Feedback on Behold2 please?


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  1. peekapoo

    peekapoo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I know it has only been a day, but how is it?

    I am looking to get this phone since I am using t-mobile.

    My main concern is battery life and speed of apps.
     

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  2. KDH

    KDH Member

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    Well I can't speak on the battery life (yet, I'll let you know tonight) but all the apps I've tried have run at good speed, though I do make sure all applications are closed when I finish using them so your results might differ if you don't. I haven't tried any 3D games/apps yet, but the GBA emulator I tried ran well, at least until it crashed on Golden Sun.
     
  3. marstodd

    marstodd Active Member

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    Battery should be ok because AMOLED screen uses much less power is a revolutionary new type of screen Samsung is first with. Samsung's engineering is fantastic.
    App speed depends on RAM as much as CPU and I'm trying to figure out if it's really hobbled by 200MB as compared to the motorolas. Since I want to read and browse the web more than anything else it might be OK for me, but if you want a lot of applications it might be a deal breaker.
     
  4. TaroPsyche

    TaroPsyche Active Member

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    The one thing that I kinda have an issue with after having the phone for a day is I don't like how the Samsung interface clashes with android. Its like they tried to take the original behold and stick android on top of it. Some of the features of android are hidden and the TouchWiz tray on the bottom is useless. It wastes my screen and I keep clicking on the app tray whenever I goto the market place. I love the phone, just not crazy about what Samsung did to the software. We'll just have to see if things get a little better. ^^;
     
  5. marstodd

    marstodd Active Member

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    How can features of Android be hidden? Isn't it either Android or not? I'd like to know how much free user ram you have. Are the Samsung features just widgets that can be turned off? (placed in trash?) Also is the screen really 3.2 inches, the actual display portion?
    Thanks
    Todd.
     
  6. tikiral

    tikiral Well-Known Member

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    Picked mine up yesterday. Didn't even realize that the tray at the bottom of the home screen was part of the TouchWiz system. I'd also probably remove it if given the ability, but alas, it looks to be staying put. The other Samsung thing is the Cube, but that only comes up if you specifically request it to via the Keypad or App, so that's completely out of the way.

    As for speed, I had read a lot of complaints before heading up to the store, and when the phone first turned out, it seemed sluggish, but then I got a message that the time/date had been updated, so I assume it was just still completing startup. Since then, everything seems to be working pretty snappy.
     
  7. TaroPsyche

    TaroPsyche Active Member

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    As to what I ment about features being hidden, the about box is gone, you can't install third-party keyboards and it just looks like the system menu is missing something. Another thing is that you can't uninstall the preloaded software aka the demo of dinner dash and telenav. The bottom part of the screen where the touchwiz dock is pointless and not customizable.
    As to your question about the screen, it is a 3.5 according to my measurements.
    I love the hardware side of the Behold 2, but as for the software side, id Really like to see an update that rests it to android with the Samsung stuff as turn on options.
     
  8. TaroPsyche

    TaroPsyche Active Member

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    Marstodd: I don't remember the amount before I started installing apps, however the phone claims 153mb max and I'm guessing I started with 64mb cause of all the apps I've installed.
     
  9. chaoscentral

    chaoscentral Well-Known Member

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    Access the phone's about menu by long pressing the Accept Call button and saying "Open Phone Status"

    And you can use 3rd party keyboards, I'm using Better Keyboard on mine, simple after you install your keyboard, open up a program like messaging or whatever you use for SMS, long press the box where you type your SMS and select choose input.
     
  10. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    This is my first post, and the Behold II is my first foray onto the Android scene--so brace yourself for a long post. I've been following Android devices...obsessively, I'll admit...for the better part of a year now. I was originally interested in the now-named MyTouch3G, but was quickly won over by the Samsung Galaxy with its beautiful AMOLED screen and flush tactile buttons.

    I'm a college kid stuck on my family's T-Mobile plan, and being with T-Mobile, I had to choose from the G1, MT3G, CLIQ, and Behold II. I wanted a slim candybar form factor, good build quality, capacitive screen, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and something better than the typical Qualcomm chipset. Unfortunately, all of T-Mobile's current Androids sport the Qualcomm relic, but I was still pretty set on the Behold II. This wasn't without its drawbacks: TouchWiz, Pricing, and Cupcake.

