Samsung T609 Review

Samsung T609

“Samsung's T609 is a great blend of features; from music playing to reliability.”
  • Good looking; excellent UI; good keypad; no menu lag; 1.3MP camera
  • Bluetooth doesn't work well; limited MP3 capabilities
MSRP $199.99

Summary

Samsung has always produced quality phones for all service providers. The T609 is no exception to this norm and is a stylish, easy to use cell phone that comes with the perfect amount of features. Bluetooth, IM, and a 1.3megapixel camera are some of the standout features that make this phone a winner. The Samsung T609 is available for T-Mobile customers currently, and won’t break your bank at only $150.
Features and Design

The first thing you’ll notice about Samsung T609 is the color. This flip phone comes in a pearl white that shimmers and has a distinct feel to it. Upon flipping the phone open, users will notice that the screen and keypad do not lay flat against each other at a 180-degree angle. The T609 has a slightly tilted display, which is easier to view than most phones. This configuration also allows for users to talk easily with the phone up to their mouth. As weird as it might sound, it’s been a while since we came a cross a phone with talking in mind, rather than an emphasis on features. 

Samsung did a great job with the UI on this device. It is very similar to the one found on the T809, T509, and other T-series phones. Incredibly easy to use and very easy to navigate, people looking for a fast interface without clutter will be very pleased with what this phone has to offer. The keypad is also practical with numbers, a basic d-pad, and a few other buttons. The keys are raised off the device and have a plastic, toy-like feel to them. In this case, that is a good thing.

Text messaging and using instant messaging on the T609 is beyond easy thanks to the keypad. You know which keys you’re pressing and there is no menu delay whatsoever. With companies like Motorola trying to integrate everything into a stylish keypad, some ability to communicate is lost in the quest for style. Samsung has created a phone that users will be glad to communicate with and glad to be seen with. 

If you’re a fan of taking pictures with your phone, the 1.3 megapixel camera included takes great shots in most lighting conditions. The pictures come out terrific and are worthy of sending to your e-mail or a friend’s phone. There is also a music player included like the T809 from Samsung, which plays songs you’ve downloaded either via Bluetooth or put onto a microSD card. This feature is a bit excessive to most, as true music lovers will most likely be using a digital audio player (DAP) of some sort. However, the option to have tunes on the go with your phone is there if you want it.

You also have the ability to keep in touch with your friends using the T609. Samsung provides AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, and MSN Instant Messaging built into the phone. It’s designed well and is handy for quick IMs on the go. Those looking for basic phone features such as a great 262k color screen, good call quality, and basic web browsing will find all that and more inside the T609.

Setup and Use 

Ready to go almost immediately out of the box, the T609 is a no hassle flip phone. You flip it open, the screen lights up, you make your call. This is an easy to use phone that is priced well and rich with features, so it caters to both your average cell phone and power cell phone users.

Texting and IMing is an awesome attribute to this phone. Due to the aforementioned keypad, response time on the screen is instant and there are minimal errors in typing. This is due in part to the simple design Samsung chose with the keypad. There isn’t anything too fancy going on here and it goes well with this phone. Though, something like this on say the Samsung T809 or Nokia 6682 would not look good at all and probably wouldn’t work as well on a non-flip phone. 

Samsung T609What about call quality and performance, you ask? Samsung obviously knew this would be a talker’s phone due to the design of how it flips open. The microphone is right in your mouth so people won’t have a hard time hearing you. Compared to my Motorola PEBL where I’m always shouting and losing call quality, the T609 puts most phones to shame. Reception is excellent both indoors and outdoors and the call quality is crystal clear. During the time spent with this phone, not one call was ever dropped or broken up by interference. If you need a new phone and plan to talk more than use other features, you’ll be set with this one.

As for power user features such as Bluetooth and the built-in camera, the T609 has just the right amount. Bluetooth works OK but is a little under par, comparatively speaking. You’ll spend a lot of time fussing around trying to get it to transfer files and in the end it will work….but it’s not worth the hassle at times. Since the T609 has a nice microSD slot located on the side of the phone, just throw any pictures or music you want on there and be done with it. The microSD slot also allows for people to actually take advantage of the built-in music player. It’s not an iPod or W800 killer, but it will get the job done for showing off that new single you pirated to your friends.

Photo enthusiasts will be really impressed with the 1.3megapixel camera included. It’s simple, easy to use, and takes great looking photos. What you do with those photos is up to you of course. If you use Flickr, consider yourself now a mobile picture blogger. You’ll find yourself posting tons of photos that you’ve taken due to the 1280×1024 resolution pictures this bad boy can shell out. Most flip phones do not have quality cameras, period. This phone makes a huge stride toward breaking that norm.

Performance 

Compared to other flip phones in this price range, you won’t find one that rivals the T609. It is simply the best phone around when you add up all the features you get and how well this phone works. The Motorola RAZR may look more stylish, but the reception is terrible compared to this phone. Samsung’s own T509 is even less expensive than this model, but it’s a poor phone that lacks any good features. Talkers and texters who use T-Mobile should seriously consider making the switch to this phone if they have an upcoming contract renewal.

Bluetooth is unfortunately crippled too much on this phone to get any good use out of it. Transferring files becomes a back and forth game of syncing up the computer you’re using with the phone. Those heavy into listening to audio on their phone should probably look elsewhere, the Sony-Ericsson Walkman line or the Verizon line of VCAST phones are better choices. These are phones designed to suit music junkies. 

Call quality isn’t unrivaled either, but this phone has excellent reception and no dropped calls (during our time with it). If reliability is an issue for you, then this phone is a surefire winner to get great cellular service without sacrificing quality. Though T-Mobile’s network is not always the strongest, it works well enough in conjunction with the T609 to make it a hit.

Conclusion 

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend or if you want a flip phone that is feature rich and focuses on calls and texting, you have found your match. Samsung’s T609 is a great blend of features; from music playing to reliability. It’s not a super flashy phone nor is it chock-full of technology, but it simply works – and that’s what is important. The only people who should stay away from this phone are those looking for a rich multimedia experience in the audio and video departments or those with a lot of cash to spend. For the price, you just can’t go wrong with this phone.

Pros: 
  • Adequate Design
  • Excellent UI
  • Great Keypad
  • 1.3megapixel Camera 
Cons:
  • Bluetooth doesn’t work well
  • Limited MP3 capabilities

Editors' Recommendations