Best in Class March 7, 2012
Reviewer: Stephen Jones (Yucca Valley, CA) -
The Samsung Brightside is no smart phone. But for a basic phone with no required data plan, I believe it deserves "Best in Class."
The call quality is good, and Verizon offers the best coast-to-coast coverage in the cellular industry. The touch screen feels accurate and responsive. As with their Galaxy Tab, Samsung has proven they can build a good touch screen.
One uniqueness is that the Brightside offers both a touchscreen and a slide-out physical keyboard. This adds some girth to the phone, but it's still lightweight, and the frame does not feel bulky. It's a welcome accessory for heavy texting.
Other perks include a camera and music player. The 3.2 megapixel camera is just what I need for those unplanned "Kodak moments" when I don't have a regular camera around. It's far superior to the 1.3 megapixel on my previous two phones. The music player is pretty straightforward and puts out a good sound that's not too quiet or tinny.
That said, there are a few negatives. I would've appreciated more customization options with things like home page colors, font sizes, etc. When testing out some PDF files, I found the document viewer slow and clunky and see myself using it very little. I had some problems downloading drivers when I first plugged in the USB. It also took me a while to get the phone to recognize my music files. But with a little persistence, all seems to be working smoothly now.
Sure, we'd all love to have a smart phone. But the $30/mo. data plan is hard to swallow when many of us already have internet access. If you're looking for a sleek touch screen phone and don't expect to use internet much, the Brightside is a great option.
fantastic "almost smart" phone March 7, 2012
This isn't a smart phone. But it might be one of the best non smart phones, with many of the features you get with the smart phones (touch screen, flick of the finger picture viewing, etc), but without the $30/month for a data plan nor the $200 purchase price.
I also had verizon ENV3 -- which i loved -- except for the problem of it shutting it self down. it used to be 1x/month, now it's 5x/day so it's time for a new phone. It was what i wanted -- good camera, great keyboard, no huge price or data plan.
so now that the ENV3 was unusable, i went looking for a replacement and this was the best i found. BTW, i just got it tonight and i've never written a review before, but this was soo good i thought it worthy.
I bought it at bestbuy and paid 29 bucks. coulda bought it here cheaper, but i wanted to feel the keyboard. that's one feature that is soo important, but you'll never know unless you try it in the store. I tried a bunch, and some don't have the spacing, or enough 3 dimentional "bubble" for you to feel the keys. this one is fantastic!
I didn't care about the touch screen initially. But after using it, and having the same picture scrolling ability as an iphone was cool. (though it's limited: you can't "spread your fingers" to zoom, etc. but you can drag to scroll though them).
biggest bummer is that many of the options only have 2 or 3 options, with what i'd say are some glaring omissions. (examples below). So yeah, it could be better, but for what i wanted it's great.
a) screen lock options: 1) lock ley only, 2)lock key and end key 3)any key -- where's the option to unlock with a passcode? the only passcode option is when it wakes up from power up. my phone isn't secure!
b) display themes: 1) orange, 2) green. - it's not bad, but usually you have 5 choices,etc
just some stuff like that. other stuff was very configurable (having the main menu icons be chosen by you, etc)
Also on the picture viewing. with my ENV3 i could click on "zoom"then use the left/right keys to selectively zoom. this one doesn't let you do that. you just zoom on the center one time.
anywho, i love it, but it's not perfect.
1)overall a 9.5/10 for a non smart phone.
2)some smart phone like features without a data plan
4)nice big touch screen, re-orderable main menu.
5)as good as any MP3 player (playlists, up to 32G SDcard, etc)
woulda been nice/could have been better:
1) limited options for configurability
2) not great zooming capability when going through your pics
3) limited locking ability/security
Great for a Basic Phone March 10, 2012
First, this is not a smart phone. It's a basic phone with no data requirements. For what it is, it does a great job.
Pros: Compared to other touch screen phones I've used, this one is way faster and has a nice, responsive screen. But it lets you have the best of both world with its slide-out QWERTY. And yes, you can use the touch screen simultaneously with the slider. You can customize the home screen as far as which icons you want displayed. Threaded texting is huge for me, a feature missing from a lot of other basic phones. The camera is not awesome, but is among the best for current basic phones spec-wise. Support for external memory is a huge plus. The music player accepts a good deal of formats, so I can just drag and drop songs from iTunes right into my phone.
Cons: Customizability is somewhat limited, though I don't agree with some of the other reviews that say it isn't customizable at all. It would've been great to have Bluetooth 3 (this one still utilizes 2.x). Another feature that would've been nice (but again, this is a basic phone) is an accelerometer (i.e. when you turn the phone sideways, the screen flips to match your orientation). The "document reader" looks nice on paper, but doesn't perform well at all -- very slow and unresponsive. However, it's not a feature I see myself using. Ever.
If you're like me and don't want to pay the $30/month for data, but you want a nice big screen and a slide-out QWERTY, this is one of the best out there right now. Keep in mind, though, that it's not a smartphone. Don't expect the moon for features. It's a wonderful upgrade from my LG Cosmos.
Passable. Sadly that's probably the best one can hope for March 5, 2012
Reviewer: Michael Morrill
I must begin by saying I feel Verizon feature phones are rather terrible. Their cameras are bad even by 2008 standards. They have little customizability, and they often feel very very cheap.
