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World’s first AMOLED screen with slide-out keyboard Android phone released by Sprint

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The Samsung Moment, the world’s first AMOLED screen with slide-out keyboard phone featuring Android is now available from Sprint at $179 after rebates and another 2-year commitment to the carrier. The phone definitely has some muscle under the hood but does it make up for having Android 1.5? Read on to find out.

The Moment features a 800MHz processor that drives the phone faster. Faster than, say, the Motorola Cliq – Engadget found the boot times to be 41 seconds for the Moment and 1:22 for the Cliq, ouch. A lot of that has to do with the processor and the lack of a skin on the Moment. The Cliq features a skin on top of the OS called Blur that will add some time to load in. In other tasks, the faster processor was noticeable making transitions faster and movement through menus faster

The AMOLED or active matrix organic light emitting diode, is inherently rugged, very thin and lightweight and is intended to have lower power consumption rates. These all add up to a win in the mobile phone market. In the smartphone wars, every battery-saving advance is a big plus.

Should you buy the Moment?

Sprint recently began selling two Android phones, the Moment which is launching today and the HTC Hero, launched a couple of weeks ago. The Hero is a physical keyboardless phone running HTC UI skin over the top to give a very specific user experience. The Hero runs Android 1.5 and it is not clear if an upgrade to 2.0 will be supported (though, we believe it will).

The Moment runs Android 1.5 and again the same upgrade questions abound. If you need a qwerty keyboard that will fit big hands, the Moment might just be up your alley. Be warned though, they keyboard is a little on the awkward side: the “z” key extends past the “a” key instead of the other way around. A nice feature is a row of dedicated number keys. Keyboard action is good with positive clicks keeping the action familiar.

With just the Cupcake update to the Android system, users will miss out on the updated Android Market, Google Navigation and the goodness that built into 2.0. Sprint ought to be upfront with potential buyers on the upgrade possibility for this phone. The phone is capable of over-the-air updates, so upgrading is a real possibility.

My call: hold off until either Sprint makes it clear on upgrades or you get some time on the new Verizon Droid (a 2.0 device) so you can decide if you need the latest. Nobody likes walking out of a store with last years software and at $179 and two years commitment, you shouldn’t have to.

Product Page: [Sprint]

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