Pantech Burst

Pantech is probably better known for its cheap phones rather than outright performance. However, Pantech is not about to rest on its laurels and give up especially on the AT&T side of things. In two previous attempts to work with AT&T, they have not manage  d to come out tops. Both the Pantech Crossover and Pantech Pocket failed miserably when compared to its competition. However, now, in an attempt to make full use of AT&T’s 4G LTE network and at the same time give the end users a bargain, the Pantech Burst is released. The $49.99 on contract price tag would have got many thinking that the specs must of the lower end kind. Read on to find out if you are wrong or right on that one.



Pantech phones are not known for being the prettiest phones in town, so if you expected another dull looking phone with the Pantech Burst, then you would go very wrong. Pantech has given a pleasant surprise by coming out with a good looking smartphone. The Pantech Burst albeit being sold for a low price attempts to emulate the looks of high end phones with its modern and appealing design. All these good looks were produced using sturdy plastic material that manages to give a metallic finish. At 4.98 x 2.46 x 0.45 it is hardly a big phone but neither does it qualify to be a small phone. Being averagely sized it fits well in the hand and feels really strong when held in the hand.

On the front of the phone sits a surprisingly big 4 inch WVGA Super AMOLED screen. Pantech Burst is definitely not one of your budget phones now is it? Right below the display are your trademark Android capacitive buttons that sadly lacks response. To exacerbate things, you find yourself making accidental presses now and then. Pantech also throws in a front facing VGA camera with the Pantech Burst. The left side of the phone is home to the volume rocker while the power key sits atop with the standard audio jack. Meanwhile, on the right is the microUSB port. However, we didn’t like these buttons too much as they were kind of flush to the chassis. On the back of the Pantech Burst sits a 5MP auto focus camera that comes with LED flash. The camera sits inside a chrome trim border.


If you weren’t impressed already with the display on this phone, you will now as the Pantech Burst is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Now to make you say wow, listen to what we have to say next. The Pantech Burst scored approximately the same scores as the Samsung Galaxy S II in Quadrant. With the scores in hand, we tested the phone and found it to carry out most tasks flawlessly. However, there was one blip as lag is evident when you try to shift between various app panels. Nevertheless, this is still the fastest Pantech phone ever.



Much like most of the competition out there, Pantech has also customized its user interface that runs atop the OS. Pantech Burst runs the Android v.2.3.5 Gingerbread and that’s obviously not the latest Android, but I guess we can deal with that. The UI looks very cheerful and maybe a bit cartoony, so it’s up to the individual whether they like it or not. You still have the lockscreen which loads directly to your favorite app. Other than that, the other stuff is as good as any other Android device. A generous four inch screen on the Pantech Burst means that you won’t have trouble typing out your texts on the on-screen keyboard. The keys are nicely spaced and you can switch between Android Gingerbread’s stock keyboard and Swype and still get a responsive keyboard.

Seeing how this phone is running an Android OS, it goes without saying that you would have a good experience when using Gmail. It provides you with desktop-like email experience right there in your Pantech Burst. Setup is painless too as it can’t get much easier than that. Since it’s on the AT&T network, you also get some AT&T apps out of the box. For instance, we have the AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator and AT&T Code Scanner. Apart from that you also have Live TV and myAT&T. For your social networking needs, you have Facebook and Twitter apps as well.

So as mentioned earlier, you actually get a four inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels on the Pantech Burst! The reason for the excitement is that it’s really nice to see such a big screen on a low budget. It also produces nice colors and has wide viewing angles. However, bring the phone outside and you might not be able to make things out off the screen. We still think Pantech deserves a pat on the back for this screen.

On the back of the Pantech Burst is a 5MP camera with both auto-focus and LED flash. Sadly, from our tests, we find that the camera doesn’t take good pictures. To exacerbate things, it takes ages to take one picture and move on to the next one. The photos lack details and also the pictures taken have a slight greenish hue on them. Needless to say, when we moved indoors, photos turned out grainy as the LED flash was almost nonexistent. Moving on to video recording, it sure was able to record videos at 720p resolution but at 19 fps, the results were poor. Details were again lacking and color reproduction was bad too.