I used an enV3 for three years, and despite random shut-down problems and freak-outs when exposed to japanese characters, it was a decent phone. The env3 took acceptable pictures and had good volume and call quality. The Brightside is about the same thickness and has a slightly larger footprint. The construction feels solid and the buttons on the QWERTY keypad are quieter but spaced closer together than those on the enV3 which makes texting a bit tougher.
My main complaint about the Brightside is that you can't do much to customize it. You have two options for font size - big and REALLY big. That means you can't see much on the screen when reading/writing text messages. When you look at call history or contacts, you can only see a few entries at a time. My enV3 has a smaller screen but can fit at least 50% more information.
If a text alert is set to "vibrate" the thing vibrates three times every time you get a text message which I find annoying. Some icons on the front screen can be moved or changed but others are permanent. Many of them require a data plan to use, which is ridiculous because no one in their right mind would buy such a low end phone while paying for data.
For a resistive touch screen, the phone response is excellent. I can't scroll as quickly as I can on an iPhone, but that's only a minor inconvenience. I haven't used the phone enough to comment on call quality, picture taking, or battery life. A 3.2 MP camera is pretty low by today's standards, but it's hard to do any better without getting a smart phone. The phone also has great volume.
In short, I feel this phone could be a ton better if programmers tweaked the UI just a little. As it is, I like it more than the Convoy (which I purchased and returned) but less than the enV3.
If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.
P.S. The reason I'm replacing my old phone is because the battery has gone to pot, and despite using 3 different new replacement batteries, I can't get more than about 1 day of standby time out of it. It also shuts down when it sees characters with accents making it impossible to receive text messages from some friends and colleagues.
UPDATE 3/18/2012: The OS on this phone is pretty buggy. It allows you to set custom sounds and ringtones as the primary alert and ring sounds, but often when the phone rings or makes its "alert" sound, it plays the default sounds. Additionally, you can only associate the built in tones and alerts with specific people. The menus will not allow you to select anything you've added to memory.
I've also found that it's very easy to accidentally touch the wrong "button" on the touch screen. I find myself frequently accidentally calling voice mail. Using the touch screen to send messages is problematic. The captive screen IS very sensitive, but it's still nowhere near as good as an iPhone. When I try to type quickly, letters often get missed, and I have to delete the word and start over. I always use the QWERTY keypad for texting now.
The only reason I am not giving this phone two stars is because it has done well with calls so far, which at the end of the day is primarily what a phone is supposed to do.
Good Basic Phone September 28, 2012
I didn't buy it from this seller--I bought it elsewhere for a couple of cents, in person.
(Beware! there is a $30.00 upgrading fee, regardless if its basic or web)
I wanted to give feedback to those who are having troubles with using it.
the camera is better used in REAL daylight and you can change the settings for the Saturation, Contrast, Brightness, Size, and whatever else you want to mess with. The icons appear at the side of the phone face when you're in camera mode. There are some knock off graphic "frames" you can play with for a joke and send to friends--I have done this to my cat and my mother which were HILARIOUS. ;)
Sound quality is GOOD. I wasn't really trying to focus on anything.
I haven't really used it to really record anything for any significance yet--so, I can't say much about it.
TOUCH SCREEN USE
The screen is able to slide from side to side when viewing pictures in "My Pictures"
The screen is able to slide from top to bottom when scrolling for contacts, pictures, sounds, ringtones, etc etc.
The screen is timed by the "Backlight Timer" within the "Display Settings" in the "Menu" area where it will shut off.
If you have found that your phone shuts off randomly, it doesn't really shut off. The phone goes to SLEEP after a couple of seconds. This is because you have the backlight timer to shut off in 45 seconds. If you set the backlight to be on longer, then it won't "Go to Sleep" like a computer monitor. To simply turn it back on, press the "lock" button on the right side of its face and wala! Its awake. :) That and it can also be that within "Settings"--in "Touch Settings" you have your phone set to "Auto Lock" and this will automatically lock your phone and go to sleep. You can turn this off and on and how you want to unlock your screen. I have mine set to "Lock Key Only" and "Auto Lock" ON.
If you have found that you touch things accidentally whether by your contact "favorites" on the main screen or anywhere else, then go to the "Menu" and go to "Display Settings"--change the menu options you have for your main screen. You can Position Menu Items - Replace Menu Items - Change Menu Layout - Reset Menu Settings.
And when you're setting your "Favorites"--make sure you put them on "Always Ask"--always ask meaning that when you click on them, it shows you icons if you want to call - text - view details for your contact. This limits accidentally calling someone.
MEMORY CARD USE
I did have a bit of a tiff at first with my memory card but that's because I had mp3 songs on it that ate up all the memory and lost my pictures I had on it--my fault. LOL But anyway--YOU CAN use the USD card! Go to "Menu" and then go to "Settings"--scroll down and go to "Card Memory"--scroll down and "Move All to Phone"--if you want to move whatever you have saved on your card to the phone. Beware! I don't suggest moving everything on your Samsung Brightside onto the memory card unless your planning on upgrading your phone or getting rid of it. Transferring all memory from the phone onto the card will erase all information on the phone. However, if you just want keep your pictures saved or moved onto the memory card, that's fine. If you do accidentally do this and aren't replacing the phone, just go back to the settings and "Move All to Phone"--this will send everything back onto your phone. Your main screen wallpaper will need to be re-set if it isn't set as a default picture from the phone. You will also have to re-set your "Groups" if you grouped your contacts into categories from friends - business - family, etc etc. Possibly their custom tunes and tones for messaging and calling too? So be careful.
