Review of Boost Mobile Samsung Seek SPH-m350

Up on the review block today I’ve got another Samsung phone! This one is the Seek and it’s for Boost Mobile which is a pre-paid division of Sprint that offers unlimited everything really for a single price and best of all no contracts. The Seek is a rather basic messaging centric phone really. It’s small in size and it has a 2.6” QVGA touch screen, but it’s also a slider that opens to reveal a qwerty keyboard to make messaging easier.


Like most other pre-paid phones, the Samsung Seek comes in a plastic box.

seek1

Included with the phone is the charger, USB cable and documentation.

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When I first open the box my first thought about this phone was that it reminded me on one running Android, but it’s not.  The Seek has a 2.6” QVGA touch screen display with a resolution of 240×320. Below the screen you’ll find three buttons for Back, Home and Call. The phone itself is very lightweight at 3.85 ounces, and it’s small with dimensions of 4.12” x 2.08” x 0.58”. So yes it’s a small and lightweight phone, a big difference that my Samsung Galaxy S Captivate for sure.

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On the left side of the phone is the volume buttons and the microSD slot.

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On the right side is where the camera and power/lock buttons, and the USB port is located.

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On the top is the audio port, it’s actually under a cover.

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On the back you’ll find the 1.3mp camera without a flash and speakerphone, the cover just slides off to reveal the battery. The back has a very slight texture to it as well.

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The Seek is a slider that opens to reveal a full qwerty style keyboard. The keys are slightly raised, but they are fairly close together making typing a bit difficult. Sadly there is no dedicated number line, you’ll have to press the Function button to access them along with the symbols.

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When it’s slid open and you look on the back you’ll find the Seek logo there.

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Specifications:

Samsung Seek SPH-m350

Cool To The Touch

* Full, Slide-out QWERTY Keyboard
* Pre-loaded IM and Email Clients
* Virtual User Guide
* 1.3MP Camera

Seeking a fashionably cool new messaging phone? You found it. Available in Scarlet, Cool Blue and Fantasy Pink the affordable Samsung Seek speaks to your desire for style. With its intuitive touchscreen and full QWERTY keyboard, it also answers your messaging needs. The Seek gives you threaded text messaging, pre-loaded IM, picture and instant messaging, along with one-touch access to your favorite social networks. Pretty cool, huh?

Full, Slide-out QWERTY Keyboard
Sure, it’s a touchscreen, but why should valuable screen real estate be taken up by a virtual keyboard? The Seek comes with a full 4-row QWERTY keyboard that slides down. Easily input your words
while seeing the bigger picture.

Pre-loaded IM and Email Clients
Stay in touch the way you want. There’s threaded messaging for conversation-style texting, and instant messaging if you’d rather “chat” with a friend live. You can also access both your personal
and work email accounts, plus sync with your contacts and calendar.

2.6″ QVGA Touchscreen Display
Your Twitter feed, directions via Sprint Navigation, pictures from friends – all easy to see in either portrait or landscape mode. Multitasking lets you do it all at the same time. The easy-to-use
touchscreen comes pre-populated with one-touch apps to your favorite social networks.

1.3MP Camera
Life’s coolest moments can happen at anytime, but you don’t always want to carry around a camera and a phone, right? The Seek comes with a built-in camera for easy picture taking. Share pics
immediately with family or upload them to Facebook.

Expandable Memory
You have the option to expand the Seek’s memory up to 32GB thanks to a microSD card slot. Since this stylish device comes with a music player, this means you can listen to music for days and
days without hearing the same song twice.

Specs:

Operating System: Samsung Proprietary SW

Size:
Weight: 3.85 ounces
Dimension (HXWXD): 4.12” x 2.08” x 0.58”

Display: 262K TFT
Resolution: QVGA 240 x 320 pixels
Size: 2.6”

Input Device: Touch Screen w/ Full QWERTY Keyboard

Camera Resolution: 1.3 Megapixel Camera

Battery: Talk time: 5.8 hours

User Memory: 128MB RAM/256MB ROM
Phone book entries: Holds up to 600 entries
External Memory: microSD holds up to 32GB

