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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Enlighten mini-review

    Since there is hardly anything in this section about the Enlighten yet, I thought I'd post my experience with the Enlighten after 2 weeks of ownership. I left Sprint after nearly 11 years due mostly to their crappy coverage and slow data. My most recent Sprint handset was the Samsung Moment, which in terms of specifications is very similar to the Enlighten: 800mhz processor, 3.2mp camera, slider keyboard, same size screen. I was afraid I would end up with a sluggish phone just like the Moment was....but boy, was I wrong! Turns out the Moment was plagued with problems during most of it's production run, due to poor quality control on Samsung's part.
    So due to cashflow problems stemming from long-term unemployment my buddy and I were looking for ways to cut costs, and since I have had lots of problems with signal coverage from Sprint in both places we have lived while his Verizon phones have had no problems, he added me to his plan and I got the Enlighten since it was free. I wanted a Motorola with dual-core 1ghz processor and 8mp camera but forking out $50-$150 wasn't possible.
    So far the Enlighten runs circles around the Moment in terms of performance, despite the identical speed processors. Where the Moment was sluggish and laggy, the Enlighten is responsive and smooth. Scrolling is smooth, Youtube videos are much smoother, apps start up very quickly, email loads quickly, pretty much everything on the Enlighten is fast compared to the Moment.
    So far call quality is good and I have had no coverage issues. Speed tests run over wifi are good, the phone can run the full 10mbps down/1mbps up my home connection is capable of so web pages or any app that uses data loads right up very quickly. I haven't gotten to run very many tests over the 3G network but so far I've gotten around 1.5mbps down/ .90mbps up from home.
    I spent about 45 minutes using Google Maps to navigate to a place I had never been to before and even though it was a cloudy day I never had a problem with GPS coverage, even when I laid the phone on the console next to me where the Moment would always lose GPS signal. I also didn't have data flow problems like I did with the Moment, probably due to the poor coverage from Sprint. I haven't tried the Verizon Navigator due to the $9.99/mo charge to have voice turn-by-turn directions.
    One very welcome feature of the Enlighten is the ability to swap mSD cards without having to pull the battery as was required on the Moment. Pop the battery cover off and the card is in a slot on the right side of the phone near the camera button. Just go into settings/storage and tap "unmount SD card" and wait for it to tell you it's safe, then with a thumbnail or small screwdriver etc push in on the card and release it and it comes out enough to pull it out. When you put an SD card back in and it clicks in place the phone automatically "mounts" it so it's ready to access.
    The Enlighten comes with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. So far I see no evidence it will get 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but that could change at some point in the future. One minor hiccup I encountered was with Verizon's software version. I'm not positive which version came on the phone, but after I installed the VZW Software Upgrade Assistant on my PC and connected the phone via USB, it said there was an upgrade available to version VS700ZV4, so I let it upgrade the phone. A couple of days later while out and about running errands I opened the phone up to make a call and discovered that it had upgraded itself to VS700ZV5. I was a bit surprised that there would be 2 upgrades so close together, but didn't really put much more thought into it. That night when I hooked the phone up to the computer to transfer some photos, the upgrade assistant informed me that there was another upgrade available...to VS700ZV4. Needless to say, that "upgrade" did not happen. I would almost bet money the first "upgrade" was actually a downgrade since the Verizon rep at the store had done all needed upgrades before I left the store.


    My overall opinion is that the Enlighten is a pretty good phone for the money. It feels well built, the slider is smooth and doesn't feel flimsy and opens and closes easily. It performs well considering the processor is slow by today's standards. I have used the speaker once while on a call and it I could hear the other person just fine, but I wasn't in a particularly noisy environment at the time.
    Scrolling with a fingertip takes a very light touch, but it takes a firmer tap to actually start up an app or open a link etc. Sometimes I've had to try 2 or 3 times to get the phone to recognize I tapped for something to happen.

    A couple of other things about the Enlighten, it has 4 hardware buttons on lower front, menu, home, back and search. The Moment had an optical scroll button which also served as a click to select whatever you scrolled to along with hardware call and end/power buttons, and the home, menu, and back buttons were "soft" that you just had to tap. I prefer the Moment's layout, but I'm learning to live with the Enlighten's arrangement. Having to press the home button instead of a light tap is taking some getting used to. There is a camera button on the lower right edge which is handy when taking photos. On the upper left is the volume control, and the micro USB plug is on the lower left with a hinged cover that snaps open fairly easily with a thumbnail and pops back into place just as easily. The stereo headphone jack is on the right side of the top edge and the power button is on the left. Unlike the Moment it has no dust cover, which is convenient if you use headphones a lot but I don't so I'd rather have the dust cover to keep junk out, but that's my personal preference. The power button also puts the screen to sleep with a quick press.
    The camera takes good photos, but there is no flash. I'm rather disappointed by this omission, both because that makes low-light photos nearly impossible, but also I can't use the Tiny Flashlight app I had enjoyed on the Moment.
    One minor annoyance is the "CDMA by Qualcomm" sticker on the back: it's placed where the back curves slightly, and one corner is already starting to peel up and it seems to catch everything. I'm going to pull it completely off and clean off the adhesive residue.

    So bottom line for me is, pretty good phone for the price.
  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: Enlighten mini-review

    Well, it's been 2 months now and overall I'm still happy with this phone, such as it is. I'd still rather have the Moment's button setup but this will do for now.

    This phone's clock is 15 seconds fast, even after a reboot. I thought it was Verizon's network but my buddy's HTC Incredible 2 from Verizon is spot on. Not sure if this is happening to all Enlighten handsets or just mine.

    Lack of a flash for the camera is still annoying. Low light situations where I can take a great photo with the Moment are just about impossible for the Enlighten.

    I installed the Netflix app and watched an episode of a TV show and the picture was great but the sound was slightly out of synch, which is probably due to the slower processor.

    Without Facebook's app installed I get great battery life. I leave mine unplugged 15-18 hours a day and even with up to 40 minutes of talk and maybe a total of 30-45 minutes web browsing it's hardly ever below 80% when I plug it back in when I go to bed at night.

    The touchscreen's sensitivity is just enough different I'm just now getting used to it: "swiping" to scroll works about the same as I was used to, but tapping to open/select seems to take a more deliberate tap than I was used to. Sometimes when I'm sliding my finger to slowly scroll a page, the phone will think I tapped and want to open whatever was under my finger at the time.

    There is still no mention of the Enlighten getting Ice Cream Sandwich, so I think it's safe to say Gingerbread is the best officially supported Android there will be.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Enlighten mini-review

    Hey guys,

    I have had this phone for about a year now, and have replaced it twice, beware!

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