KEY PAD (KEYBOARD) BEEP NOISE
I HATE the beep beep beep! rofl < . < Anyway--Go to "Sound Settings"--scroll to "Touch & Keypad Volume" and turn it "OFF"
This will save a lot of headache for those who do not like beeping all day when using their phones--and so they don't have to turn off their sounds and miss a call or miss a text, etc etc.
You can also turn off the sound when turning your phone on or off in the same place--its on bottom of those settings.
SETTING CUSTOM SOUNDS TO TEXT - VIDEO - CALLING
You can custom set sounds and ringtones to contacts. (I don't know why people are having a problem with this?) All my contacts are set to different tunes and tones--that way I know whose bugging me. LOL jk But it's not that hard. When you add a "New Contact"--you can just simply setup easily that way. I am able to use whatever I want, especially the sounds or songs I moved to my phone from the memory card!
Go to "Settings"--scroll to "Memory"--then scroll to "Phone Memory"--all memory that you moved onto your phone from your card memory will all be located on here, especially the default stuff. I haven't found an easier way to go to "My Sounds" or anything, so I stick to using this method. This may help those who think they can't use or find their downloaded or saved sounds, music, pictures, videos, and contacts.
I have found that it shows "Call back number # xxx-xxx-xxx"--displaying your phone number CONSTANTLY on all messages--I found this annoying. So, therefore--go into "New Message" icon--click on "More"--scroll down the menu to "Callback #" and click off. Wala! It's off and your not annoyed anymore. You can also set your signature, messaging font size, emergency alerts, delivery receipts and how you view messages and multimedia messages and Inbox View and your Entry Mode. "T9 MODE" is where you press letters and it sets up the word for you. You can turn this off and on when you are in the middle of texting and whatever.
LOCK YOUR PHONE
You can lock your phone, if you don't want nibby noses getting into your personal business. Go to "Settings"--scroll to "Phone Settings"--then go to "Security". At first it tells you that your security code tells you what it is to get into it. Then from there, you can change the pre-made code to what you like. I have mine setup to lock-out on start up, which is the only feature for it. But if you want to "Lock Your Phone Now" that's there too, so once you press "Lock Now"--it's locked "now". Don't enter your code unless you want to get back into it, then you'd have to go back in and do "Lock Phone Now."
I am going to stop here. If you go through settings and go to each specific option in either or, you'll find that you can set your phone how you want it. Call settings are in there to, where you want to set it to either Slide Open to Answer ( I don't recommend this) - Any Key to Answer (I don't recommend this) - Auto Answer with Handsfree (I don't recommend this) - Auto Retry (I don't recommend this) - TTY Mode - Voice Privacy - Select Port: BLUETOOTH - Port Speed - DTMF Tones - Assisted Dialing (I have this off).
I have had my phone for a couple of days now? Mine doesn't freeze. The USB charger is fine and works beautifully. My battery is not short and nor does it die often or daily for that matter--this is probably because I have my phone to fall asleep within 45 seconds timer set for my backlight and I don't turn it off and on like a mad person. Texting is fast and easy! The keys are small--all smartphones are like that--the keyboard will be comfortable for those who are a bit touchy-touchy and oopsah-daisy!
I imagine the battery life is drained for smartphone users who have the "WEB" on their phone. I also imagine that your battery life will get cut down even more when you set your backlight to last longer to keep it from going to sleep on you when you're not using it after 30-45 seconds. For those who don't want to scream at paying so much for this phone--do your research, I did. I got it for .96cents. And I love my phone, even if there are only two color main menu settings. :)
And the only thing I found disappointing is that there are no more "GRAPHICS" (fun little icons to add to your text messages) to add to messages. You can only "Attach" pictures, videos, sounds, recorded sounds, name cards--Add Subjects, Insert Quick Text and Priority levels. Recorded sounds are when you record a sound right that second or minute and send it as is. XD I think I'll have some fun with this.
IMPORTANT LAST BIT OF ADVICE
Lastly, if you worry you might butt dial someone--REMEMBER TO SET YOUR PHONE TO ONLY UNLOCK BY THE "LOCK KEY" WHEN THE SCREEN GOES TO SLEEP! Even if you receive a phone call or a text message or video message it won't open or go through unless you "Drag across the screen to unlock." THE LOCK KEY is the most important thing on your phone. Keep it on and keep using it! When you set your phone to only unlock by the "Lock Key"--no other keys can turn your phone on from sleeping unless you slide your phone open to the keyboard, that will automatically unlock your phone.
If you don't like that your phone auto answers or whatever--go to "Settings"--scroll to "Call Settings"--and whatever setting options within "Settings" and turn them off and on how you want it. I mentioned before under "TOUCH SCREEN USE" that you can limit this by turning off the any key answering and whatever. Good Luck!
*EDIT: NEW INFO. 10/12/2012*
Verizon has so lovingly added a "Daily Scoop" prompt. It will interrupt you or wake up your phone to tell you new news on phones or whatever. It gets old and annoying. But it only lasts a week (It tells you the first time it starts to do it). If you want news from Verizon then go ahead and subscribe or whatever (It may cost you?). I didn't, though. Just keep clicking "Dismiss" when it shows it to you and it'll stop completely after a week.
