Samsung Continuum Takes Android to Two Screens
Like other recent Android devices showing up on Verizon, the Continuum ditches Google in favor of Bing for the default search and mapping engine. While you're free to download and install Google Search and Google Maps from the Marketplace you'll never be able to sever the Bing umbilical chord entirely. It's tightly integrated into this particular install, and it's frustrating that Verizon continues to refuse to allow you to pick your own preferred search engine.
The ticker display, allegedly inspired by the hectic, lightning quick updates being displayed around Times Square, is meant to improve your ability to multitask. The Ticker is activated by grip sensors on the side of the device. In basic standby mode, it provides a quick glimpse at the time, date and weather without waking the main display. It can also display missed calls, text messages and e-mails, not only without lighting up the primary display, but also while you're doing other things. It allows you to quickly see sports scores or read text massages without interrupting the movie your watching or taking you away from your marathon 'Angry Birds' session. The extra screen is also used to display directions from VZ navigator and controls from the media app, leaving more room on the main display for other tasks.
Hands on:We spent a few minutes getting aquatinted with one of the more unique Android devices out there. The super AMOLED screen is, as always, stunning. It's bright and super saturated. And the ticker, using the same screen tech, is equally easy on the eyes. The device was responsive enough, and we especially liked the always available media controls, but we have some reservations about the overall design. For one, the ticker, tiny capacitive buttons and main display essentially form one continuous touch surface that will definitely prove frustrating for those afflicted with big fingers. The spacing of the ticker physically bumps the keyboard higher on the device's face Your writer may not have the largest hands on Earth, but even he found typing on the tiny 3.4-inch screen difficult.
The device's overall design leads us to believe this it's meant for more delicate hands. The device is extremely light and covered with curvy, glossy plastic. Its glossiness makes it a magnet for fingerprints (the reps giving demos wiped down the devices every 10 seconds with a cloth to keep blogger prints at bay), making the device feel more like a midrange smartphone than the premium device it's clearly being marketed as. To make matters worse, the Continuum is only running Android 2.1, which means it will be seriously outdated when Gingerbread launches any day now.