The Linux machine fares somewhat ok with the Jack, but Win7 gave me fits. All in all, it's unlikely I will retire this phone soon, it's more likely I will smash it on the driveway. I don't want to drink the iPhone Kool-Aid but this phone really pushes me that way. I'm about to go on a business trip and I'm taking my 3+ year old Samsung flip-phone with me just in case I need reliability.
The gps nav app is nice. But again, if you're in wifi range I think it must flip from 3g to wifi but then after 2 seconds disable wifi (which you don't have when on the road, granted) when the light goes out which confuses the app then you're screwed again.
Just don't do it.