Continuum Built Because Samsung Could
Both devices have the virtual keyboard with a Swype key for gesture input. Both have 3G mobile hotspot capability, connecting up to five devices for an extra $20 a month for 1GB. One big difference: The Continuum sports 2GB flash/8GB preinstalled flash while the Fascinate has only 512MB of flash and 384MB of RAM. One little difference: The Continuum has a widget for the Twidroyd Twitter app, which I thought was cool.Both the Fascinate and the Continuum began retailing for $199.99 with a two-year contract, but Verizon dropped the Continuum to $99. Make of that what you will.In short, the biggest difference between the Continuum and Fascinate is the ticker screen. I say skip it and give me a bigger screen like the Fascinate, the Samsung Captivate, Epic 4G, Vibrant and Mesmerize. I can't say the ticker is a distraction, but it's not very helpful. I tend to ignore it, so it feels like wasted space. In short, the Continuum with its split screen feels like a device that Samsung made because it could. Will it sell well? I'm not sure. Verizon is marketing it-and slashed the price to the sub-$100 mark-so that will help after Black Friday. But that's not the point. The point is that while Android's iteration rate is good, the phone makers and carriers are getting carried away by making the same phones, with a few odd differences. Not every new phone has to be a special, one-of-a-kind build as each iPhone is intended to be. But they should at least be as different as, say, the Motorola Droid X is from the HTC Droid Incredible, or perhaps the difference between the Fascinate and the Epic 4G, which has a slide-out screen. Right now, Samsung seems to be making too many of the same phones, and Verizon is enabling the company. There's too much hair splitting going on, and too much choice will lead to failure of several phones. In short, you don't need a Continuum when you have a Fascinate.