I have found that there is a thing called "Phone Search" after fiddling with my phone some more. Go to "Menu"--click on "Tools"--scroll to "Phone Search." Here you will be able to type in one word or more to find what you're looking for if you cannot find anything that I have told you. For example, I typed in 'Sounds' and pressed 'Done'--it found "Sound Settings" and "My Sounds" for me. This may or may not take longer to find things if you are a fast touch screen user. This will find anything that is on your phone that you're searching for!
DRAFT OVERLOAD PROBLEMS?
I have found that if you are not fast enough to send a message that you're typing out, it'll be interrupted as usual (like on other phones) and be sent to "Drafts." The problem I have found is that if you keep getting repeatedly interrupted while texting and all your messages keep being sent to "Drafts"--it'll annoy your phone and it's memory. When you're in 'messaging', click on "More"--then click on "Draft". All your draft messages are located here. Click on "More" again and
'Erase' ALL of your drafts. Your phone will get mad and say that your messages are full and blah blah when you go back into "Messaging." Just get out of there after you erase your 'Drafts'. Shut your phone off for a couple of seconds and then turn it back on. Once you go back into "Messaging" it won't show that "Your messages is full" prompt. It doesn't happen often. I have only happened to me once (Since the person I was texting is monsterly faster than me, lol). So, I thought I'd share.
Solid Phone! March 12, 2012
I have been keeping my eye out for any new basic phones coming out for Verizon, and as soon as I saw this phone had been released I immediately ordered it. Coming from an LG Cosmos, this phone is a huge upgrade!!! It reminds me of my friend's Samsung Reality, which I think is a stylish phone.
So onto the actual review, after having this phone for about a week,I have found it to be quite good. The touch screen is very responsive, which compared to older touch screen basic phones is a huge improvement! At first I was afraid I would not like having a home screen, in the same sense of having a wallpaper when the phone is unlocked. But after using for the phone for a while, it makes sense to take out that one extra level a user has to navigate through to get to the things that really matter. The camera is nothing fancy, but for spontaneous picture moments it will do the job.
I found the phone to be a little slick to the touch and was afraid of dropping it, so I purchased a case from Verizon, which adds bulk, but gives the phone a very solid feel and nice weight.
So on to the negatives... So far there is only one major problem I have found with this phone. This may just be an issue with my individual phone, though it seems unlikely. It seems to be a software issue. When using the T9 feature while texting with out the keyboard, the phone will stop taking input. Then when I select the option to view possible words and select one, it prints what we in the computer science world call "garbage". Just a bunch of nonsense characters. The phone then proceeds to reboot. Now this is more of an inconvenience, since most major texting I'll be using the keyboard. But since the feature is provided, it should work!!! Sometimes I am multitasking and do not have 2 hands free to use the keyboard (which is nice by the way).
Anyway that is all I have, I will provide updates if I find any major faults or awesomeness with this phone. If anyone else has the same issue while using T9 please let me know I am not alone! Otherwise I will probably try to replace the phone.
A Great Phone!! June 4, 2012
This really is a perfect phone for me! I cannot figure out where all these negative reviews came from. The touch screen is perfectly responsive, and I like using both the slide out keyboard as well as the onscreen entry. You can set it to stay at a T9 entry mode and it is easy to select the particular letters you need. It is really nice to be able to customize the buttons on the main screen, and the camera is great! Nice clear pictures with good color. The lock button is really nice--I haven't had any issues of having the phone pocket dial anyone; once it is locked, it stays locked for me. I love this phone! No problems whatsoever with this phone.
Very Pleased March 26, 2012
Reviewer: kt "kt" (PA USA) -
Was looking for a phone that didn't need the $30/month data plan and was really struggling to find something decent. I was excited to try the Brightside but concerned about some of the negative reviews. Most of those negative reviews compared it to a smartphone...it is not a smartphone. But, I think it is probably the best feature phone available at this point. Very comfortable texting, good call quality, battery life seems reasonable, touch screen responds nicely, 3.2mp camera (though it is quite slow to record image on my class 2 micro sd card...I just ordered a Class 10 card and hopefully that will take care of that issue), can add e-mail/data for $10/month. I am very pleased and would purchase again.
(Update: Class 10 card helps a lot ... time went from nearly 30 seconds per photo with my class 2 micro sd card to 1-2 seconds with the class 10 card!).
Very nice! April 1, 2012
Reviewer: Geek Noob (USA) -
We love this phone! We upgraded from Samsung Intensity's. Verizon was gonna let us have this phone for $99 each. We had a $30 loyalty discount so one would've been discounted to $69. Amazon hooked us up with a pair of 'em for just two pennies. That's a savings of $167.98! Oh, and I had no idea, but they threw in two car chargers as well, for nothing! That'd have been at least another $20 from Verizon, I'm sure. So for us, this is great. We've never paid for a phone, unless there was a 100% rebate. Now I'm out 2 cents, but I'll manage somehow!
As for the phone, it's a nice upgrade from the Intensity. It has the look and feel of a smartphone, but we don't subscribe to data plans, so no cost for that. But it does have some browsing and FB apps if you want a data plan for those features. We just make phone calls and text, so I can't say much for apps.
