Samsung Rogue Review| By Emily Anderson
Samsung's Rogue is a new touch screen device with a slide-out keyboard and a 3-megapixel camera with outstanding in-phone editing options. While it's not considered a true smartphone -- since it lacks a robust operating system like Android or Windows -- it can still keeping track of email accounts, instant messages and text and multimedia messages. Additional features include high-speed Internet and access to Verizon's services -- VCast Music with Rhapsody to download songs, VCast Video to watch clips and VZ Navigator for turn-by-turn navigation.
In addition, you can customize the device by adding "widgets" -- icons on the home screen, much like the iPhone -- for one-touch access to applications like Facebook. But the Rogue is a bit bulky, video quality isn't the best, and the widgets a lot to handle. However, if you're looking to stay connected and entertained, this phone is worth checking out.
While Samsung added stylish touches to the design, such as a black frame around the screen, silver on its edges and a gray, textured back side, the Rogue is a much thicker than it's cousin, the Impression. Still, it has the advantage of two ways to type -- on the 3.1-inch touch screen or the slide-out keyboard.
The touch screen -- made from AMOLED technology for brighter, more vivid images -- is not ideal for typing, but it is great for viewing. Turned off, the reflective face doubles as a mirror. On the back side houses the handset's 3-megapixel camera, flash and self-portrait mirror. The left side has volume keys and a USB and charger port, and the right side has buttons to launch the speakerphone, camera and voice recognition features.
The Rogue is hefty than traditional clamshells or sleek BlackBerry phones, but it's actually average-sized for a touch screen device that includes a keyboard. But the buttons on the front of the phone tend to beep (but not unlock the phone) when jostled in a hand bag, and only offers multi-tap typing -- but that's why the keyboard comes in handy. Out of the box, the Rogue comes with a battery, a USB and wall charger, a quick reference guide and a product safety and warranty guide.
A 3-megapixel camera takes decent shots and the Rogue's lens is no exception -- for bright, colorful, detailed photos. Other devices, such as the Casio Exilim's 5-megapixel lens, picks up more details, but the Rogue's camera does a good job with shadows reflections and light contrast. For the best results, use a steady hand.
The Rogue comes with a flash with numerous "pre-shot" options (single, multi-shot, panorama, mosaic or frame shooting), color filters (normal, black and white, antique, aqua or negative), photo quality settings (fine, normal or economy) brightness adjustment, white balance, metering and ISO and resolutions of 2,048-by-1,536 down to 320-by-240 pixels.
Once a photo is taken, you can add an effect (grayscale, sepia, green, blue, sketch, emboss, soft-glamorous, soft-elegant, soft-charismatic, spring sun, dawn, fright, cinema-normal, cinema-black and white or cinema-old), merge, rotate or flip, resize, adjust for weather or lighting conditions, copy and paste, save or trash the photo or view it in a slide show. You can also draw on the photo with a "pen," and select the color, thickness and shape of the item they want to place on the photo.
As a camcorder, you can turn the flash on or off for recording, adjust brightness, record in storage or sending size, have a timer, white balance, color effects, adjust quality and record in 176-by-144 pixel resolution. To edit videos, a "Video Wizard" splices and merges files into one video, adjusts volume, edits sound, trims, splits or copies video, inserts text or adds an effect (black and white, sepia, posturize, solarize, blur, sharpen, noise or emboss). Videos can be sent, saved, erased, viewed in a slide show or saved as a project.
While video quality is mediocre and photo quality is good, but not amazing, what really makes the Rogue a great device is the editing functions -- the ability to adjust, change and create new projects directly on the phone. In addition, the plethora of options is especially impressive and useful.
The Rogue runs on Samsung's TouchWiz interface for "drag and drop" controls much like what iPhone pioneered. A unique menu of "widgets" shows useful functions such as the clock, radio player, music player, and personal elements including photos and birthday reminders and shortcuts to games, apps and popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace Twitter and YouTube -- that you can "drag and drop" onto home screen. It really shines when it comes to diversions, from a simple roll of the digital dice to some serious video splicing software.
It also stores up to 1,000 contact names with a photo ID, email, address, work and mobile phone numbers, fax numbers, an IM screen name, and birthday, and can stay on standby for up to 300 hours and last up to 4.7 hours without a charge when in use.
Samsung uses AMOLED technology for improved and brighter images, while saving energy over traditional TFT technology. And the large 3.1-inch screen is plenty of room for games, videos and browsing without eye strain, but the display dims too quickly -- just after a few seconds of inactivity. In addition, a built-in accelerometer rotates the screen with the twist of the wrist -- just like the iPhone -- to navigate the menu and access setting and tools icons.