Internet connectivity will be one of the highlights of this phone as the Pantech Burst promises 4G LTE connectivity. Using AT&T, things can rarely go wrong and we got some good speeds using the 4G LTE network. Surfing the net using this phone was also a joy ride as it not only loads Flash content, it also tackles all those so-called complex websites with ease. Navigating through the websites was good albeit some lag using the controls at times. In terms of connectivity options, it’s a GSM phone so you can use it anywhere plus it offers the other common stuff like aGPS, Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot functionality.

We would have liked a better call quality on the Pantech Burst to say the least. Its earpiece produced low volumes and we heard our friend’s voice as crackly tones. Meanwhile, we also got some complains from our friends on the other end as they say our voice has some hiss in it. Under the hood is a 1650mAh battery that would give you a full day of battery life for an average user.

Pros and Cons


Super affordable at $50 on-contract and the Pantech Burst has some good specs like its dual-core processor and nice big screen. It was also built to last.

The camera quality must be the biggest downer on this phone.


We can’t say it enough number of times, the Pantech Burst is a really affordable phone. To provide 4G LTE Connectivity under AT&T at a price of $50 on-contract is definitely going to be a winning strategy.

HTC Arrive

If you were waiting for new Windows Phone 7 device developed by the people at HTC, the HTC Arrive won’t disappoint you. This is a top of the line touch screen phone that also comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, so you can be sure that browsing the internet, writing emails and sending text messages has never been easier. There are a few areas in which this device is not the best on the market, but most of the time you will like what it has to offer. Here is what the HTC Arrive can do and more importantly, what it can’t do.


This phone won’t stand out between other HTC devices at first, but the situation will change when you will slide open the keyboard. At first glance, you will notice the large 3.6 inch multi-touch screen, the HTC logo and the five regular buttons right beneath the screen. The HTC Arrive is 4.6 inches tall, 2.3 inches wide and 0.6 inches thick, at 6.4 ounces. The rear side of the phone is simple, with only a couple of logos and the camera, flash, and speakers located on the top side. The flipping mechanism works perfectly and it will tilt the screen towards you, which makes typing with both hands and actually reading your text much easier. You won’t have to move your head over your phone, you simply have to place it on a flat surface and you will have perfect visibility. The five row QWERTY keyboard is very easy to use and the keys are not difficult to press since they are just the right size. If you want to type something at night, don’t worry; these keys are backlit. However, if you have small fingers, you won’t have any problems using the touch screen either. If you turn the phone on all of its sides, you will eventually find the 3.5 mm headphone jack, a microUSB port, the volume rocker, the camera button and the power button.



The HTC Arrive runs on a 1GHz Snapdragon processing unit and 448MB of RAM. Since the Windows Phone 7 operating system is known for running perfectly on medium specs, you can be sure that every application will load quickly and run smoothly on this device.

The 480 x 800 pixel resolution screen is perfect for watching movies and viewing pictures, but if you plan on recording or taking photos with the HTC Arrive, you might be disappointed. This phone comes with a 5MP camera, which is reasonable for most people, but unfortunately, the quality offered by it is not out of the ordinary. You can’t make any significant adjustments before taking a picture and in most cases, you won’t obtain a high quality result. Luckily, the HTC Arrive performs fairly well when it comes to night shots, so you can at least take some decent pictures in the dark, compared to what other phones can do in the same lighting situation. You can also record 720p videos, but the resulting video quality is not impressive. If you plan on recording many videos, keep in mind that this phone doesn’t have expandable memory, so you will have to deal with the 16GB offered internally. If you want to clear out some space, you can send some of your pictures to the Windows Live cloud – SkyDrive. The maximum amount of storage available for each user is 25 GB. This is a great way to enjoy your phone to its fullest without having to transfer your photos to your computer every time you need some extra space.

The 3.6-inch screen is not the biggest one you will see from HTC, but it is still large enough for most people. Luckily, the touch screen is very well calibrated and navigating through pages and different menu is very easy. The only difficult part is copy-pasting, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do this too.

The Marketplace is a great place to search for apps and there are plenty of interesting things you can find here. Once you’re done browsing, you should have a fully functional device that can help you reach your destination through turn by turn voice navigation, upload videos to YouTube, get instant access to Facebook and many others.