Price: $149.99


The Seek is a touch screen phone as I mentioned and again it kind of reminds me of Android the way the icons are laid out. The icons on the screen are done in a grid pattern like the apps are on Android, or even on the iPhone. The main difference is that you can’t slide back and forth, at the bottom of the screen are four buttons to select which screen you want to go to. You’ll find Favs, Main, Fun and Web. When you power on the phone you start on the Main screen where you’ll find Voicemail, Messaging, My Stuff, Re-Boost, Missed Alerts, Get Stuff, navigation, History and Settings/Tools. On the Favs screen you’ll find some there already for you, but you can hit the + button to add more or the garbage can to get rid of those you don’t want. Under Fun you’ll find Camera, Email, Get Stuff, Pictures, IM, Music, MySpace, Facebook and Hookt. Then finally under Web you’ll see Search, Web, Bookmarks, Re-Boost, News/Weather, Social Media, Sports, Entertainment, and Latino.

seek22 seek21 seek23 seek24

Using the keyboard I found it to be a bit cramped for me personally, but this is the type of phone aimed at teens, they’ll have smaller hands so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem for them. The keys themselves are actually a bit too small I think. I found my fingers getting in the way of each other especially in the middle of the keyboard.

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If you’re wondering, Hookt is a chat line basically that if you want to access you’ll have to pay extra for it.

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The Navigation is Boost Navigator, but you have to pay extra for it as well.

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The Web has a quick selections for News/Weather, Entertainment, Social Media, Sports and the normal web browsing.

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Browsing the web you’ll find the resolution a bit low, it makes things look blocky and pixellated really. I also found that the internet just seems slow, it could be the browser actually that just isn’t rendering quickly enough, but page loads just seem very slow to me.

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If you click Settings and Tools you’ll be taken to Settings and Tools (imagine that right?!)

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Under Settings you’ll find choices for Display, Volume, Ringtones and Vibrations, General, Bluetooth, Web Browser, Speech to Action, Lock and Reset.

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Then under Tools you’ll only find Calculator, Notes, Calendar, Clock and Voice Commands.

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Under My Stuff you’ll find Application manager, Games, Ringtones, Applications, Wallpapers and Chat Flirt Fun.

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Under Games you’ll find Bubble Dash 2 and Pac-Man Championship. Under Applications you’ll only find the navigator.

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Making calls is fairly easy, though it took me a minute to actually figure it out. When you press the phone button the dialer appears then you type in your number that appears in the green box at the top. To actually make the call you have to press the green button with the number in it.

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Call quality is good but not what I would call wonderful, it’s more spotty. I found that the person on the other end could hear me but I was told I was muffled at times and then clear, it would sort of go in and out.  There was no problem being heard, it was just that I sounded a bit muffled at times. I heard people just fine though, they sounded clear. The speaker is pretty bad really, so making calls via the speakerphone is not advised. It can get loud but when you turn up the volume it gets distorted to the point where you can barely understand what’s being said.

Battery life isn’t bad, but it’s not that great either. You’ll get a few days, between 4 and 5 on a charge for standby but not what you might expect from a basic type phone really. For talk time you’ll get about 5 hours on average, slightly less than what the specs say you should get.

So let’s take a look at the camera to end this. When taking pictures the viewfinder will be displayed for a few seconds and then disappear for an unobstructed view. On the right side you’ll see four options for Shooting Mode, Brightness, Options and Review.

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Under Shooting Mode you’ll see three choices for Single Shot, Continuous Shot and Mosaic Shot.

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Under options you’ll find fairly basic stuff.

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Here’s some sample pictures taken indoors in bright lighting:

SSPX0001 SSPX0002 SSPX0004 SSPX0006 SSPX0007

The pictures aren’t that good, especially when you get close up. You’ll really need to hold the phone very still to get a decent picture.

Here’s Color Tones and one of the Mosaics:

SSPX0008 SSPX0010 SSPX0011 SSPX0012 SSPX0013 SSPX0014

Mosaics are neat, but they’re only taken in 320×240 resolution, rather pointless for any real uses.


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Conclusion:

I think the Samsung Seek is certainly a phone aimed at teenagers, it’s very messaging and social oriented, and it’s small in size. I think the young will be a bit more forgiving with the flaws in this phone.

The keyboard feels a bit too small and cramped for me honestly. Call quality is decent overall, but it can sound muffled at times. The speaker is not that good at all, I would just avoid using it altogether really.The camera is fairly bad as well, the pictures just aren’t that good taken indoors. Browsing the internet is not exactly a fun experience, the low resolution of the display just doesn’t look good and pages are slow to load.