The phone is responsive to touch, the only lag being going into apps, which we don't bother with. We are fans of the slide out keyboard. This one is slightly better than what the Intensity had. The grid menu can be replaced with shortcuts, which we have done. That shows a favorite contacts bar at the bottom, which is nice. We can easily get to what we need, which is mostly contacts. The contacts search is quick too, with a smart index tab slider. The display turns off when held to your ear and it reactivates when pulled away. There's an auto dim feature that I like, so I don't get a flashlight in my face at night.
Battery life seems pretty good. I have no scientific measurements, but we can chat and text a lot in a day and still have battery left when I get home. It seems to have good standby, even though it connects to our home phone system using bluetooth, which I thought it might drain it quickly. Having a charger at home and in the car guarantees we can pretty much chat w/o worry. A spare can be dropped in place in about 10 seconds, just like on the Intensity.
The only downside is the lack of colors. The shell is black - no other colors. My wife likes colors; I like black. We have ways to fix that for her though; skins, stickers, krylon, etc. The themes are slim, offering only green or orange. Why there's no array of colors to choose from, I dunno, but it's not a biggie for us. The lockscreen has a wallpaper feature.
I'd get it again given a choice of anything else that's free. (of course, free means I extend my contract another 2 yrs)
What You Need To Know: April 1, 2012
Samsung has been on a roll in recent years with their Galaxy line of Smartphones and tablets and now they have a really nice basic phone option for value conscious buyers. Here is what you need to know:
+3.1 inch touch screen - something that so many basic phones don't have.
+Slide out keyboard - not a "real" QWERTY like the Droid 4, but a very nice one and great for texting.
+Software that let's you share to social media with a single touch - a vast improvement over other basic phones!
+3.2 MP camera - low res compared to the 8 MP Smartphones out there, but top notch for basic phones. Can also capture video but it is low res.
+Expandable memory up to 32 GB SD - nice for picture takers, but a 4 GB is more than enough for a basic phone. Comes with 256 MB flash and 128 MB RAM.
+Opera Mini browser - so much better than the standard BREW / Verizon browser on basic phones. Closer to the real thing.
+Audio player plays MP3, AAC, AAC+, M4A, WMA and other types of audio files - if you want an inexpensive player this is a good one. With the expandable memory up to 32 GB, you can play a ton of music here without the iPod price.
+EVDO 3G radio (with CDMA 1x RTT backup) means pretty good speed for browsing and downloading (has access to VCAST/ Verizon Apps, including VZNavigator). It isn't 4G but 4G would be wasted on this phone anyway.
Bottom line: the price is right - this is a very smart priced full feature basic phone - and the features are more than enough for a basic phone. It fills the niche of Smartphone-like basic phone desiring owners. I like it.
It has been weighed, it has been measured, and it has been found... wanting. October 15, 2012
I hate this phone. It is a cruel, cruel world that selected this phone to be the replacement for my old beloved EnV 3. I recieved this phone from Asurion after my LG suffered technical malfunctions. Initially, I enjoyed the icons and the touch screen. I felt that the touchscreen functioned much like the Droid in a basic phone property. The icons are useful to some extent, although I'm not sure who needs their social media, e-mail, and various other apps on a basic phone lacking a data plan. I was also mildly disappointed in my color options being either orange or green. Regardless, I was pretty thrilled for several days, until I actually started using the thing.
Currently, this is the list of things that drive me crazy:
* Calls my voicemail several times a day from the "lock" screen, while in my pocket.
* Calls my voicemail after sending a text message.
* Calls other people at random (I'm sure I accidentally touched something, I'm just not sure what, exactly).
* Holding the thing up to my ear during a call is interpreted as hitting "End Call". Thus far, I have yet to complete a call.
* In the event you have to use the keypad for any reason during a phone all (say, to activate said phone) you will be up a creek. Way, way up a creek. It forced me to reset my voicemail password after I failed to use the keypad properly. I have been through 3 phone with the same password, and this is the first time I've ever had issues accessing my voicemail.
* When opening phone to use keyboard, it is likely you will either take a picture, or drop phone while attempting not to take a picture.
* Takes pictures while attempting to send text messages. Deletes text message.
* Erases entire conversations while unlocking "lock" screen.
* Occasionally reverts to second to last person I texted when hitting "reply" rather than the person I was replying to. Uncomfortable.
* Occasionally shuts off after sending text message.
* Occasionally shuts off from lock screen.
* My god, this thing loves taking pictures. I delete pictures of the inside of my pocket daily.
I'm waiting to hear back from Verizon about the possibility of sending me another phone, or a brick that is both more intuitive and more satisfying when I feel like smashing my head against something every time I fail to complete a call or a text. My second option is to replace my beloved EnV3 via Ebay.
Best Non-Smart Phone For Verizon - Very Good MP3 player May 30, 2012
You can read my review of the phone below, but I am editing this review to warn customers of Verizon Wireless's customer service change regarding roaming. They used to be easy to deal with if any billing or technical issues arose. Now, if your phone roams for any reason, even if you are in your home coverage area, they will tell you it is your problem and to set your phone to home even if it will not be able to make or receive calls. In this particular case, my Daughter's older LG phone would roam in the exact same spot that my Samsung Brightside did not roam, so I considered it an issue with their towers/network. I wasted hours on the phone with customer support and technical support regarding the issue. It happened once a year ago and it was a two minute phone call to get it resolved. This time, I had to escalate the issue to the executive offices of Verizon Wireless to get my issue resolved, and they noted during the call that future roaming charges would not be credited. So beware of roaming with Verizon Wireless, you are not likely get the roaming charges removed.