Gamers won’t be left out if they decide to purchase the HTC Arrive. Besides having fun with the multitude of games available for this phone, you can also connect it to your Xbox Live account and earn achievement points along the way. This is a nice little addition that should keep you busy for a while.

Pros and Cons

On the plus side, this phone looks and feels great. Navigating through the menu, placing calls, watching movies and browsing the internet can be done easily and without too many delays. The processing unit is powerful enough and the touch screen will respond to all of your actions. If you want to use the QWERTY keyboard, you won’t be disappointed in any way. This is one of the best keyboards around.

The downside is the 5MP camera. Many people will be happy with the picture quality offered by this device, but if you are picky and you want the best of the best, you will be better off with a better designed 8MP camera. Luckily, the HTC Arrive redeems itself with the great photos it takes in poor lighting conditions.


The HTC Arrive is a nice looking phone and it excels when it comes to internet browsing and overall usability. You will also enjoy the thousands of apps available in the marketplace and the rapidity of the Windows Phone 7 operating system. If you are not looking for the best camera phone and if you don’t plan on recording impeccable 720p videos, you should give this device a try and enjoy the great slide keyboard and the many interesting features it has to offer.

LG Cosmos 2

These days, we rarely talk about anything other than smartphones. It’s either 3D smartphones or dual core smartphones that’s always abuzz. However, let’s not forget that there are still basic phones in the market that are way better than what they used to be. For instance, we have the LG Cosmos 2 that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard for all you SMS lovers.



Measuring 4.41 x 2.06 x 0.63 inches, the LG Cosmos 2 is almost the same size as the LG Cosmos that was released last year. Well, it is an update to that phone anyways, so that was rather expected. The change was on the battery door which is now textured making it the phone stick firmly to your hand rather than slip away as the LG Cosmos used to. This phone was definitely made with texting and making phone calls in mind as the numeric buttons are a tiny bit larger thus making it easier to dial numbers. However, it was rather disappointing that LG stuck with the same 2 inch TFT display that came with the LG Cosmos. The screen comes with a resolution of 240 x 320 with 2662K color support. As we mentioned previously, with the full QWERTY keyboard onboard, it’s definitely meant to make you want to text more. The added fact that the b   uttons are larger than what they used to be, you are sure to get hooked to texting if you aren’t already. The keyboard also gives a good response when clicked. Instead of the 2.5mm audio jack on the LG Cosmos, LG has made the smart move by providing the 3.5mm standard audio jack on this phone. One design flaw or more of an annoyance is the fact that you have to remove the back cover to get to your microSDHC memory card slot.




With the LG Cosmos 2, there’s no talk about dual core processors or anything like that since it’s a basic phone. So, we’ll look at the internal memory which has been significantly increased to a total of 90MB now. Also, with this phone, you can install a microSHDC memory card of up to 32GB in size.

There are some things that can be customized with the LG Cosmos 2 like the three themes white, surrealism and bookshelf that you can choose from or changing the main menu from list to grid form. You can also change the grid icons’ layout and location. However, the layout of the main menu is still pretty much the same as LG Cosmos. Sliding open the keyboard brings you to a menu that allows you to move quickly to messaging, favorite contacts or social networking. The Facebook link allows you to send SMS updates to be posted on your wall plus receiving texts when someone comments on one of your posts. Sadly, for everything else on Facebook, you have to rely on the Mobile Web 2.0 browser. A new feature on this phone is the Apps menu that has a new look. Although it looks great to the eye, there are some lag issues that need sorting. The fact that the LG Cosmos 2 uses 1x data connection make web pages load very slowly thus making it not so suited for heavy internet users. The Microsoft Bing search app that comes installed with the phone helps you perform all your searches on the Web from the Web, Maps to local directions and movie listings.

Even though the LG Cosmos 2 falls under the basic phone category, it still comes with a 1.3MP fixed focus camera. However, it came as a surprise that the images captured on this phone was not as good as the ones we were able to take on the LG Cosmos. This is due to the lack of color and detail in the pictures that were taken. In low light scenarios, we weren’t expecting much to begin with since there is no flash. This resulted in blurry and fuzzy images. The fact that there is no video recording is still a major downer for this phone.


As mentioned earlier, the LG Cosmos 2 comes with a 2 inch TFT screen which is the same as its predecessor, which was rather sad. It has a resolution of 240 x 320 with 260K color support. In all, it wasn’t a bad screen at all as the images on the phone were nice and clear. Besides, the colors appeared rich too.

