Although it packs in a wealth of features including a brilliant AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi, the Samsung Jet Icon isn't actually a smartphone. Although you cannot install third-party applications on it, the intuitive TouchWIZ interface and zippy performance make the Jet Icon a joy to use.
The Samsung Jet Icon mobile phone follows a very similar design look and feel to the cheaper and downsized Samsung Preston Icon — with a few distinguishing touches. The hexagonal cube menu key looks and feels well crafted, and the rear cover is emblazoned with large red lines that only appear visible when viewed from a slight angle.
Despite its slightly larger frame — when compared to the Preston Icon — the Samsung Jet Icon remains a compact mobile phone. Its plastic body feels sturdy and well built and the answer and end call keys are finished in a stylish brushed surface that looks classy. We were surprised that Samsung opted for a resistive touch screen on the Jet — especially when the cheaper Preston Icon has a capacitive screen — nonetheless its one of the best resistive screens we’ve used. The AMOLED display is bright, clear and possesses fantastic viewing angles. It's also very responsive, so much so that Samsung hasn't even included a stylus in the sales package.
The Samsung Jet Icon mobile phone runs Samsung's proprietary OS and features the TouchWIZ UI, which is also used on the rest of the Icon range. The TouchWIZ interface displays a three-page home screen, with a big focus on widgets. A row of widgets sits on the left edge of each screen and to use a widget users simply press and drag icons from the panel to the main area. Each of the three home screen pages is customisable and you can add any widget onto any page. Unfortunately, the widgets’ functions aren't labelled in the sidebar, so it's hard to work out what they do without adding them to the screen. Social networking isn’t as well implemented as we expected — the Facebook, YouTube and MySpace widgets are merely links to the Web page of each service rather than dedicated apps.
Widgets aren’t the sole focus of the TouchWIZ UI on the Samsung Jet Icon — there is more eye candy too. Screen transitions are smooth and almost Review: Apple iPhone 3GS-esque, for example you can view frequent contacts with photos in a ‘a Rolodex style’ format.
Samsung's smart unlock feature lets you unlock the phone by drawing a letter of the alphabet on the lock screen. You can assign any letter from A to Z to open a number of apps including messaging, music and the Web browser.
Pressing the button on the right of the handset also brings up a cube-style menu that allows access to multimedia including music, videos, games and the included browser. This is more eye-candy than a functional feature though, and it's faster to select these applications in the main menu. Pressing and holding the cube button brings up a nifty task manager to manage currently running applications.
A striking feature of the Jet Icon is its speed — no surprises considering the name and the on-board 800MHz processor. We didn’t experience any delays or lag at any stage while using the Jet Icon. Messaging performance is also impressive — the Jet Icon offers both a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input, and a full QWERTY keyboard when the phone is tilted sideways. The spell check is a useful add-on, although it does take up a large amount of screen space, especially when viewed in landscape mode. We also struggled to type as fast as we would have liked, even after trying both keyboard layouts.
The Samsung Jet Icon's 5-megapixel camera has a dual LED flash and autofocus. It takes reasonable photos, though suffers from the same issues as most other mobile phone cameras — the pictures produced are grainy and suffer from more image noise than images taken using a dedicated digital camera. The dual LED flash works better than most single LED flashes, although we'd have loved to see a Xenon flash included for even better low light performance.
The Samsung Jet Icon is a capable multimedia phone — a 3.5mm headphone jack, video recording, DivX playback and Bluetooth with A2DP are all included. It also has an FM radio and a handy music recognition application, similar to the iPhone app Shazam, and Sony Ericsson's TrackID service. The included mobile Web browser is no match for the iPhone's Safari, but it does a capable job and uses tabbed browsing. The Samsung Jet Icon is a HSDPA-capable mobile phone and also offers Wi-Fi and GPS — the Google Maps application is included as standard.
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