The Samsung Solstice, like its cousin the Highlight, is a mixed bag of clever technology, entry-level features and mediocre performance.
This candy bar touch screen was clearly built for the young at heart and socially engaged, offering one-touch access to Facebook and MySpace, but oddly lacks instant messaging.
Measuring 4.3 x 2.1 x 0.5 inches, it is a slim phone and not unattractive. The 3-inch display offers 400 x 240 pixel resolution which is decent, especially for the $99 price point. Below the screen are three permanent buttons for dialpad, main menu and phone book.
Samsung’s TouchWiz interface works well, offering a column of icons running up the left side of the display, which you can access and move easily. These icons are also translucent, enabling you to see the entire display, which is a nice touch. There is no physical keyboard on the Solstice, so you’ll rely heavily on the UI for most every interaction.
The accelerometer is responsive with no lag issues, and it works well across a variety of applications.The ringer even turns off if you turn the phone face down onto a surface.
The browser was slow, and it had a frustrating default whereby it loads WAP instead of full HTML whenever the option is available, which is most of the time. However, in deference to Samsung and the target audience of this phone, most users will probably not be doing any heavy web surfing.
Other features include a 2MP camera with video, MP3 player, speakerphone, stereo Bluetooth, expandable memory via microSD, the ability to text and MMS, calendar, alarm clock, memo pad, task list, tip calculator and the ever-present world clock.
The Solstice is rated at 5 hours of talk time and 10.4 days of standby time. Please be aware that battery performance is greatly influenced by individual use, so your times may vary.
Overall the Solstice resembles a number of other recent Samsung phones and, while it doesn’t offer anything new, it’s a decent option at a reasonable price for people looking for a touchscreen device and basic features.
Review by: Scott Cerullo