The Verizon Glyde Review (a/k/a the Samsung U940 and Samsung Glyde)
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This is a review of the Verizon Glyde – the newest of Verizon cellphones – which some are calling the Verizon iPhone (and technically it’s the Samsung u940, and conflated by some as the “Samsung Glyde”). The Glyde is perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated new Verizon phones ever, and definitely the sexiest of Verizon cell phone models (and one of the sexiest Samsung cell phones as well). As a bonus, this Verizon Glyde review also includes a comparison of the Glyde and the Verizon Voyager.

While they are unlikely to ever get the iPhone Verizon really doesn’t need to worry about it – this newest of Verizon Wireless cell phones is sure to be the brightest star in the Verizon mobile constellation. As the only Verizon telephone to feature both a touch screen and a slide out QWERTY keyboard (the other Verizon phone with a touch screen and a QWERTY keyboard is the Verizon Voyager, which requires flipping the screen to access the keyboard), it’s easy to see why Verizon cellular phone fans have been clamouring for the release of the Glyde, and why those who up until now had eschewed Verizon Wireless phones are now considering a switch to Verizon phone service.


In short, this is one hot phone.

But before I go any further, I need to give huge props to Megan and Jenn of the Verizon store in Boulder! You guys ROCK! Thank you for all of your help!

Now, on to the review.

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The first thing that strikes you about the Verizon Glyde is how it feels in your hand. Yes, sure, the way that the Glyde slides open to reveal it’s keyboard is slick, but the phone also just feels good in your hand. It’s small, yet feels sturdy – when you open the screen to type, it doesn’t feel as if the screen might snap off, as it does with so many screen+keyboard phones.

And speaking of the keyboard, it is a feat of engineering and design. Seriously – Samsung really got this right – a full QWERTY keyboard that is only 3 rows deep (how do they do that, you may ask? The space bar is in the middle of the zxcvbnm row, rather than dropped down below it.

And this is a hint at how it stacks up against the Voyager. The Voyager’s keyboard, although larger, inexplicably has the space button (not bar, button) up on the side of the keyboard! Worse than crazy – unusuable for anyone who actually knows how to ..you know ..type!

 

Glyde Keyboard:

Voyager Keyboard:

The next thing to note – well actually a couple of things to note – are about the touch screen.

First of all, by default it is set to a touch sensitivity of ‘medium’. Apparently, to Samsung, “medium” means “beat on it repeatedly until it finally detects the touch”. Don’t let this frustrate you. Just immediately, as the first thing you do when you get your Glyde, go to the touch screen settings, and change it from ‘medium’ to ‘high’.

Second, even with the touch sensitivy as sensitive as it will go – you will find times when you have to press the screen more than once. Fortunately, as the phone trains you (rather than the other way around), this seems to happen less often, but it doesn’t entirely go away.

On the other hand, the Glyde has this awesome haptic (basically that means you get touch feedback from a device) system so that you can have the phone give you feedback by vibrating whenever you interact with the touch screen, so you know, immediately, whether the screen has registered your touch.

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about the size of the Verizon Glyde. This is definitely a palm-sized phone – but only just. It’s noticabely smaller than the Voyager, and that is a happy thing for those of us who found the Voyager just a bit clumsy because it was just a tad too big to hold comfortably while actually using the phone for anything other than dialing.

The Verizon Glyde and the Verizon Voyager:

The Verizon Glyde and Voyager in profile:

The Verizon Glyde and the Verizon Voyager, each open:

The Verizon Glyde and Verizon Voyager – rear view:

Perhaps even more interesting is comparing its size to my all-time favourite candybar phone, the Sony Ericsson Walkman 810w phone (which is the older brother to my other all-time favourite candybar phone, the Sony Ericsson Walkman t616).

The Sonys are already diminutive while being just the right size to be fully functional. So check this out:

This phone is a great size, with many great features.

That said, it’s not without its issues, and while they may not be deal-breakers, it’s best to go into this relationship with your eyes wide open.

For example, astute observers will recognize the screen on the Sony in the above picture as the “unable to transfer a file by bluetooth to the other device” error message, and that brings me to one of my beefs with the Glyde:

There is no file transfer (other than v-card) supported by the Glyde’s bluetooth! Nor can you browse the phone – in fact, there seems to be no file system at all – at least not a usable one, on the phone!

How stupid is that??

Worse (to me), the phone is unable to support more than one bluetooth connection at a time. Meaning that in order to tether your laptop via your Glyde (which does work very well – seamlessly, in fact), you must manually disconnect your headset!

WTF?

Even if you can’t take calls with your phone while tethered (and with the Sony, you can), you shouldn’t have to go through three steps – each and every time – just to tether your laptop! (1. Disconnect headset, 2. tether laptop, 3. when done tethering,
reconnect your headset.)

(In fact, when tethered, you can’t do anything else on the phone at all! You are stuck in the data screen (although you can, from the data screen, get to your messaging (text, etc.) screen.)

