Samsung has churned out a lot of high-quality Android phones in 2010 with its Galaxy S line of phones. Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung introduced a slightly lower-end Android phone called the Transform on Sprint ($149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract). The phone's launch was in conjunction with two other inexpensive Android phones and the unveiling of the Sprint ID program.
The Transform is sort of like the Epic 4G's younger brother with its slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The keys are quite large and brightly lit, but they aren't as tactile or clicky as I normally like on a physical keyboard.
One big difference between the Galaxy phones and this phone is that it runs vanilla Android 2.1. Yup, no TouchWiz skin for this Samsung phone. When I met with Sprint about the new phones, the company informed me that all Android phones with Sprint ID will not have overlays running on top of the OS. According to the carrier, deploying the specialized content in the Sprint ID packages across multiple devices would simply be too difficult if every phone is running a tweaked version of the OS. As a bit of an Android purist, I appreciate this approach.
The Transform definitely doesn't have the specs of the Galaxy phones either. There's no support for 4G, no Super AMOLED display, and no 1GHz Hummingbird processor. Powered by an 800MHz processor, the Transform lagged a bit while I flipped through the homescreens and powered up apps.
The Transform does have a front-facing camera, however, which is a feature only the Epic sports. The back-facing 3.2-megapixel camera sports the native Android camera app, which offers up a variety of shooting and scene modes to play around with. I was actually pretty surprised with how well my shots turned out.
We'll be giving the Transform a full review after we spend more time with it so stay tuned.