It seems Verizon hopes to lure current feature phone shoppers considering real smartphones into buying the $100 Samsung Brightside. Honestly, who else would eye a device like this that runs proprietary software and not a legit operating system such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or even Blackberry.
Expected to hit Verizon store shelves on March 1, Samsung does promise that the $99.99 Brightside (after $50 mail-in rebate) will offer smartphone style functions such as connections to Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. The company also touts the phone's capability to view popular files including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents.
Sadly the Brightside is a 3G-only device and won't surf on Verizon's fancy 4G LTE network. Its camera also offers a weak 3.2-megapixel resolution. The phone's slide-out QWERTY keyboard looks fairly good, though, packing four rows, dedicated number keys, a directional keypad, and buttons doubling for symbols. Judging from the photo, the space bar looks on the short side but also functions as a social-networking shortcut.
Personally I think the HTC Rezound is a better option at the moment for the same price. It offers Beats audio, and more importantly a nice set of earbuds, LTE, and future Android Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. Still interested in the Brightside? Check out Verizon's site for details.