I was not sure how I would like this phone when I ordered it(I looked at it briefly in the Verizon store), but it beat all my expectations. The speakerphone works great, and the MP3 player is a pretty good copy of my ipod touch and the contacts menus are a pretty good copy of an iphone. It looks like a smartphone and the large touchscreen plus a very good slide out keyboard are great features to have. No regrets about this purchase, and amazon's one cent price can't be beat. There will still be a $35 activation fee, the same as everywhere else. I had a Blackberry from my previous job and liked the Blackberry holsters so I ordered one for $4.16 from Amazon and this phone fit perfectly in OEM BLACKBERRY SWIVEL HOLSTER CASE FOR BLACKBERRY TOUR 9630 9650 CURVE 8310 8300 8320 8330.
I read some reviews about viewing angle issues or hard to see the display in bright light, I disagree with those comments. I will agree that the screen is a bit sensitive to accidental touches, and the scan forward feature of the MP3 player is actually hard to hit the correct spot that senses your finger, but these are minor issues that go away with a little practice.
If you want to only make calls, I would recommend having Verizon block out all the data features, it is easy to accidentally open a menu for email, web or apps that ask if you want to activate(extra charge)the service. If you block these features through Verizon, you won't have to worry about accidentally hitting a wrong button(or your kids hitting them).
The only feature I wish it had was wifi, like the iphone has, but they want to sell you a data plan. Therefore, I will still have to use my ipod touch to access the web via wifi from a handheld device.
Brightside is meh July 6, 2012
This phone was an option for an upgrade for the Verizon family plan for 100 dollars. It is not worth 100 dollars. Unless you for some reason, desperately want a touch screen, it really isn't worth 100 dollars.
1) The touch screen works well enough but it's almost oversensitive. When I talk using it, it will assume I pressed a button when I hold it against my cheek.
If I put the phone down, it will say I pressed some section of the screen, most frequently voicemail, which it will start dialing immediately.
2) Comes preinstalled with bloatware.
3) Bloatware comes with advertising. The City ID app had a full screen ad telling me to subscribe to a monthly service. This was fixable as I could uninstall it. The VZ navigator app, however, is not fixable. IT WILL LOUDLY TELL YOU ABOUT ITS MANY CAPABILITIES EVEN WHEN THE PHONE IS MUTED. It, along with several other apps, is locked and uninstallable.
4) The font on the phone has two options: Large and very large. There is no small font. You end up with a large screen displaying very little of a text.
1) Has 3G. If you want 3G but don't want to pay for the smartphone data plans, get this. There's still a data plan fee but it's a good deal smaller.
2) The pull out keyboard is fairly well sized. It isn't too large so it isn't awkward to hold. The keys are well spaced so you won't end up pressing the wrong button often.
3) It's camera is decent. Not anything to write home about but if you forgot your camera and you see something unforgettable, it's there.
4) It is expandable by SD card. Considering it's limited memory, this is almost necessary. The slot is hidden from view, located underneath the back of the phone, along with the battery.
All in all: It's a decent phone. It's just not worth 100 dollars.
Buyer's Remorse June 14, 2012
Reviewer: Neil Shurley "thatneilguy" (Greenville, SC USA) -
We are so disappointed with this.
As noted in other reviews, the touch screen is ridiculously sensitive, opening apps and even answering a call before you've even got hold of the phone. The side buttons can get accidentally touched and, again, you've answered a call or changed settings before you even know it's happened. We've had terrible echo issues, especially when calling another Brightside phone. And the phone has a terrible tendency to just hang itself up in the middle of a call - and this when it's being used through a car's bluetooth system, so it's not even being touched. The answer buttons are not intuitive at all, so after 4 months I still can't always remember which button to push to answer a call, so I end up hanging up on the call before I've even answered it.
Summary: not recommended. Pick a different phone. I can't believe I'm going to be stuck with this for another 20+ months because of my lovely Verizon contract. Ugh.
UPDATE January 2013.
Still really dislike the phone. The echo problem has mostly gone away, but not always. It still turns off at random times and drops calls and is ridiculously sensitive, unlocking itself when you're unaware of it and it starts dialing.
Terrible phone January 21, 2013
Reviewer: HandyT (Denver, CO) -
I have been using the flip phones forever but thought I would try a touch screen to get the functions of a smart phone without having to pay for a data plan. Bad idea- at least with this phone. This phone is the worst. Avoid this phone. The touch screen is awful and I hangup on almost every person that calls me. Slow response, not enough settings to try and get the phone to be useful. I am switching back to my old Motorola flip phone after trying to use the Brightside for 6 months.
Look on the BRIGHTSIDE of not having a data plan & smart phone April 5, 2012
Reviewer: David P. Castellani "Casty" (Hyde Park, NY) -
What's Real Good:
-Uber responsive crystal-clear touchscreen, surprisingly quicker than my LG Dare. Near iPhone, Droid response but not quite the processing power obviously. Tackles the touch-screen job and does it well.
