Samsung Alias 2 SCH-U750 (Verizon Wireless)
Manufacturer: Samsung Part number: Alias 2
- Bottom Line:
- The Samsung Alias 2 is an inventive update to Samsung's previous messaging phone. Provided you can afford it, and learn how to use it, it's a powerful messaging device with reliable performance.
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as of 03/10/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $180.00
- Reviewed by: Kent German
- Reviewed on: 05/13/2009
- Released on: 05/11/2009
The good: The Samsung Alias 2 has an innovative keypad that takes different forms depending on how you're using the phone. Its feature set is well-stocked and its overall performance for calls, video, and music is satisfying.
The bad: The Samsung Alias 2's navigation controls take acclimation. The phone lacks Wi-Fi and POP3 e-mail access is limited to a Web-based interface. Also, adding up the various data features is expensive.
The bottom line: The Samsung Alias 2 is an inventive update to Samsung's previous messaging phone. Provided you can afford it, and learn how to use it, it's a powerful messaging device with reliable performance.
Unfortunately, not much of a step up from the Alias
by CheapJustice on May 13, 2009
Pros: *e-ink buttons work very well
*groups text msgs by conversation
*bigger screen both front and main
*nice feel and look
Cons: *buttons not programmable
*less useful qwerty
*no camera flash
*interface not updated much
*2.5mm headphone jack
Summary: I've had the Samsung Alias (SCH-U740) for a while and really liked it, so when the Alias 2 (I'll call it A2) came out, I got one immediately. ...
Summary: I've had the Samsung Alias (SCH-U740) for a while and really liked it, so when the Alias 2 (I'll call it A2) came out, I got one immediately. It's a nice phone, and for new users might be very good, but for someone who had the old Alias (I'll call it A1), it was sort of a disappointment.
First of all, it's bigger and thicker than the A1, perhaps to accommodate the bigger screens, better camera, and e-ink technology, but it was disappointing as I was used to the very slim A1.
Let's get to the e-ink. It works great. You can see it change when you flip it open in both directions. Rarely does the keypad change slow enough that you're waiting for it (the largest delay is when opening to get a new text). The e-ink seems to remember the last orientation it was in, so if you open it vertically once, the next time the buttons will already be in vertical arrangement. It's readable, the backlight is good, and the buttons are bigger than the A1.
However, the e-ink keypad leaves much to be desired. There are often blank keys that you long to be able to program with shortcuts, or move the location of things around. The latter would be especially useful since the layout is slightly-to-very different from the keypad of the A1; different enough that A1 users will have to relearn the placement of many buttons. User programmable buttons are the biggest oversight in this iteration of the phone. Very, very sad indeed. Very sad. I can't stress this enough.
Also, the keypad is now black and white, so you'll miss the red and green visual cues of important buttons from the A1. And the buttons are mostly all one size, so the tactile cue of the A1 is missing as well (as in the A1, the Send button was larger than the others).
The QWERTY is also not as useful as the A1. As the QWERTY takes up every button, some very, very important and often used buttons are left off the QWERTY and relegated to a second layout (switched with a click of a button) including the apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, dash, *, quote marks (which there is only 1 side of oddly, there is only a closed quote mark, no open quote one), and the parentheses are in yet another layout. In the A1, you would simply hold down a button for these characters as each button pulled double or triple duty. Here, just to type "let's", you'd have to press a button to get to the apostrophe, press apostrophe, press the layout button twice to get back to QWERTY. you'll get quick at it, but it seems really unnecessary. This is a pretty large design flaw. Finally, as a last gripe about it, the OK button is in the middle/top of the keypad and is annoying to reach for with your thumb.
So besides the sadness that is the unrealized potential of the e-ink keypad, there are other disappointment. The camera is better, but they got rid of the flash that the A1 had. They changed the A1's bad input for a headphone (you needed an adapter for your headphones to plug in) to a 2.5mm jack...so you still need an adapter if you want to use typical 3.5mm headphones, AND can't use your old adapter. The music player's interface is still horrible, there is an echo when you talk that the A1 didn't have (though I like it so far as it makes it clearer to hear if you're speaking too loudly), you can't get to the video camera option by hitting the camera button twice (as you could in the A1), the calendar is still horrible to use (why can't i copy events?), I downloaded Street Fighter and the control pad doesn't really work with it in portrait mode...