LG Cosmos 2 with its slide out full QWERTY keyboard is definitely going to be a hit with hard core texting fans. It not only gives you the QWERTY keyboard to text with, for short texts, you can even use the T9 predictive word entry with the numeric keypad on the front. This phone also gives support for threaded messaging and each message is displayed as quote bubbles on the screen although it is a rather simple design. With a QWERTY keyboard, it was nice to have the Mobile Email option allowing you to send and receive emails through POP or IMAP. With the LG Cosmos 2, you can also chat away with your friends easily with the Mobile IM which connects to all the major messengers.

A basic phone like LG Cosmos 2 is expected to have good signal reception as that’s needed to perform the basic functions like texting and calling. Well suffice to say, it didn’t disappoint. Call quality was a bit better than in LG Cosmos as voices sound fuller and more natural although the speakerphone does get distorted when used at high volume. Although it came as a surprise that this phone came with a smaller 900mAh battery than the 950mAh battery previously, it was still able to get us around 6 hours of continuous talk time.

Pros and Cons


The LG Cosmos 2 is a basic phone with a QWERTY keyboard, so that was definitely a plus. The call quality and improved signal reception was a bonus too. It was also really easy to use.

The 1.3MP camera was really nothing impressive plus there is no video recording. A data connection of 1x is definitely not suitable with the technology around us these days.


As we were saying in some parts of this review, the Samsung phone hasn’t had a revolutionary upgrade from the predecessor LG Cosmos. Nevertheless, there are small tweaks here and there that are to our liking. This is a basic phone with a lot to be liked if you are into texting.

Samsung GALAXY Gio

Added to Samsung series of GALAXY phones, here is an addition to it. It’s called Samsung GALAXY Gio S5660. Mid ranged phone for price conscious gadget for those who wants to save. 800 MHz processor speed with Touchwiz v3.0 and a 16M colorful display which makes this phone so interesting and also suitable for all people to use.



Samsung does not make it smaller nor make it bigger, much like the Samsung GALAXY Ace it has a comfort feel while holding the phone. Dimension for the phone is 110.5 x 57.5 x 12.2 mm while its weights only 102g. 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with HVGA 324 X 480 pixels resolution and also 16M colors display. At the front we have the display, proximity sensor and under the screen in the middle are a solid Home button between the capacitive Menu button on the right and also the Return button on the left. However, there is no ambient light sensor for the phone to detect and adjust the phones brightness. There is only a volume rocker on the left side of the phone and on top we have a 3.5 mm audio jack while on the right side of the phone is a power/lock button and also a microSD memory card slot with a lid for cover. At the back of the phone is a 3.2 Mp camera with no flash and speaker grill. The buttons are easy to find and press and there is a solid feel to it plus the phone have round edges. The back cover is made from plastic to save some weights.



The Samsung GALAXY Gio comes with Touchwiz v3.0 and runs on Android v2.2 Froyo. With four buttons at the Homescreen bottom while opening apps list it is still there for convenience. Seven customizable Homescreen when pinch out zooming it can be edited. The notification area has been improved as well with five switches (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, sound and rotation-lock). There is a built-in task manager to display what application is running so saving the need to install task killer. Same built like Samsung GALAXY Ace, it has 800MHz ARM 11 processor for speed, Adreno 200 GPU for running graphics, and also using Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset with 278MB of RAM available to the user so it’s an average built for average users. The response from the phone however is very fast and rarely lags plus the touch is sensitive. Browsing through the phone is fast while scrolling has no problems at all.

This Android Smartphone’s phonebook has unlimited capacity and also comes with many functions. SIM card plus Google contacts is gathered and displayed together while alphabet scrolling is possible too. Messaging on the Samsung GALAXY Gio is not a problem with the assistance of Swype and also predictive text input for fast text sending. There is also a combined email inbox that stores all mail from different accounts like Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail.