    Pricing: There are three people on our family plan with T-Mobile, and it cost us about 129.99/month for 1000 minutes and unlimited texts. If I bought the Behold II--using an upgrade--I would get the phone for $230, and have to pay $25/month for data. That's alotta dough. Instead, the three of us changed over to the Even More Plus plan with 1500 minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data on one (possibly up to two) devices for $110/month. The catch? I had to buy the phone for the unsubsidized price of $450--BUT, by doing this, we saved over $550 over two years when compared to simply adding this phone for $230/$25 to our current plan. So the pricing worked out for me.

    TouchWiz: There are some things I like--notification bar with WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth toggling, Music Player, Contacts Navigation, Camera Application--but the rest is pretty much bupkis. That cube...need I say more? Also, the color scheme is often ripped on for being stuck in the '80s with its black backgrounds and neon highlights, but I have a theory behind Samsung's reasoning (and this is only a theory): One of the ways that AMOLED screens are more energy efficient is simply because they do not actively display black as a color; the screen sections that appear as black are actually deactivated pixels--so could Samsung be trying to implement as much black as possible in order to bolster battery life?

    I bought this phone with the hope that a hackable exploit would be found. Because of the Android community, and because of the nature of being an open operating system, I think its safe to assume that we really shouldn't have to worry too much about what software comes loaded on our devices. Exploits will be found; phones will be hacked. Instead, worry about the hardware.

    As I said before, this phone is a near-replica of Europe's Samsung Galaxy (I7500), with the addition of a couple tweaks: TouchWiz, a dedicated Cube tactile key, and 320 megabytes of RAM. Basically, once hacked, the Behold II will have all the hardware perks of the Galaxy, but with 320 MB of RAM.

    ------------------------------IMPRESSIONS-----------------------------

    I love this phone. All the reviews I've read/watched have simply bashed the Behold II, but I see it differently. The overall build of the phone is great, with my only real criticism being that the glossy back cover makes it a tad slippery. The weighting is light, but not too light, heavy, but not too heavy--quite perfect, really. At first, I was worried about having all those buttons, but using them is a breeze. I love how they are flush against the device, unlike the MT3G, and that they are easy to push and not awkwardly shaped, unlike the CLIQ. The camera button juts out a bit, but it never gets in the way, and the camera is only activated if the button has been depressed for several seconds. The dedicated lock key is flush against the right side, and it works quite nicely. The screen is bright and brilliant and is much brighter than the iPhone/Pre. It's a very nice screen, and it provides great response and feedback overall.

    Of course, there is that whole TouchWiz awfulness--but, for the time being, I find that most of this can easily be swept under the rug by downloading a home replacement app--which will be remedied when a hack is available.

    The battery life so far has been very impressing. I have only had it for a couple days, but I have been using it NONSTOP--first Android, remember? A battery charge of just 35% lasted 3.5 hours of constant usage (texting, downloading, surfing, pictures, etc). This would imply 10'ish hours of battery life while under extreme usage conditions, which I find to be quite reasonable. To see how the numbers really stack up, I'll write back later with updates.

    I do apologize for the absurdly long post; the excitement's just getting the better of me. :)

    To sum up: 3.2" AMOLED screen, 320 MB RAM, beautiful tactile layout, great weight and build quality, remarkable camera and flash, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and is reasonably zippy/long-lasting despite TouchWiz and the Cube. The pricing is too high, but savings in buying this phone in conjunction with T-Mobile's new plans could help you justify the means.

    If you have any questions about the phone, please don't hesitate to ask!

    Murf
     
  11. rubi76

    rubi76 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I call a review, Murf.
    Thanks...

    Questions: did you try the Exchange program? Thoughts?
    How many e-mails did you set up on it?
    How is the keyboard? Some love it some hate it....
     
  12. fallenturtle

    fallenturtle Well-Known Member

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    I'm at my 22-month point starting Dec 1 and I've decided to take the android plunge. I've been eying the Galaxy/Behold II for a while now but once the poor reviews starting coming out I became concerned. Yesterday I decided to go to a T-Mobile store and check out the demo device and also a Cliq. I'm leaning towards the Behold II still because its a much nicer camera and also because I didn't find the physical keyboard any less difficult to use then the onscreen keyboard (I don't have particularly fat fingers, but I did mess up a lot... I hope that improves with use).

