Samsung Galaxy Pro review

Samsung extends its Galaxy brand of Android smartphones with a keyboard-equipped Blackberry lookalike, but Julian Prokaza is far from impressed. Read on to find out why.

With most Android smartphone manufacturers seemingly preoccupied with aping the iPhone to varying degrees, fans of physical keyboards have good reason to feel left out if they don't fancy a BlackBerry. The Samsung Galaxy Pro steps in to fill that need.

That said, it seems almost impossible to design a candy bar smartphone with a keyboard to look like anything other than a BlackBerry, just as it's difficult to design an all-touchscreen smartphone that doesn't look like an iPhone. Although it's more or less the same size and shape as the recently launched BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Galaxy Pro is rather more rectangular and not quite so well appointed. The textured gunmetal grey plastic battery cover fits very snugly and so feels solid enough. The handset as a whole generally feels robust and well made, despite weighing just 103g, which is 24g less than the already far-from-heavy Bold 9900.

The textured gunmetal grey plastic battery cover fits very snugly and so feels solid enough.

The handset as a whole generally feels robust and well made.

Since Samsung crams both screen and keyboard into a compact case, neither is as large as those found on a slider smartphone like the Nokia E7, but the Galaxy Pro doesn't fare too badly in either department.

The keyboard extends across the full width of the case and a raised profile makes each of the large rectangular keys feel distinct when typing with two thumbs. The keyboard isn't perfect, though. The top row of keys butts right up against the four standard Android operating system buttons and it's all too easy to press Home' when aiming for 2', for example. The yellow legend used for the keys' Alt' functions is difficult to make out in dim light too, and the keyboard backlight only kicks in when a key is pressed, rather than when ambient light drops below a certain level.

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