7

Pros:
+Small and lightweight
+Easy to use
+Quick interface
+Sensitive touch screen
+Unlimited phone plans available

Cons:
-Calls can be slightly muffled
-Speakerphone not good
-Extra pay for junk included
-Camera not that good
-Keys are a bit too close together
-Slow internet / page loading

Grades:
Overall score-7-10
Design score-8-10
Performance score-7-10

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

  • Justin Faircloth

    Thank you so much for this review. :) I was really considering getting this phone and this really helped my decision. Thanks :D

  • ruth

    thank u for this review! i am going to buy this fone next week and the info
    really helped in making my desition
    tanx

  • mra

    Wondering about the slow page load. Is this 3g, or iDEN? I thought all boost was iDEN, but not sure.

    • The Stormraven

      It’s is on the iDEN network, and is slower than a 56K dialup modem. Even if you are in a good location with maxed out signal.

    • Nocturneking1

      This phone is not iden it is cdma.

    • Drizzy

      Not all boost are iDEN. This one isn’t.

  • Esau

    I love it it’s compact, easy to use, atvantage when I’m looking for an address and I’m inthe streets all I have to do is pull up google home page and it finds it for me. man soes that help in the long run.

    • Roger

      i cant wait to get it:)

  • The Stormraven

    I’ve had the phone for a month now, found some other flaws. Setting a home page in the browser does not work. I sent a picture to myself via the phones email. What I received was an email from boost full of advertisements, and a 20kb attachment named “noname”. I downloaded it anyways, assuming it is the picture, renamed it to “noname.jpg” and it turned out to be my picture, except extremely pixelated. It appears the phone stripped the picture down to a 20kb thumbnail to send it.

    Other annoyances. When you glance at the pages in the phone menu it deceptively looks like there are alot of apps to choose from. Its not that way at all. Most of these app selections merely open up the browser to a specified webpage, that is all. Apps that do this are:
    Hookt, MySpace, Twitter, GetStuff, Search, Web, Re-Boost, News/Weather, Social Media, Sports, Entertainment, Latino. Pretty much half the phone is a very low quality web browser. The real question is this.. Which apps are really apps and not bookmarks? I’ll tell ya.
    Calendar, Calculator, Music, Camera,Notes, Clock, Voice Commands, Navigation (costs are per use), Messaging (sms), Email, and IM.

    Bluetooth capabilities are limited to sharing audio, and single-file transfers. It is better to use a micro USB cable if you are transferring files. The phones directory structure is simple. Theres a DCIM folder for pictures, a Music folder for mp3’s. An email folder that stores emails (I assume). And oddly, there is a folder titled “Video”, I don’t know why, since the phone is incapable of making or viewing any sort of video media. Also, if you want to transfer files to the phone you MUST buy a micro-sd card seperately, the phones internal memory is inaccessable. This means pictures you take with the camera have to be transferred to the sd card before you can upload them to your computer.

    As of this writing Friday Oct. 08, There are no other applications available to download for this phone, at the boostmobile store. There are a few java applet’s available from 3rd party websites, however since the phone has been blocked from downloads it is impossible to install them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Duane-Haring/1255800032 Duane Haring

      appreciate this information! thanks!

  • bob marley

    what is the stormraven talkin about its a great phone stop being a party pooper

  • kurt

    i am going to get this phone soon and this had information that was really helpful,thanks so much. :D

  • silverwings1203

    i’m going to get this phone tonight thanks alot for the review!!

  • Hotiecutiepie11

    love this phone scince im a teen than i love it.

  • Hotiecutiepie11

    best phone eva

  • Amberr

    does it do 3 way ? *

  • Dont worry About it ;)

    Ima get this phone for christmas since im 13, and to mra its cdma so it runs a little more on sprint so its faster than iden. Ill just use it for texting and calling my parents when i need to and calling friends. Dont really need internet or youtube so idc about that. I have a laptop and ipod to do that with. And the pictures are pretty good :P. Out of all theyre phones this is my fave since i cant get a phone plan cuz my mom wont trust me with one again.

  • Drizzy

    tHiS PHONE iS tHE SHiT!

  • Drizzy

    tHiS PHONE iS tHE SHiT!

  • Karla_enriquez06

    Seems like a good phone im going to get it in a few days eventhough it came out last year i like it :)

  • Karla_enriquez06

    Does anyone know is the opera mini 5. Something id free to download??? Plz reply!

  • Karla_enriquez06

    Can someone answer my question????!!!???? Plz someone reply!!! :/

  • mary

    can somone plzzz tell me how to turn on speaker?

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