Why I'm returning this Env3 in exchange for an Alias 2
I thought I’d try something new. Reviews were very solid for both the Env3 and the Alias 2, but I figured I’d give the Env3 a try, since I already had (and loved) the original Alias (sch-u740).
Things I love about the Env3:
- I LOVE that the wall charger doubles as a USB charger. That is brilliant. The cord is short for my taste, but the dual design is still brilliant. Samsung Alias 2 does not have this and that is sad.
- The keypad is great, though it would take some time to get used to the spacebar being on the same row as the zxcvbnm keys.
- Navigation is straightforward, software seems quite responsive.
- I already went and personalized the phone with my settings, contacts, etc. ::sigh:: I should’ve known better than to jump the gun like that.
- Pretty. I like the dark slate blue. But Alias 2’s “gunmetal grey” would be fine to me too.
- Env3 is the lighter phone and supposedly has a bit better battery life than the Alias 2. (My original Alias had great battery life.) Reviews have indicated better battery life with the Alias 2, though, even though the stats/performance tests support the Env3.
Things about the Env3 I simply cannot live with:
- when in a call, keypad tones cannot be turned off. This means even though I have the keypad volume settings down to mute, when I am on a call I hear every single beep of every key pressed. The caller does not hear the beeps (yay) if I have DTMF tones off, but it drives me absolutely mad if I am trying to access menu items or typing a text message while in a call. Absolutely unacceptable.
- when in a call, the (external) keypad cannot be locked; this is simply silly to me. I can lock the keys just fine when not in a call, but during a call I might have the phone in my purse or elsewhere while I’m talking on my bluetooth headset, and since I cannot lock it that means the keys are exposed to accidental pressing.. Just silly.
Other notes: I’m not blaming the Env3 for this, but it seems like call volume (even on the lowest setting) is unnecessarily loud. This might be mostly my bluetooth headset’s fault, though. I love my Plantronics Discover 925, but it is LOUD. Was loud with my Samsung Alias, as well, but seems even louder, somehow, with the Env3.
Env3 camera has very nice picture quality — as long as your subject and the camera are held absolutely still while snapping the picture. Since stillness is very difficult to achieve, so are great quality pictures.
I can’t be sure the Alias 2 won’t have the same ridiculous caveats as the Env3, but my Alias (1) didn’t ever bother me with keypad tones once I turned them off, and the design does not feature an external keypad, I do not foresee the non-locking to be an issue (with my original Alias I could lock the music controls that are on the outside).
Also, I’m used to being able to flip my phone up (as well as sideways). I’m feeling limited without the Alias-style dual-hinge. :)
…adventure continues in Alias 2 vs. Env3