Review of Samsung BlackJack

14Jun07

Samsung BlackJack

About a month ago my T-Mobile MDA (HTC Wizard) finally crapped out as a result of water damage from almost a year ago and wouldn’t stay on for more than 15 seconds. Knowing I didn’t want to go back to a regular phone, I looked at my options through T-Mobile; they had the Dash and the SDA (MDA was no longer carried in anticipation for the release of the Wing, and the Wing was not out yet). I needed a phone that day so ebay and online retailers were not an option. I did not want the SDA because I really like having a full keyboard when typing text messages/ emails and the aesthetics of the Dash were not appealing to me. So I called up WirelessToyz (www.wirelesstoyz.com) in Mesa and asked them if they could unlock a Samsung Blackjack for me and to my luck, they had one already unlocked in stock.

I was a bit weary of switching from a PDA to a smartphone, I thought it would be harder to navigate and control the device without a large touchscreen and so I drove over to the store and tried the phone out. After playing with it for a couple minutes I realized it was just as easy to use as a full sized PDA and the best part was that it actually fit in my pocket (The phone has the same thickness as a Motorola RAZR and is about 1/3” taller and 1/4” wider). Another issue I was concerned with was how well a Cingular phone would work on the T-Mobile network. The sales guy let me put in my SIM, the device made phone calls and texts on the T-Mobile network right out of the box without any problems. However, to get MMS and GPRS/EDGE settings to work took a couple minutes but nothing difficult at all.

After changing these two settings, the phone was fully functional. I have had the phone for about a month now and I use it regularly for phone calls, text messaging, emails and internet browsing without any problems (I will discuss email and internet browsing in later posts).

The battery life is pretty good on this phone. I charge the phone every night and I can go through a day’s use without a problem. I have never seen the battery meter drop below halfway but then again I am probably a light user, with a maximum of 2 hours of talk time in a given day but plenty of text, internet and email. The phone comes with 2 batteries, the regular sized battery and an oversized battery so if you are a heavy user or out on the road, you should be good to go.

One problem I have had with this phone is that when I receive a phone call, for the first 1-2 seconds after I answer, the other party can’t hear me. This usually results in me answering the phone saying “Hi” followed by silence and me saying “Hi” again. Another issue to consider is that the phone does not have Wifi but it makes up for this by incorporating 3G which is much higher speed than EDGE (Note T-Mobile users: Cingular phones will not work on T-Mobile’s 3G network since the carriers use different frequencies for their networks).

One last thing to consider is this phone’s Bluetooth capability. It will work fine with a Bluetooth headset however, if you have a Bluetooth enabled car, make sure this phone is compatible. This phone’s Bluetooth stack is not compatible with many automobiles (I’ve tested it on the BMW 530i but have heard about this problem on other BMWs, Audis and Acuras). The fact that Samsung used a different Bluetooth stack means that you are still able to make and receive calls through your car’s communication screen, however you can not choose contacts from your contact list to call (Must dial number manually) and you only see the person who is calling’s phone number (no name from contact list). I have heard rumors of the Bluetooth stack being changed in the next ROM update (Which will include WM6) but we will have to wait and see.

Overall I am very satisfied with this phone and would recommend it to anyone who needs to be connected throughout the day. Stay tuned for more posts about the WM6 ROM update and useful Windows Mobile apps.

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10 Responses to “Review of Samsung BlackJack”

  1. 1 chris

    can u please post how to change the internet and ssm to work for t mobile please

  2. 3 ray cutler

    Unfortunately I have a 2008 BMW 535xi, and the blackjack does not work at all. It sometimes connects for a second or two, but always drops, and never staying long enough to even answer a call. Tried many software fixes, including Jetware, but so far the Samsung homemade stack still wins the “I refuse to work” fight with any and all band-aids. The Beemer people say it’s not on their list, and I’m begining t belive for good reason.
    Unfortunately the Samsung is our corporate standard for moblie mail, but I will be going back to a Motorola cell, and turning the Blackjack in. Manufacturers need to start thinking ahead. How can you make a handheld, multi-function device, and not design in as much “standards based compatibility” as possible. Ridiculous!!!!

  3. Ray, can you describe how it connects for a second or two? Are you able to make a call or access the phone during this brief time? Have you tried syncing another phone (i.e. RAZR works without a problem) with your car? From my experience, it should sync to where you can make and receive phone calls but it will not give you access to your phone book (very inconvenient). I agree with you that it sucks that the two are not compatible. I’m not sure if it’s because of BMW of Samsung but I know the same problem exists for Acura so it is most likely because of the Bluetooth stack that Samsung uses. I’ve heard some people saying that there is a new Bluetooth stack in the WM6.0 update for the Blackjack. This ROM update hasn’t been officially released but a pre-release is floating around the web. Since you are planning on returning the phone anyways, you could try maybe upgrading to the new ROM and seeing if you have any luck that way.

  4. 5 sam

    Could anyone tell me if samsung blackjack i607 will be able to read 2gigabytes of micoSD card? I could not find this information in owner manual.

    Thanks,
    Sam

  5. 6 Austin Apt

    My dad has a 535xi too and it has the same problem. It’s not a problem with the BMW, its the phone. My RAZR works perfectly, the Blackjack…shit.

  6. 7 Jorge

    Are these steps-to get the internet to work-the same for the Blackjack 2.

  7. 8 StrangeBrew

    I currently use an unlocked i607 (from at&t) with WM6 on t-mobile. Now that t-mobile has 3G, what do I need to do get my i607 to work on tmo’s 3G network? Is it a mater of just updating my sim card? Or is there an interal setting?

  8. Your AT&T BlackJack will not work with T-Mobile’s 3G. AT&T and T-Mobile’s 3G run on different frequencies.

  9. 10 lingy

    Do u have to have internet service to view pics and send pics?


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