Basic flip phones aren't going away any time soon, and the Samsung Stride for U.S. Cellular is one example of exactly that. The Stride is an entry-level camera phone without any frills--just a simple 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a few essentials. That also means, however, that the Stride is cheap. It's only $29.95 with a contract.
Though it is a basic phone, the Samsung Stride is not without style. Measuring 3.66 inches long by 1.89 inch wide by 0.7 inch thick, the Stride is curved and compact with rounded corners. It's wrapped in a smooth red chassis, while a black dotted pattern surface covers the front. At 3.10 ounces, the Stride is lightweight enough to fit in a pocket.
On the front of the phone is a small 1.0-inch external display. It only has a 96x96-pixel resolution and 65,000 colors, but it works fine for displaying the normal date, time, signal strength, and battery life information. It works as a self-portrait viewfinder and will also display photo caller ID. You can adjust the wallpaper, clock format, and contrast of the display.
The camera lens sits above the external display, while the volume rocker is on the left spine. On the right are the 2.5mm headset jack, the dedicated camera key, and the charger jack.
Flip open the phone and you'll find a simple 1.9-inch main display with 262,000 colors. Images looked bright and colorful, and text was crisp as well. You can adjust the menu style, the clock format, the dialing font size, the greeting text from the home screen, and the backlight time.
Underneath the display is the navigation array, which is dominated by a round chrome toggle in the middle. The toggle also corresponds to four user-defined shortcuts, plus there's a center confirmation key. The toggle is surrounded by two soft keys, the Send key, the Clear key, and the End/Power key. The keys may seem a little flush to the surface, but there are slight bumps beneath the keys, so we could still navigate by feel.
Right under the navigation array is the number keypad. The keys are spaced apart well and are distinctly separate from each other. We were able to text and dial with speed, thanks to the nice springy feel of the rubberized keys.