Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G: Dual-Core Android, Smaller Screen
The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G may not be the latest and greatest Android phone, but, with a 3.97-inch display, it might just be the antidote we need for increasingly larger screen sizes.
T-Mobile will sell the Galaxy S Blaze 4G for $150, starting at select stores on March 21 and nationwide on March 28. This price includes a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement, despite T-Mobile's recent stance against device carrier subsidies.
The Galaxy S Blaze 4G packs a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, 1GB of RAM and support for T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network, which has theoretical speeds of up to 42 Mbps. These are solid specs at the moment, but they'll soon be outdone by quad-core phones and Qualcomm's dual-core S4 processors.
The Galaxy S Blaze's most notable feature might be its 3.97-inch Super AMOLED display. Android phones seem to keep getting bigger--Samsung's Galaxy S III is rumored to have a 4.8-inch screen--but bigger isn't necessarily better. Not everyone wants a humongous phone, and 4-inch displays work nicely in one hand without sacrificing too much room.
Given the Galaxy S Blaze's high-end specs, it's all the more disappointing that Samsung is using Android 2.3.6, instead of the latest version of the software, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung uses its own custom interface for Android, called TouchWiz, and it's possible that the interface simply isn't ready for Android 4.0 yet., but the fact that T-Mobile isn't promising an upgrade for the Galaxy S Blaze 4G is not encouraging.
If you can deal with the older software, and want a dual-core phone that's smaller than most, you can sign up for a reminder when the Galaxy S Blaze 4G arrives in late March.