Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G: Slick, Speedy Phone Suffers From Bloatware
In a apple area smartphone displays are accepting added and added gargantuan, the 3.97-inch affectation on the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G is refreshingly compact. Not everybody needs a 5.3-inch affectation on their buzz (Galaxy Note, I'm attractive at you!), and it's nice to see a added pocketable buzz for those consumers. In addition, the Galaxy S Blaze 4G ($150 with a two-year arrangement on T-Mobile; bulk as of March 20, 2012) has fast abstracts speeds (thanks to T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network) and bland achievement powered by a dual-core processor. But regrettably, the buzz is riddled with carrier and architect bloatware that you can't calmly remove.
Design and Display
The Blaze has a adequately basic, Samsung-esque architecture with a ablaze atramentous face and angled corners. The soft-touch, textured aback gets fingerprint-greasy fast and seems to be a allurement for dust, crumbs, lint, and whatever abroad is in your abridged or bag. It's accessible abundant to clean, though. The Blaze looks a bit chunky, barometer 4.8 by 2.48 by 0.46 inches thick. It weighs a satisfactory 4.51 ounces.
The Blaze's 3.97-inch 480-by-800-pixel affectation is ample abundant for watching videos and arena games. Viewing angles are accomplished on the Blaze's display, which uses Super AMOLED technology. Unfortunately, like added Super AMOLED displays we've encountered on Samsung phones, the Blaze's looked oversaturated in our color-bar and grayscale tests. In our color-bar test, the colors bled into anniversary other; in the grayscale test, we had agitation appropriate the light-to-dark shades from one another. Still, oversaturation isn't consistently a bad thing: Colors looked affluent and bright, and blacks were deep.
Software and Extras
Instead of the latest adaptation of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, the Blaze runs Android 2.3.6, (Gingerbread). Like added Samsung Galaxy phones (but not the Galaxy Nexus), it runs Samsung's TouchWiz user interface over Android.
Consumers (and reviewers) accept a love/hate accord with TouchWiz. On the one hand, it's almost ablaze and fast, and it adds some bare blush to Android Gingerbread. On the added hand, the ambiguous cheesy, cartoony attending of the user interface is a bit of a turn-off.
This buzz comes with a antic bulk of carrier- and manufacturer-added software. From T-Mobile, you get 411, Game Base, Added for Me, Netflix, Lookout T-Mobile TV, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile Video Chat...and the annual goes on. Sure, you ability demand some of these apps, like Netflix and Lookout, but the accumulating as a accomplished is foolishly large. Some of the "apps" aren't alike real; they're aloof links to app food or balloon versions of services. Samsung adds a few apps of its own; and afresh some--like Kies Air and AllShare--are useful, but others are alone pseudo-apps that crave a abstracted download to get up and running. When you accessible the Samsung MediaHub, for example, a bulletin informs you that you charge install a abstracted app and actualize an annual afore you can run the app. Really?
One admirable affair about Android is the customization appearance and the assembly of apps accessible to you in Google Play. When carriers and manufacturers add all this clutter to phones, they booty some buying abroad from the consumer. The buzz you aloof bought with your hard-earned money doesn't feel like your phone--and that's unfair. Alike worse, you can't abolish abounding of these added apps. On some Android phones, you can go into your settings and manually abolish exceptionable apps. But on the Galaxy S Blaze 4G, as far as I could tell, there is no such advantage for any of the added apps. Unless you basis your phone, you're ashore with the bloatware.
The Galaxy S Blaze 4G is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM. We ran both Qualcomm's Vellamo benchmarking app as able-bodied as a third-party app, Quadrant. On Vellamo, the Galaxy S Blaze accomplished an admirable account of 1071, putting it aloof beneath the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We booty these array with a atom of salt, as the Blaze has a Qualcomm processor and Vellamo is developed by Qualcomm. Oddly, on Quadrant, the Blaze denticulate bigger than the Galaxy Nexus.
The accurate analysis of a phone's performance, in my opinion, is how able-bodied it handles the best able apps and high-resolution video. I activated a scattering of graphics-heavy amateur on the Blaze including Anomaly HD and Osmos HD. Both amateur ran flawlessly with the Super AMOLED affectation beautifully showcasing the 3D graphics.
The Blaze's 5-megapixel camera took acceptable pictures central and out. My alfresco pictures had bright, accustomed colors, admitting capacity were hardly down-covered and I detected a bit of graininess (see the dejected sky in the photo of the San Francisco Bay Bridge). My calm photos had a little added graininess, but acceptable colors. Details, such as the Furbies' fur, were lost, however. Still, for a 5-megapixel camera, it produced actual satisfactory pictures. The TouchWiz camera interface is apple-pie and accessible to use, and it offers a few avant-garde controls such as white antithesis and acknowledgment value, as able-bodied as some cutting furnishings (sepia, black-and-white, and others).
The Galaxy S Blaze 4G has the achievement and the specs of its Galaxy S II ancestors but at a abate admeasurement and a added affordable price. The bloatware is the phone's alone absolute weakness, but the actuality that users can't calmly abolish these carrier/manufacturer-added apps makes me afraid to acclaim the Blaze 4G enthusiastically.
If you're a fan of Samsung's Galaxy alternation and demand the latest and greatest smartphone, you ability demand to authority out for a few months as the Samsung Galaxy S III is accounted to be ablution soon. Addition buzz that ability be account cat-and-mouse for is the HTC One S, which is headed to T-Mobile in the abutting ages or two and has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, and 16GB of centralized memory. It's cryptic whether it will be bedeviled with the aforementioned bloatware issue, however.