Samsung’s mobile devices have come a long way in the last three years. I’ve lambasted them for much of that period over their chintzy resistive touch-screens, but recent handsets including the Behold II and Moment have been upgraded with vibrant AMOLED screens. The recent adoption of the Android OS on certain devices in the lineup strengthens Samsung’s position as major player in the US smartphone market. However, they made one glaring error with the Behold II and that was skinning the already potent Android OS with their proprietary TouchWiz interface rendering the whole user experience a big disappointment.
It’s hard to understand how any company- much less one of Samsung’s size – would allow such a horrendous product to actually come to market. The hardware isn’t half bad, but what they’ve done to the Android OS is appalling and downright offensive. A row of icons lines the bottom of the home screen with shortcuts that Samsung deem the most useful, which are more redundant than anything else. Why put a permanent shortcut to the phone dialer when there’s a hard button that activates the dialer? The whole thing is preposterous. One of the many beauties of Android is the fact that you can place any and all widgets/shortcuts on whichever home screen (there are 3) you desire.
With Samsung’s favorite shortcuts lining the bottom of the screen, you begin to wonder where the slide out menu has gone. It now resides on the left hand side of the screen, which only gets in the way when you, I don’t know, want to switch to another home screen.
Aside from the AMOLED screen, the only other positive for the Behold II is the camera. The interface and controls have been ripped right out from Samsung’s point-and-shoot cameras. They don’t seem to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. Had Samsung opted for an optical trackpad on the Behold II like the Moment, the hardware could have been decent. Another annoyance arises when trying to unlock the device. Every single Android device can be unlocked by tapping the menu button, but not so on the Behold II. A separate lock button is placed on the right rail next to the camera button. It sits flush with the rest of the device. It’s annoying. Enough said.
The list goes on and on and on. You don’t want to sit here and read it and I don’t feel like writing anymore. The Behold II is an absolute mess. Steer clear of this device on T-Mobile and opt for any one of the other Android-based devices.