I May Need To Upgrade To Samsung BlackJack II

I’ve been carrying a Samsung BlackJack around with me for a year now, and posted extensive comments on the device back then (actually, it was a year ago to the day!). All in all, I have been very pleased with the phone, and have even been willing to overlook its shortcomings.
But, I am always on the lookout for something better. And so the announcement this weekend of the Samsung BlackJack II caught my attention. Based on the published specs, this one looks very interesting:

  • The biggest change is that the BlackJack II runs Windows Mobile instead of Windows SmartPhone, that will resolve some important limitations. It’ll also mean that far more add-on software is available (including a Windows Remote Desktop client).
  • The biggest difference between Windows Mobile and Windows SmartPhone is that the former is designed for point-and-click or point-and-touch, whereas the latter is not. Of course, this means that the BlackJack II (which, like its predecessor, has no touch screen) needs a way to point-and-click. To address this, the BlackJack II replaces the old circular direction button with a jog wheel (kind of like an iPod control). And in doing so, it looks like they removed the side scroll wheel (which I use constantly). I’ll have to try this for myself.
  • Battery life has supposedly been improved, that’s a biggie.
  • In addition to quad-band GSM (an absolute minimum requirement), the BlackJack II supports HSPDA, which means it’ll work in Japan and elsewhere. That’s a big plus.
  • GPS is included, and it appears that it’ll work with Google Maps. Nice!
  • Bluetooth 2 is supported, but no word yet if they removed the ridiculous one active paired device at a time restriction. Some have noted that this may be a Windows SmartPhone issue, in which case in may indeed not be a problem with the BlackJack II. We can hope.
  • It’s slimmer and lighter, although the width and weight have never been an issue for me.
  • The device is supposedly faster, has more memory, and a higher resolution camera, but those have never been issues for me, either.

Of course, I dropped by the AT&T store today to look at it, but was unable to do so. Although they received a shipment over the weekend, none had been unpacked yet. And while they were willing to sell me one, they did not have a unit on display for me to play with. I’m going to have to drop by later in the week, and will post more comments then. My gut feel is that I am going to have to upgrade, but …
In the meantime, if you’ve had a chance to tinker with the BlackJack II, please share your thoughts.

6 responses to “I May Need To Upgrade To Samsung BlackJack II”

  1. Gus Avatar

    Did you see the recall AT&T is doing on the Blackjack?
    Maybe you can get a free upgrade!

  2. Rey Bango Avatar
    Rey Bango

    The only thing that kept me away from the BlackJack was the Windows OS. I had such a BAD experience with my old HP iPaq that I can’t bring myself to going through it again.

  3. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Rey, that scared me too, but …
    My Treo, which ran Palm, hung on my repeatedly – sometimes several times a day. My BlackJack has never hung or locked up yet – not once, in a year. As scary as it is to admit it, Windows SmartPhone has been rock solid for me. I can’t say the same for Palm.
    — Ben

  4. Rey Bango Avatar
    Rey Bango

    Thanks for the feedback Ben. I may revisit it after you get your new BlackJack. By that time, my Blackberry contract should be done and I’ll be looking for something new. Look forward to your review of the BlackJack 2. 🙂

  5. David Pienta Avatar
    David Pienta

    I have the Palm Treo WX (Windows Mobile) and I love it. It has touch screen, and everything else to expect with windows mobile. Battery life is pretty good with the higher capacit battery that does not add any more weight or bulk to the phone. Of course it has blue tooth as well and connects to my GPS in the truck so that I can talk hands-free.
    I have Alltel for service and I am able to connect my phone to my computer via USB 2.0 and use it as a modem for the high speed EVDO access thanks to my unlimited data plan. I bought a charger that will use any USB port to charge the phone as well. So while it is hooked to my computer as a modem, it is charging!
    Very nice piece of hardware.

  6. programlar Avatar

    The only thing that kept me away from the BlackJack was the Windows OS. I had such a BAD experience with my old HP iPaq that I can’t bring myself to going through it again.

Leave a Reply