On the home menu, a side bar for "widgets" offers one-touch access to frequently used programs. The home screen can get confusing, as the icons can be moved -- on purpose or inadvertently -- off the side bar and clutter up the background. The plethora of widgets may seem convenient, but it's redundant -- since many of the items on the side bar are already on the menu.
The Rogue pumps out music from the speaker located on the back of the handset. When listening to tracks, one drawback is the speaker placement, which can be easily covered, suffocating the sound. The earpiece is also strong, but unfortunately, there isn't a traditional headphone jack -- only a USB port for proprietary headphones, sold separately.
Music can be played on shuffle, non-stop, or by playlist, artist, song, album or genre, while songs can be uploaded from a computer or downloaded for a price from VCast Music with Rhapsody. Meanwhile, the call quality is also clear with voices easily heard on both ends. Overall, the music capabilities are good, but listening to music through headphones requires an additional purchase.
The on-screen keypad is large, almost too large -- taking up space that could be used to see what's being typed. The "multi-tap" predictive text is also cumbersome, so you'll likely prefer to use the slide-out keyboard, which is easier to use than on-screen typing. Aside from seeing more of the screen, it has large buttons. But one drawback of the physical keyboard is its space bar, which is placed in an unconventional location -- in between the "V" and "B" keys on the bottom row.
Threaded text message keep track of conversations easily, similar to viewing a chat window -- again, like the iPhone. And the phone also includes instant messaging clients from AOL, Windows Live and Yahoo. Meanwhile, you can also check up to three email accounts at once -- a corporate email, a personal email and a mobile Web mail account. You can view email attachments from Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Notepad documents and even PDF files, as well as HTML, JPG, GIF, BMP and ASCII files -- but you can't edit them.
The Rogue also offers Visual Voice Mail, which takes spoken voice mail messages and turns them into word messages. You can call back instantly or reply in a text message. Text messages can even be sent to a landline.
The media center offers music, pictures, videos, ringtones, a Web browser, games and download opportunities. A few games come preloaded -- Dice, which is more of a two-second diversion than a game, Tetris, Need for Speed Undercover and a trial version of Resident Evil: Degeneration. Meanwhile, Verizon's Video service offers plenty of videos, but only clips. The streaming quality is far too pixilated, and the selection and streaming quality isn't as Sprint TV. But Verizon's game selection offers everything from new favorites to old classics.
The Internet is excellent, with an easy-to-use browser and fast Internet speeds. The Rogue runs on Verizon's Ev-Do Rev. A network for high-speed 3G speeds. You can browse Web pages in full view, with Flash support, for a better experience. In addition, popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace are available straight from the home menu. Lastly, the browser can bookmark pages and add favorites to the News Feed list, keep a history of sites visited, has a search feature and allows you to send a URL in a text message -- all services that make the browsing more enjoyable.
The Rogue comes with 42-megabytes of memory used and 470-megabytes available. About half of the memory is used on applications out of the box, while the other half is consumed by built-in photos, sounds and ringtones. With most of the 512-megabytes of memory free, there's lots of room to store photos, videos, music and new apps. With so many editing opportunities for photos and videos and the ability to download videos and music and upload a song library from a personal computer, that storage could fill up fast.
If you're looking to cram the handset with files, then a memory card, which is sold up to 16-gigabytes in size, is suggested. The Rogue has lots of room for storage, as it should -- there's a lot of room for add-ons with the phone's multimedia options.
The Rogue connects to any PC through its USB port, so you can sync with the computer to upload music libraries. It's also compatible with Bluetooth headsets (mono and stereo), hands-free control, the ability to push vCard and vCalendar items to other devices, basic printing and remote phone book access, file transfer, basic image control and wireless control via a serial port.
The phone keeps travelers connected with VZ Navigator, using GPS to offer spoken directions and reroutes in case of an accident or construction. It also tells you about points of interest, gas stations, restaurants and landmarks and sends directions to another Verizon phone.
The Rogue is a sleekly designed device with a brilliant AMOLED touch screen and large slide-out keyboard. The 3-megapixel camera offers many adjustment and editing options, including a unique ability to "draw" on pictures. And videos can be edited and packaged into a project, which is relatively rare for even the highest-end smartphones. Another plus is its high-speed Internet and Web browser, which renders HTML pages for desktop-like surfing.
