Samsung SGH-i607 BlackJack

Review: Cingular's new BlackJack puts HSDPA speed in a more portable form.

Cingulars high-speed network goes truly portable with the new Samsung BlackJack, an excellent little handheld for folks looking for a BlackBerry-style device with more speed and multimedia features.

Just like T-Mobiles Dash and Verizons Motorola Q, the BlackJack is a Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone slab sporting a 320-by-240 screen, a full keyboard and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the back. In many ways, its a cross between those two other phones.

Like the Dash, its a quad-band world phone, its black, and its almost the exact same size. Like the Q, it uses a high-speed national cellular network rather than Wi-Fi, the keys are long slanted ovals, and it has a handy scroll wheel on the side as well as cursor keys for navigation. At 4.5-by-2.3-by-.5 inches and weighing 3.5 ounces, its smaller and lighter than both the Dash and the Q.

Lets step back for a minute. All three of these phones fit into the media-hyped category of "BlackBerry killers." Honestly, nobodys about to kill the BlackBerry any time soon; rather, these are all phones that look like BlackBerrys, but add the Windows Mobile abilities to easily sync with Microsoft Outlook, do push e-mail with either Good Mobile Messaging or Exchange Server 2003 SP2, and play music and video synced over from Windows Media Player.

All Windows Mobile 5 smart phones work basically the same, but Cingular and Samsung have added their own line to the familiar "Windows Mobile BlackBerry-killer" song with some new software. Rather than the usual ClearVue Microsoft Office viewers, the BlackJack includes the much slicker Picsel Viewer, which in my experience handles complex PDF documents better.

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