-Probably best in class for a feature phone on the Verizon plan.
-Intuitive Menu system with simple yet useful shortcuts that is well laid out allowing quick, unobtrusive access without any hiccups
-Very affordable if you are willing to depart ways from 2 gnarly cents. Upgrade here on Amazon and save $50. Either way, on amazon or Verizon, upgrading means signing another 2 year contract. Might as well buy here on Amazon.
-Amazing slide-out full size QWERTY keyboard makes for a speedy "quick triggers" texter. Slide-outs are usually dinky and conducive to fat-fingering. No worries here as the keyboard is a decent size compared to ideal flip-phone "texter" QWERTY's without being overly large and clunky. I came off the LG Dare with exclusive touch-screen QWERTY and was anticipating the transition to come with somewhat of a daunting learning curve. Pleasantly surprised this is not the case. I am one happy texting machine.
-Closest you can come to a smart phone without signing away on a 2 year ($30+ a month data-plan)
-Great supplement if you already have an iOS device (such as a iTouch) or you sit in front an office computer all day for apps, internet etc
-USB interface is easy to use making for nearly seamless media downloads/uploads.
-Setup was a breeze, both with activating the line and initial customization
-Comes equipped with Verizon's Backup Assistant for initial setup of backing up your contacts or transferring from your previous phone. This is a great utility that connects seamlessly to the Verizon hub for ensuring contacts/phone backup protection. Setup was a cakewalk. Great feature on the phone and from Verizon!
-Packed with Blue-tooth that offers decent functionality and be synced with most devices
-Apps and apps-store are pretty much useless. Basic games do the trick but do not remotely compare to the Apple or DROID app store. If this what you are after, look elsewhere.
-Smart Phone-esque WITHOUT Wireless capability. Sad really because it seems like such a simple feature these days. It would have made a nice added touch however browsing on this phone wouldn't be the most ideal despite it coming with a decent browser anyway.
-Very limited customizable options. Little to none customization display options make the phone lack personalization ie go nuts with the 2 colors to choose from for the Menu (to flash my spunky personality, I went with Orange instead of Green, if only I had the same options for my Prom suit) and a whopping 5 maniacal fonts each sporting Normal or Large size variety (Grande or Venti?). Furthermore, the Full or Short-cut Menu are always on the fore-front rendering the Wallpaper pointless except when on the locked time-display screen.
-Turning the phone sideways without the slide-out doesn't offer a touch-screen QWERTY. Somewhat disappointed with this as it would have been easy to accomplish and made for on-the-fly texting. My LG Dare had this and I miss it. The suave slide-out, full-size QWERTY somewhat makes up for it though.
Very underated April 28, 2012
Reviewer: V. Reddy
This phone deserves 5 stars
Very underated by many, simply because they expect Iphone in a basic phone,
This phone saves $360 a year on verizon's data plan @ $30/month
Phone is very user friendly and good for someone who needs saving every month w/o the data plan
Ordered online w/o even testing in store, more than satisfied with the performance
Compare Apples to Apples March 28, 2013
Reviewer: Charles McDougal
I was almost dissuaded from purchasing this phone by the bad reviews but my Intensity II is pretty beat up so I took a chance. If I were used to a smart phone I would probably not be satisfied with this phone, however for someone who has used the Samsung Intensity II for a couple of years I couldn't be happier. It is what I was looking for. Touch screen is responsive and it is plenty fast. I don't go online or check e-mail with my phone (have a tablet or desktop for that) and just want a phone. Like most things if one actually reads the manual it clears up any "problems" that one might be having that are a result of being unfamiliar with the device.
If you just want a basic phone with some conveniences don't be afraid to buy this phone. If you want a premier phone then pay the premier price with the data plan and enjoy........
Affordable, smooth, cute, and a smart selection for a phone. November 11, 2012
Still have my Brightside and yes it is still great and performing well! Getting ready to upgrade another family member to the Brightside. I am glad that I am being true to myself and household. So several months later and yes I am still happy with the Brightside. It really is a great choice.
I needed a new phone. I have been looking for a good basic phone for myself (adult) mother of more than four children and wife. I really really wanted a smart phone and while shopping for a new phone became so tempted to go with a smart phone because right now Verizon is giving away the I phone 4 for free plus $30.00 data package. The Samson Galaxy Steller is also going for $50.00 plus $30.00 data package and 2 year contract.
I was so close to signing up for one of the smart phones. But then I had to remember to be true to myself, live below our means, Live like no one else so that later we can live like no one else. With that said. We have a total of five phones on a family plan and we do not go over our minutes. My husband has a Droid, and the way for our family to all have a phone we have to make sure the rest of us stick to the basic phones so that our monthly bill remains below $200.00 after taxes. While going over my options, I stayed true to myself and purchased this phone for a penny and our bill will only increase by ten dollars a month. We can all still have phones and afford to pay the phone bill.
The Bright side is a very nice phone. I am very happy with this phone. This phone has a lot to offer and is user friendly. I read though the reviews on Amazon and other websites. I also watched Youtube reviews of this phone before I made my selection.
I went with this phone because I did not want an additional data package at thirty dollars which means an additional $360 a year. The only reason my husband has a smart phone is because of the type of job he has. Other than that he would also have a bright side phone.