    My biggest concern though was the interface. The Behold felt a lot more sluggish, with a noticeable delay with switching between homescreens. I suppose if I got one, I would get an alternative home app, but my question is whether or not this will improve the speed? I assume since it just sits on top of TouchWiz that its just another process running all the time and using resources? I also found that sometimes it wouldn't read my finger swipes, but maybe that's because it was a demo model? I actually did a factory reset in the store, but that didn't help much.

    You guys with the Behold II... do you have much of a problem with a lagging and sometimes unresponsive interface?
     
  13. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    rubi76,

    I haven't had any experience with the Exchange program. As for the keyboard, since this is my first Android device, I haven't had much experience with alternatives. I downloaded "Speech to Text Keyboard," but this was just to see if it was at all viable for hands-free texting--and the verdict is still out on that one.

    As for Samsung's virtual keyboard, I think it's alright but definitely not great. The "a" and "del" keys are often crowded and hard to accurately press, but I find that this is decently compensated by Samsung's word-correction software. I like that Samsung's keyboard includes "." and "?" keys on the main (abc-formatted) qwerty, but I don't like that in order to use a comma, I have to navigate to the numbers/symbols keyboard. Since hitting the space bar twice triggers an automatic period, couldn't they just have replaced the period with a comma on the default layout? That's probably my biggest beef with it, but hey, there are tons of self-described "better" keyboards out there, so I'm sure if this isn't the keyboard for you, you can download one that is.

    Keyboard overall verdict: "Shrug, Meh, It's Fine"--Not terrible, not great--Dictionary does a decent job--Some questionable layout decisions

    Exchange: Haven't tried it

    E-mail set-up: I have all my e-mail forwarded to my gmail account, which is then forwarded to my Outlook account on my PC, so it ended up working quite nicely for this phone as all my e-mail already streams through gmail.

    Hope this helps--if not, let me know!

    Murf
     
  14. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    fallenturtle,

    First--awesome name. Second, I was similarly concerned when I was looking to buy a new phone. For me, the physical keyboard of the CLIQ just made it too fat, and I didn't like the fact that I felt a decent amount of "play" in the device when I twisted the two halves and so on. But I did want a 3.5 mm headphone jack, so the MT3G was out of the running.

    When I used the in-store demo, I certainly wasn't jumping for joy. The TouchWiz home screen animations took more time to load and were a let down. I mentioned it in my previous post, and I actually read it from somewhere in these forums, that I do not think that we should worry about software issues. This is a very healthy tweaking community, and I think that the skills and talents are available to the point where whatever we want, because it's an open os, we can get. TouchWiz does suck, but there will be full-on fixes for that in the near future. These fixes will help realize the true speed of the device, by utilizing its 320 MB of RAM correctly and by leaving out the garrishly slow TouchWizisms.

    --Steps down from soapbox--

    Until that day comes, we are stuck with TouchWiz. BUT, by simply replacing the home screen (via Open Home, etc), the home screens are much faster and smoother. For me, this was enough of an increase--to the point where I do not notice a speed advantage on the CLIQ or MT3G.

    In short: Yes, TouchWiz sucks, but this will be remedied in the future by those with the talents and know-how to do so. For me, the Open Home switch has made this device wonderful, and I can't wait to see how much faster it goes with a full-on "hack job." If I were you, I'd sweat the software stuff and consider the hardware:

    AMOLED + 3.5 mm headphone jack + 320 MB RAM = EPIC


    Murf
     
  15. fallenturtle

    fallenturtle Well-Known Member

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    Murf,

    Thanks. :)

    I'm hoping that this phone will get eventually modded... I was checking out this forum/thread: [Tutorial] for rooting the Samsung Behold2 - xda-developers which made me skeptical to successful modding of this phone, but then again, the nitty gritty of hacking an android device is over my head.

    Ultimately, I will probably end up getting this phone though.
     