Messaging also allows you to keep in touch with three email accounts and three IM -- attached documents can be read, but not edited. Unlike most smartphones, which run a robust operating system, the Rogue offers a watered-down substitute without many of the features. The camera takes good pictures, but records low-quality pixilated videos. And the home menu can get cluttered with icons. Trying to type on the on-screen keyboard is cumbersome -- with the physical keypad pretty much a necessity.
If you who need multiple ways to communicate -- through email, text and Internet -- the Rogue is a decent choice. It's also a well-suited if you're looking for a fun device with variety of entertainment features. But it's not recommended if you want a slim device with a clean interface. ♦
Categories: Fun | Messaging
Samsung Galaxy S4: More of the Same
Enjoy This Article? Get E-Mail Updates -- It's Free!
January 14, 2013
I must say this phone is good. It is my first touchscreen phone so I cant really compare it to anything anything. It is very durable and for me it has never frozen or shut off or reset.
the only thing I can think about that could be a con is that sometimes when I'm texting and if I wanna put a y it will skip over the letter. very sensitive at timesWas this review helpful to you?
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
September 09, 2009
My Rouge Review
I've only had the Rogue for a matter of hours so I haven't been able to explore all its features. This review will just cover the basics.
Starting with the anatomy of the phone: The right side of the phone houses the 3.5-millimeter headset jack (Thank you Samsung!), microSD card slot, Lock button, Camera Zoom In / Out button, and the Camera Shutter button. The bottom of the phone is where you'll find the Send, End and Home / Clear buttons.
On the left, there's a very skinny volume up / down buttons, which seem a little silly on a phone this size, and a USB charger port. The back of the phone has a nice texture which provides a good grip. Some may consider this phone a bit chunky, but I don't mind it at all. It's about the same size as the enV Touch.
The screen is large, bright, and very colorful. Images were sharp and text was very easy to read. On the bottom of the screen you have your Dialer, Contacts, Message and Menu buttons, and on the left side you have your Widgets bar where you can add / remove Widgets as you desire. You can show or hide the widget bar as well. There are widgets for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Games and so on.
The touch interface on this phone is very responsive and user-friendly. Menus change rapidly with a nice transition effect. If you scroll too far in a list, it bounces back to the last entry and emits a vibration to let you know you have reached the beginning or end of a list. You can customize the Touch Vibration level, Touch Sound (Beep, Glossy and Click) and Touch Sound Volume. The touch dialer buttons are large and well-spaced so misdials shouldn't be a problem. I know the lousy touch screen on the Glyde was one of the biggest complaints but worry not, this touch screen is very nice to use.
The call vibration should be strong enough to feel even in a heavy winter jacket. You can also select one of three different types of vibration pulses.
Next, I'll go over personalization. The phone comes with a nice selection of wallpapers and ringtones. You can also choose from a few different fonts and clock formats. You can set the backlight time for the screen and keyboard as well as set the Brightness to Manual or Auto. From what I can tell, there is only one theme for this phone.
I really like messaging on this phone. You can enter text from either the touch screen (not sure why you would) or the QWERTY keyboard. The buttons on the QWERTY keyboard are large and well-spaced and have a soft feel to them. Coming from a Blackberry Tour, it took me a while to readjust to this keyboard but it's great now. There's a dedicated "New Text Message" button, okay / send button, and an emoticons on the keyboard as well. There are also directional keys to help you move around the lines of your message.
I haven't had much use with the Camera, but the few pictures I did take came out pretty good. It's a 3-megapixel with flash and self-portrait mirror and also records video as well. I rarely use the camera on any of my phones so I don't have much to say about this. Call quality and mp3 audio were very good with plenty of depth and volume.
I guess that's all I have to report right now. If you don't mind a little extra bulk, this is a really nice upgrade to the Glyde.
I strongly suggest doing several test calls on this phone before leaving the Verizon store. I had to immediately return my first Rogue due to a buzz and hum in the earpiece. They gave me another one and it sounds fine. Not saying this is a universal problem with this phone, but just a heads-up.Was this review helpful to you?
94 out of 98 people found this review helpful.
December 05, 2012
ive been using this phone for about 4 years and I've never had to replace it or anything! its a great phone and its battery life can go on for days. plus, you can drop it from the top of a building and it wont break! love it!
the only thing was that it froze up a couple of times but you jst have to wait a minute or two (not that long).Was this review helpful to you?
0 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Write a review and share you thoughts.
blog comments powered by Disqus