The audio quality from Samsung GALAXY Gio is good as well. It comes with FM radio with RDS. Interface is simple to use as well but with the need to plug in headphones for antenna. Browsing through the gallery has a nice 3D feel with transitions effect and just like a file manager it shows images and video in different folders. Editing is enabled also like cropping; resizing and also rotate the picture is possible. The music player of this phone has a basic Touchwiz interface. It has four categories to choose (Artist, Albums, Songs and Playlist). Alternatively you can also search for music on Youtube or Google search. Playing videos using this phone is basic. It supports 3GP and MP4 videos but sadly DivX/XviD is not supported but this phone can display to another compatible hardware thanks to DLNA.

The Samsung GALAXY Gio has a 3.2 MP autofocus camera with resolution up to 2048 x 1536 pixels. It has also face detection, smile detection and also geo-tagging feature. Unfortunately there is no flash from the phone so it’s quite disappointing unlike the Samsung GALAXY Ace which have flash added and also with 5MP camera. There is only a virtual shutter button and no dedicated camera button on the phone. Picture quality is quite good. The color contras are fine and average noise level. This phone can also record QVGA videos at 15fps but the quality is average only.


Connectivity from this phone is good. It offers Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP support and USB v2.0. Maximum download speed is 7.2 Mbps. Browsing the Android market is a breeze. There are three kinds of zooming methods – dedicated buttons, double tap and multi-touch pinch-zooming. Although there is no Flash support available but there is a YouTube app to compensate for the lack of flash in this phone. This phone packs with GPS receiver as well with A-GPS supported. With on board Google Maps completed with Navigation for free voice guidance.

This phone is pre-installed with excellent organizers. Installed with ThinkFree Office, it allows you to view and edit documents at the same time. Overall fast zooming and panning performance is good as well. There is also the calendar organizer with four kinds of views – agenda, daily, monthly and monthly. Alarms can be set as well for reminder. Standard alarm clock, calculator, and also voice recorder is available.Pros and Cons

It is a good offer for budget shoppers while having a much faster phone with easy to use UI and also a fresh experience for first time Android phone users. Phone is very light as well for mobility.

Poor video recording with no flash is definitely a disappointment. Flash is also no supported by this phone as well but at least we have the YouTube app.



Overall this phone is a good phone but not for those who uses camera frequently as it’s the main disadvantage for this phone or else users can consider Samsung GALAXY Ace for a mid-ranged phone.

HTC Thunderbolt

If you are under the impression that the HTC Thunderbolt is just another average Smartphone, you should take a closer look at what this device can do and reassess your evaluation. The Thunderbolt comes with an 8 MP camera, a 4.3 inch WVGA display and many features that place it high on any Smartphone performance and usability chart.


The HTC Thunderbolt follows the simple HTC design line and it doesn’t bring anything new to the table in this department. The large 4.3-inch screen is placed directly on the center of the phone and the top margin contains the Verizon logo, the speaker, and a front facing camera, while the bottom margin contains four touch sensitive buttons. The only other buttons you will find are on the sides of the phone and they can be used for turning it on and off and changing the volume. The rear side of the phone doesn’t contain anything special, just two logos, the 8MP camera, and the dual-LED flash. A microUSB port can be noticed on the left side and you will also notice a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the edge of the device. This phone is considerably larger than the iPhone and you will notice this as soon as you pick it up. Fitting it in your pocket may be difficult at times, but the thinness of this device makes up for it. Because most people will take advantage of the large screen size for watching movies, a kickstand was added on the rear side of the phone. You can pop it out easily and the device will rest on it without being wobbly.

This phone measures 4.75 inches in height, 2.44 inches in width and 0.56 inches in thickness. This makes it larger than most Smartphones you will normally see and the phone is even heavier than the Evo, at 6.23 ounces.


The HTC Thunderbolt runs on HTC Sense and you won’t notice any problems with it. Every touch of the screen is registered properly and the phone will respond in an instant even if you are running a very demanding application. The 1GHz MSM8655 processor performs very well and even if some other phones are better, you won’t feel the need for better processing speeds while using this device. With 768 MB of RAM, you can be sure that each application will run smoothly and that they won’t take long to load. The data transfer speeds are better that what you normally see on the market and this phone won’t disappoint you with up to 12Mbps of download speed and up to 5Mbps of upload speed.

The WVGA screen offers a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and thanks to the 4.3-inch size, you won’t have any problems watching movies or surfing the web. Plus, the phone comes with a 32GB microSD card which will offer you more than enough free space for your movie clips and music files.