Now, all that said, let’s talk about where that headset connection shines: voice commands.

The voice commands on the Glyde are superb.

And you don’t even have to train the phone (although you can, to refine it).

Just press your headset button (or the voice command button on the phone) and say any of the following: call, send, goto, check, contacts, play, followed by the object of your desire (i.e. “Call (contact name)”, or “Send text message”, or “Play (playlist name)”, and it will either do your bidding (such as playing the playlist you dictate) or set you up for the task you requested (such as sending a text message to so-and-so a contact).

Very sweet!

Even sweeter, the Samsung technology uses its superior voice system to automatically read you your text messages, should you so desire. Now that’s nifty!

Ah, but you ask, what about the camera? How is that?

You know what? For a 2.0 megapixel camera, it’s not bad! Perhaps the autofocus helps, but is really isn’t bad (for a phone – remember, this is a phone, not a digital SLR!)

But the really cool thing about this camera is the built-in zoom. Here are two things you need to know about that: The first is that when taking a picture, you can use the volume-control bar to zoom in and out! The second is that in order for the zoom to work, you have to set your resolution to something less than the 1600×1200 which it is set to by default.

By the way, you can instantly access the camera by pressing the shutter button from the home screen.

Here is a picture that I took with the Glyde for testing purposes, I call it “Still Life with Cup”:

Now, of course, any phone I test gets compared to my trusty T-Mobile Sidekick. For ease of photo taking and sending, the Sidekick just can’t be beat. But still, the Glyde isn’t bad. As soon as you snap a picture or video you are offered the option to “send”, and while “via email” is not an option, the “as text message” option does support sending to email addresses. Woohoo!

There are some things to really dislike about the phone, although not deal-killers. There is no way to calibrate the touch screen – very stupid. Also, the phone automatically locks the screen when you make a call – which means if you need to do any number entry during your call, you have to unlock your phone (and re-unlock it each time you want to do something else during the call) – there is no way to disable that locking ‘feature’.

All in all, and now this is day 3 of my using the phone, I can recommend it – it’s got some killer features (did I mention that it works with Verizon’s onboard VZW Navigator GPS program?? – GPS in your pocket, woohoo!).

By the way, I just noticed that you can now buy the Glyde through Amazon – shipped right to your door, at an obscene (as in low) price! Buy the Verizon Glyde through Amazon

Update: After a week of using this phone, I can still highly recommend it – and this is critical – as a phone. But, the bottom line with the Glyde, like the Voyager before it, and, it seems, all Verizon devices, is that if you are looking for a device primarily as an Internet device, look elsewhere. If your needs are phone first, and Internet device second, only occasionally, or not at all, the Glyde rocks. The Voyager does too. But the Verizon UI for its Internet apps, to put it bluntly, sucks.

If you need a mobile device for heavy, daily Internet usage (great email, perfect IM, excellent web browsing – and fast true task switching between them all), then you need the Sidekick. To which I have gone back.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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9 thoughts on “The Verizon Glyde Review (a/k/a the Samsung U940 and Samsung Glyde)
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  1. cant unlock my samsung glyde phone do you know any way i tryed 1234,5555,0000 please let me know

  2. i luv the glyde, prob. cause i got it 2day but the voyager is just 2 fat 4 me i als. luv the wy thy spelled glyde like glyde inst. o glide!!!!!!!!*<:-)

  3. Ok i am noticing alot of phantom touching on my phone. one of the reasons i think this is happening is due to the slide and if it’s bumped. is there any way that this can be fixed. i have taken it into the shop and they said that the reprogramming of the phone should work. i have tried this and within a week it’s back to phantom touching and when you touch the screen it will do something else.. ie: touch the contacts and it opens the menu bar on the bottom, when you touch anywhere on the whole screen. it get’s kind of annoying when you are trying to call someone in your phone directory and can’t even get into the contacts… any suggestions besides take it back and see about an exchange or get a different phone?

  4. thanks for your awsome review on the GLIDE it was very helpful but i had one question that was not answered in the review and that is can you use a stylus to navigate through the touch screen instead of your finger? this is the one thing that is going to get me to buy the phone for sure thanks again, justin

  5. hello im getting the samsung glyde and i was wondering that if you use the internet on it do you get charged

  6. Thanks for an extremely helpful review! I’m looking to switch from my Treo 700wx (Verizon). 1) Because I get bored after a while and want a new tech toy and 2) I dropped it one too many times and now the charging connection is screwed. I’ve seen really nothing that I can “upgrade” to. I like the look of the Glyde & Voyager, but I rely heavily on my MS Exchange sync. My main concern is Calendar, Contacts and tasks…if I no longer get work email at 8:00pm on a Sunday, OH WELL! I also do some internet browsing, ebook reading, MP3, and I love the ability to purchase almost any type of software I need for the treo…But as a gadget addict, I’m BORED…In your opinion, stick with the treo or deal with the loss of functionality and try the Glyde (or Voyager)?

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