  16. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    fallenturtle,

    I've seen that link, as well as others, that say how difficult Samsung's set-up is to hack. It's all pretty locked and secure, but I still have hope. After all, it's a challenge, and I have a feeling that the modders and hackers out there are going to start itching over how to crack this code...and voila! Cracked! Finito! And then we can all indulge in victory dances. Besides, if this is the way that phone security is going, the hackers will need to best it before moving on to newer hardware. It will happen--I have faith.

    If you do (or don't) end up getting the Behold II, let me know what your thoughts are. For me, I simply added Open Home with the gChrome skin and I was good to go--although I am still shopping around for a "better" keyboard.

    Murf
     
  17. chaoscentral

    chaoscentral Well-Known Member

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  18. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    chaoscentral,

    I tried to download the HTC_IME.apk directly to my phone, but it wouldn't allow it. I downloaded it to my PC, but I am not sure what to do with it. Do I have to transfer it to any specific directory?

    Thanks,

    Murf
     
  19. chaoscentral

    chaoscentral Well-Known Member

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    just download it to your PC, connect phone, mount SD card to PC, place in root, unmount SD card, then use a program like ASTRO file manager(on market) and browse to SD card and install apk from there.

    after that it's a matter of changing the on screen keyboard
    Settings>Language & Keypad(or Local & Text on original menu)>Touch Input - make sure it's checked

    open a new SMS, long press the box where you type the message and select Input Method and choose Touch Input

    And there you have it
     
  20. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    chaoscentral,

    Thank you so much for the quick reply--what a beautiful keyboard! I think I've found my replacement! Although, the world of unauthorized replacement keyboards is rife with keylogging and other shady activities; should I be at all concerned with this keyboard? It looks pretty legit, and I certainly hope that it is, because it is a marvel.

    Thanks again for your assistance!

    Murf
     
  21. chaoscentral

    chaoscentral Well-Known Member

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    it is legit, that is the apk from an HTC Hero, I got that off of XDA developers forum
     
  22. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful!

    That's great news, so I have to revise a previous statement of mine:

    aaa(AMOLED + 3.5 mm headphone jack + 320 MB RAM)
    + (Open Home w/gChrome Skin + HTC Hero Keyboard)

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaEPIC
     
  23. jmpmn6

    jmpmn6 New Member

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    Thanks for the great review and you seem pretty knowledgable about this phone..as far as video playback...can you play AVI files without having to use a converter?? thanks in advance!
     
  24. jazzedmurf

    jazzedmurf Well-Known Member

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    That's a good question. I'll hook it up to my computer right now and give it a shot.

    Back in a moment.

    UPDATE:

    AVI files do not play on the Samsung Behold II natively. Here is a list of the various supported multimedia formats, as listed by Mobiledia.com and Softpedia.com:

    MP3, AAC, AAC+, MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV9 (Mobiledia.com)
    MP3, e-AAC+, WMA, MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV (Softpedia.com)


    Hope this helps,

    Murf
     
  25. defiantbeast

    defiantbeast Well-Known Member

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    A million thank yous chaos central. This was the one hack i was looking to do. Ive had my behold since saturday(I actually traded someone one of my rooted mytouchs w/hero on it for the behold 2). I love this phone. So much better than my mytouch in alot of ways. I agree with jazzedmurf, the hardware is amazing. I still cant get over how vivid and bright my screen is even on the lowest setting when compared to my mytouch. How i managed to get by without a 3.5 jack is beyond me but this will now be a must for any future phones. One of my biggest complaints with the mytouch was the average camera and lack of interface, problem solve, samsung did a great job. The phone is thinner and due to its shape the screen actually looks bigger to me. As has been stated the ui can be changed with a bunch of diffrent programs( ahome, panda box, freshface) but i actually like the cube interface on the sliding screens. Jurys still out on the cube key itself as its sluggish. My only two complaints thus far are the battery life, but i think that the previous owner didnt take care of the battery properly so ill be purchasing a new one so that i can powercycle it and that should fix that. The other thing is that i use handcent for texting and i would like to turn off notifications from the native messaging app but still havent been able to figure a way samsung has changed the menu. Other than that minor complaint this phones shaping up to be a great device and thats prior to any real hacking. I will say this the mytouch looked unhackable and about 7 days after its release it was rooted so time will tell.
     

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