The 8MP camera performs great and the flash will help you obtain great pictures in even the darkest environments. You can also play around with the settings if you want to obtain different effects. The front facing camera offers a resolution of 1.3 mega pixels, which is more than enough for video conferencing.

This phone excels when it comes to video recordinHTC-Thunderbolt-168x300g. You can shoot 720p videos without any problems and in almost any condition. If you can do it in outdoors with plenty of light, even better. The sound quality of your video files will also be above average, so there is nothing to worry about in this department. However, you should know that the quality will drop in lower light conditions and you might even experience some drops in frame rate. After you record your videos or after you import some from your computer, you can go to the media center and play any MPEG4 or H.264 files. The phone also offers support for DivX and Xvid, but the quality is not exceptional.

If you play around with the menu, you will eventually run into some pre-installed apps. Adobe reader is available for any .pdf documents you might want to open, you can stream videos through Bitbop, and you will also find a few other apps like FM Radio, kindle, QuickOffice, and VZ navigator, just to name a few. In essence, there are plenty of interesting things you can do with the HTC Thunderbolt out of the factory and once you get bored, you can download and install some new ones.

If you don’t want to wait close to a minute every time you power on your phone, you should use the Fast Boot feature which can reduce the power on time to an impressive 9 seconds. This is basically a standby mode, but it will save you a lot of time if you need to turn off your phone on a daily basis.

Browsing the web is definitely easy thanks to the fast processing speed, the fast downloading speed, and the large touch screen. No matter what you’re looking for, you will be able to find it in just a few seconds. Because this is a HTC device, flash support is available and flash content can be viewed directly.

The HTC Thunderbolt comes with plenty of interesting features that you would normally see on a high end Smartphone: GPS, stereo Bluetooth, video conferencing and a few other handy tools.

Pros and Cons

The HTC Thunderbolt is one of the best HTC phones around because it offers a little bit of everything and a lot of some things. Browsing the internet, snapping pictures and watching movies are definitely this phone’s strong points.

There aren’t many bad things you can say about this device, so as long as you are happy with the large 4.3 inch screen and the overall size of this phone, you should give it a try.


If you are looking for one of the most versatile Smartphones on the market, the HTC Thunderbolt might be the one for you.

Samsung Galaxy J1, reasons why you should not buy this Samsung smartphone any day in Kenya

It is the year 2016 where everyone in Kenya is rolling with smartphones that demand attention everywhere they go. Today the size of the smartphone is not what matters to most of us, there was a time when the larger the screen  the better the smartphone but now what counts are the specs and the more advanced they are, the better.

We all know that Samsung is the hype smartphone in Kenya, sincerely speaking it is on a class that it does not share with other phones. This is a battle that the Samsung phone has won in Kenya; I will call it the king of the smartphone world. Just because it is the king does not mean that it will not disappoint us once in a while, after all, every kingdom has its shortcomings. I have to say that the greatest disappointment this year was the Samsung Galaxy J1. Actually, my advice to you even as you read this article is that you should not think of buying one. I’d rather you dig deeper into your pocket and get a more expensive Samsung smartphone or settle for something else which is not Samsung Galaxy J1.

Let me break it down to you why you should not even get close to that phone:

  • Operating system of Samsung Galaxy J1

Android 6.0

Most smartphones in Kenya are running on the 5.0 Android version and there are few lucky ones that are running on the 6.0 Marshmallow Android version. As a matter of fact am sure that if you have the slightest ideas about smartphones then you will not go a phone that has anything lower than the 5.0 version.  No one has been able to explain to me why the Samsung Galaxy J1 runs on a 4.4 Android version. To start with, this phone was released toward just the previous year where by most of the smartphones were running on the lollipop Android version. Who does that? I honestly don’t know what was going through the manufacturers of Samsung Galaxy me it is a major disappointment that cannot be forgiven in such an era.