So far no problems with this phone, I was Leary of the phone because of all the bad reviews. So I did my research and even went by Verizon so that I could touch and see the phone in person. Once I saw the phone and held the phone in my hands I knew I had to have the bright side, I knew that phone would work for me. I also went over all the other options of getting a smart phone and the cost. I could not justify my WANT for a smart phone at this time. I try my best to plan ahead before leaving the house and don't need internet on the go at this time. I have all the places that I frequent in my contact list so that I can call ahead if needed. If I need movie times, I can call ahead or check the internet at home before I leave. If I needed to go out to eat I have the places I like to eat in my contacts so I can call them if needed.
If I needed to price match something, I shop around before hand and can go to the store and make the price match. Some stores will look up the item on the internet anyway so that they can price match the item. We receive the newspaper so I can take the ad to the store with me.
So at this time for our household the bright side was the right choice for our household. Our children like the bright side as well. I could not have asked for a better phone. I switched to the Bright side from my Env 3, which I so liked.
The bright side has a bigger screen, key pad, nice ring tones, very nice speaker phone, very clear voice during conversation. All I really need a phone for is to make calls and text. I am not into all the games, social media, etc. I check email before I leave and once I return home. If anyone really needs me they will call or text instead of sending an email. I don't need to check any social media during the day.
We have cut down on so many cost, including cable, no need for cable, we use Roku, Revue (Google TV ) to stream Netflix. We receive over 60 local channels though our digital box and Mohu Antenna. Items purchased here on Amazon. We have a richer life and can watch T.V. when we want and talk on the Cell phones at an affordable price. We also only pay $29.00 a year for our home phone. We use Nettalk for our home service.
So with that said, be true to yourself, for us everyone in our house hold does not need a smart phone, sure we all want one. But we must love people and not things. We have to be wise stewards and then we can live like no one else.
Also when I purchased this phone, there was a lady next to me purchasing smart phones, her total was $773.00 at first and then the more she purchased her final total was over a thousand dollars for phones and accessories.. You know the sales person that was helping me checked me out at a different location in the store because they had a line and of course they did not want anyone to see the amount of my bill which was a penny.
I walked out proud and was able to show our children, to buy what you need not what you want. To not follow the herd, to have discipline when it comes to impulse shopping. I do not want to be sticker shocked later when the bill comes for cell phone service. We want to vacation, eat out when we want, (we eat at home more), we want to ensure we have money to maintain our garden, to go to the movies when we want to treat our selves out.
If you are looking for a great phone without the data package this phone is it! Also I was out with my mother who has an I phone, she needed to look something up and could not use her phone on the 3g wifi because everyone in the area had their wifi locked, you would need the password. So she had to switch over to an alternative way to use the internet on her phone and she told me that if she did not have the unlimited, it would cost so much to use the internet the alternative way. I also have a co worker who told me that she consistently has to pay for the overage, of her sons usage of the data package. So do the math for your household, do your research for your household and your spending plan. If you do not want to pay the data package this is a great alternative to the smart phone. If you have one data package in your household and want another phone that is nice, this is a nice option.
Enjoy your bright side, we sure are! Be good stewards, love people and not things!
I admit, I like it March 23, 2013
Reviewer: Murphy (USA) -
I am still not ready to pay 50 bucks or more a month for an iPhone and this was the next best thing.
In a case, it is pretty indestructible. I have dropped mine and had the back pop off and it come apart and yet, I snap it back together and it works like a charm.
You can personalize it much better than the older phones
I love the blue icon grid (used to just have green and orange and now has green and blue and the blue is AWESOME)
Holds quite a few pictures, videos and songs
You can customize the front grid so whatever you want is on there
I actually like the Qwerty keyboard. I am a big fan of those and they work very well for me. I know some people hate them but I am not one of them
Holds a charge for quite a long time
Sets multiple alarms (my last phone didn't do that but it was pretty old)
Great music sound
The loud ring is really loud and the vibrate is pretty strong so you do feel it
The notepad feature is pretty good. I use it a lot for my grocery list
I love the fact that you can set world times so that all you have to do is click the icon and it will take you to the time of the city you are looking for. I have friends or relatives in several cities around the world and I find myself using this more than I thought I would.
It is not as "cool" as the iPhone
It is easy to punch a button by accident (like your voicemail)and that is super annoying
The videos have to be put into another format to play on the Brightside and its a little annoying to put them on
The bluetooth settings are not very good and its very hard to get it to be compatible
It needs more fonts and needs a larger font for people who have difficulty seeing. The large font is not very large and the normal font is tiny
You cannot set the phone so that it locks after a few minutes. This was a great safety feature on other phones and this phone does not have it and I don't know why. If it is stolen, it can be used by the thief. The security features on the iPhone are much better than this phone and the older flip phones were much better than this phone.
The camera is awful. The pictures are dark and grainy. I have used it but it really is awful.
It only has two languages, English and Spanish. If you wanted Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Chinese etc....don't go with this phone, go with another phone.
Very hard to use it with voice prompts but it says it has those. It may be that bluetooth is very hard to set up and that is why.
All in all. I am happy with it but in a few years when only smartphones are offered, I will have to bite the bullet and I will get an iPhone and get one and I know it will be better than this one but for now, this one is ok and as I share a service plan...I only pay $15 a month and rarely go over my minutes.