The Blackjack is back, and Samsung has made some improvements, mostly marginal.
The Blackjack II sports a 1700 mah battery, which is key, since the prior model was heavily criticized for having an inferior battery. It also ships with Windows Mobile 6, has an improved combination D-pad/scroll wheel, which work together to allow for easier surfing. It also comes with a software suite that allows you to edit MS Office documents.
The Blackjack II also has a GPS receiver. You can either pay a monthly fee and use the Telenav service, or use Google Maps for free.
Unfortunately, they got rid of the rubberized exterior, which made for secure handling, replacing it with lots of shiny parts. Any shiny cell phone owner will tell you that fingerprints are a constant problem. The 2.4 inch screen is smaller than most smartphones, and screen display size is a critical element to consider for any phone that will be used to surf the web.
While Samsung did rearrange the number keys by grouping them together, the keys remain small and very close together. Many users state that the keypad makes it difficult to type without making errors. I found typing on the Blackjack very challenging.
The Blackjack II is definitely a viable entry-level smartphone. Its form factor allows you to use it one-handed. Its slim enough to slip into your shirt pocket. Because it runs Windows Mobile 6, you will be able to choose from a nice selection of third-party software, and the addition of GPS capability adds a meaningful touch.
But you’ll definitely want to test drive this model in the store and see for yourself how you feel with the closely-spaced keys.