  • 1G RAM

J1 Mini

If your phone has a 1GB RAM, then you might not have a lot to say in the presence of people whose phones have more than 1GB RAM. There are brands of Samsung phones in Kenya that have up to 4GB RAM. This makes you feel like you need an upgrade if your phone runs on a 1GB RAM.  With the Samsung Galaxy J1, you will not even be able to talk about your phone because it has a 512MB RAM. This adds salt to injury and makes your smartphone hang all the time. At times, you will even feel like smashing it to the wall because of the constant hanging. There is so much that this smartphone cannot be able to support due to the low RAM, you may not have the freedom to enjoy as many apps as you would want in your phone with the Samsung Galaxy J1. The saddest part of the story is that this phone that has not even been in the market for a very long time. You can say goodbye to multi-tasking with your smartphone or other things such as using upgraded apps once you settle for this phone.

  • Internal memory

Internal memory of Samsung j1

The internal memory of this phone is 4GB; this is quite funny for a phone that has just been released to the market. Gone are the days when we had to buy memory cards to store our data. Most of the phones that are in the market have an internal memory of over 16GB. With Samsung Galaxy J1 you will have to always limit what you can store on your phone. Every time you get a new song, photo or video, you will always be worried about deleting some documents for you to get something new. We have the privilege to store movies in our phones without the need of an external memory card. If you have a large storage you will even store a whole series and watch it as you travel or at the comfort of your room. Samsung Galaxy J1 cannot gives you this freedom. You may have to dig deep into your pocket and buy an external memory card to store more documents. My comment, this was a huge miscalculation from those who made this phone.

  • Camera

Camera of Galaxy J1

Now we are talking about over 10MP in cameras of phones that have recently entered the market. I don’t think this phone will give you the camera experience that you may need with your phone. It has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera for the selfies. For the price that this phone comes with, it is possible to get another smartphone such as the Infinix which will give you a better camera experience. You will probably argue and say that Samsung is a brand, I cannot differ with that, as a matter of fact it is one of the leading smartphone brands in Kenya. But this does not mean that we take everything that it gives us even if it is not good. The camera experience is not good at all and I prefer you add more cash and get a better Samsung smartphone or you go for another brand that will give you a great camera experience of recording moments that you may deem important in your life. You need something that will archive your memories in a dignified manner.

  • Battery capacity

battery capacity of Samsung J1

Kenyans will be more concerned about the batteries that their phones have more than other things. Why would Samsung Galaxy J1 come with an 1850 battery capacity? Honestly, what can you do with such a low battery capacity on your smartphone? Let me tell you things that you may not be able to do with it, you will not be able to play games with your phone for a whole day, if you decide to watch movies with your phone, by the time you are half day the phone will be shutting down. We are in the midst of 3000mAh batteries and other phones have more than 5000mAh which can keep your phone on for more than a day without any hustles. Right now Kenyans need phones that will eliminate the need of walking with a power bank everywhere they have to go. People need smartphones that they can use with all the freedom that they have without worrying about the charge. We don’t want to turn off some apps just because your battery may be low and you need to be on for longer periods. If this is not the kind of battery that you would need, then Samsung Galaxy J1 is not the phone that you should buy. I believe that they could not have overlooked the importance of a high battery capacity.

  • Sim toolkit

Sim toolkit

This is yet another problem with the Samsung Galaxy J1. Every time you need to open it, this phone will always hang. If you are a fast thinker then you have already known that it will sometimes make it impossible for you to access M- pesa.  Kenyans want a phone that they can use to send money or receive money. Truth be told, M-pesa is an important thing to most Kenyans. Imagine a situation where you are stranded somewhere and you tell a friend to send you some cash but you cannot retrieve the cash just because the sim tool kit has refused to open. This makes you go through the hustle of having to borrow another handset from someone else to access the service. This is a major setback from a phone that has been released some few months ago. It has so many faults that make you wonder what was going on in the minds of the makers of the Samsung Galaxy J1.


I have often made it a point of praising the good smartphones and Samsung smartphones have been on the receiving end of most of these praises. I have to say that for the Samsung Galaxy J1 smartphone, I don’t have much to say which is positive. I think that this is the phone that has exposed the weaknesses of the Samsung brand which for a long time has been the talk of the town.

Note: My hope is that I will not see a repeat of such kind of errors which are not expected to come from a leading brand. It is just like the Samsung Galaxy J1 was a trial model that failed flat. If you had already bought this phone, too bad for you, you can start thinking of an upgrade. If you are thinking of buying this phone, don’t even dare for it will break your heart and you will not like it. I hope that Samsung will maintain the class and standard that it has provided and a repeat of the same will not be seen.

Motorola MILESTONE XT720




The Motorola Milestone XT720, also known as the Droid in the US, has given positive results so far with its features. Widely advertised to be Motorola’s camera phone extraordinaire, this touchscreen phone has a traditional candy bar form with some exciting styling, a WVGA resolution screen and an 8MP camera on the back with auto-focus and a Xenon flash. It runs on Google Android.



The Motorola MILESTONE XT720’s shiny front panel is so reflective to the point that it can be mistaken as a mirror. The back panel is different from the front where it adds grip and has a solid feel. While being only 10.9mm thick, this phone feels hefty for a touch screen handset of this size. With its styling, the MILESTONE XT720 feels larger while holding it than its specs proclaim. The front of the phone is occupied by the capacitive screen. While it is large and beautiful with a resolution of 480×854 pixels, the display being sharp and bright, the vivid colours and viewing angles make it a pleasure to gaze at. Although the pixel density won’t be rivalling that of the Apple iPhone 4, against other Android devices, it is the king of the mountain, beating even the HTC Desire and the Samsung Galaxy S. As previously mentioned, the mirror-like screen shows fingerprint smudges very easily and while it isn’t very noticeable when the screen is illuminated, when on standby, the evident smudges don’t look good at all. Despite the glossy screen, the Motorola Milestone XT720 is usually viewable outdoors, except under very bright direct sunlight.

Below the display lie four capacitive Android buttons, the phone speaker and the microphone, as well as indicators of the camera and gallery at the bottom right (right below the camera button). On the top of the Milestone XT720 is the 3.5mm headphone jack, a (mini) HDMI port and the power button, with the volume up/down control, camera button and gallery button on the right. Under the back cover lies the battery, a 1390 mAh Li-Ion battery. The microSD card slot is hot swappable; all you need is to take off the back cover to access it without removing the battery. The phone’s left side has a micro-USB port while the loudspeaker, camera and xenon flash are all located on the back. This Milestone is much thinner, thanks to the removal of the keyboard.



However, its performance changes everything. The European release, which packs a 550Mhz processor under the hood is seeing slowdowns occurring more often than we expected it to on such a feature loaded phone. Some of the best publicised things in the phone, such as the screen and camera, are barely given the power needed to give users a smooth experience. The menus stumble quite a lot and flicking between home-screens is more often than not, laggy and indifferent. The camera also starts slowly. While the European release of the Milestone XT720 is flawlessly usable, the lack of subtlety mentioned above gives other premium Android smartphones the advantage in terms of usability. It seems that Motorola have picked up on criticisms regarding the processor which has led the US release getting a boost to 720Mhz, although sadly too late for the European Motorola-Fans.

The Milestone includes face detection, image stabilisation, the ability to set the ISO between 100 – 800, multi-shot mode and a series of scene modes like macro and portrait for its camera. The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 excels as a working phone. With excellent noise cancelling, the call quality is very clear, both when receiving and making calls. With very good reception, we’re pleased to announce that this phone is very pleasing to talk on.


Pros and Cons

The Motorola Milestone XT720 has come a long way with its superb call quality and truly wonderful music experience. With its bright and sharp screen, 8MP Camera with Xenon flash and HDMI output, it seems as though it can hardly do anything wrong.

However, its slow processor ended up affecting many aspects of the phone, especially the European model. There is also the issue of the camera overcompensating for the images and the designs of capacitive buttons below the screen are not very optimal. The glossy screen shows fingerprint smudges after even a short use which may irritate certain users. The erratic HD video capture may also be a deal breaker for some.



The Motorola Milestone XT720 is awesome but it’s still lacking the “oomph”. Its abundance of features means it will never disappoint, whereas a couple issues reduce it to commonplace when it could’ve been something awesome. The slow camera and agonizingly erratic HD video capture, stumbling when scrolling the menu and changing home-screens all make the European Milestone XT720 feel very underpowered for a new generation smartphone. However, it does deliver in providing a broad set of features which could be worth the sacrifice in subtlety. Lacking the smooth user experience that we’ve come to expect from other phones such as the HTC Desire and/or the Apple iPhone 4, we would certainly recommend either one of these as alternatives to the Motorola Milestone XT720. If you are in the market for an Android alternative with a decent camera, you may want to check out the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 as well.