That's a lot of gripes, but that's because I liked the A1 so much and got used to it. For a new owner of the A2, he/she won't have had the history and will probably like this very cool and functional phone much more than a veteran like me. The camera is nice, the dual screens are big and clear, the e-ink keypad is undeniably cool, the music player is a nice (last resort) touch if you need music, the speakers are clear, the battery life is good, the call quality is top-notch, and the phone is overall very customizable.
But alas, as much as I wanted, I couldn't give the Alias 2 much more than 2 stars. It could have been something great with programmable keys, but really missed out here.
6 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
Lots of usable features in a smart tight package.
by jeff1326 on May 13, 2009
Pros: Great Qwerty keyboard...excellent sound and reception...fast web browser...easy to program and customize.
Cons: All the display themes (save for "My Place") have garish colors and visual effects. The ringtones are mostly cheezy synth riffs. And the calendar alarms default to the awful VZW Default tone. SAMSUNG, just give us a simple ringer for the default!
Summary: After switching from an LG 8600, which has a clean and elegant interface (albeit with less-than-great-sound) my first impression was that the Alias 2 was fat and bloated with its ...
Summary: After switching from an LG 8600, which has a clean and elegant interface (albeit with less-than-great-sound) my first impression was that the Alias 2 was fat and bloated with its over-the-top menus and cheezy ringtones. But after taking a deep breath and spending a little time with the phone (Verizon gives you 30 days to decide if you'll keep it) I managed to customize it to my specs, using the "My Place" display and every shortcut option I could find. So now, everything I need is no more than a few clicks away.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Cnet is too harsh on non-smartphones
by markusalkemus on May 13, 2009
Pros: This phone has a lot of great features and the UI is a drastic improvement
Cons: The camera failed to be upgraded. The standard is 2 megapixels now and anything below that is mediocre.
Summary: cnet always marks phones down that don't have wi-fi even though they're clearly not a smartphone. There aren't any non-smartphones that do have wi-fi. The iPhone is ...
Summary: cnet always marks phones down that don't have wi-fi even though they're clearly not a smartphone. There aren't any non-smartphones that do have wi-fi. The iPhone is a smartphone. All blackberries are smartphones, any phone with windows mobile is a smartphone but phones like the Alias 2 and the LG Dare aren't smartphones nor are they intended to be. The alias is a messaging phone while the Dare is a multimedia phone.I've noted that the Alias 2 has a 2 megapixel camera and not a 1.3 megapixel camera
Updated on Nov 29, 2009
6 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
E-ink is at the center of this great feature phone
by jackshadow on May 15, 2009
Pros: +E-ink keys are very functional, easy to use and are a cool thing to show off
+The large display is beautiful, vivid, and easy to read
+Feels very sturdy and the hinge has just the right resistance
+The voice recognition software works
Cons: -It is slightly bigger than most flip phones
-Uses Samsung's proprietary charger
-2.5mm headphone jack
Summary: I got the phone on the 13th of this month to upgrade from my LG Chocolate VX8550 from a very helpful Verizon store. I had found the phone on engadget ...
Summary: I got the phone on the 13th of this month to upgrade from my LG Chocolate VX8550 from a very helpful Verizon store. I had found the phone on engadget and loved the idea of the e-ink keys.
Being a college student I txt a lot and the only reason I didn't buy the phone online is that I was worried that the keys would be difficult to txt on or would feel too much like smooth plastic. When handled the one in the store all my worries were put to rest: the keys on this phone are great and easy to use. Like most reviews have said they have a soft rubbery feel to them and are big enough not to mistype on.
The screen on the phone is absolutely beautiful and is quite large. (Which does make the phone look bigger than it is while opened up in clamshell mode) It does making txting and taking photos a very easy experience and even fits a fairly large about of large font txt which is great for those with poor eyesight. Speaking of the camera, it is a very nice upgrade from the camera on my old chocolate and I really appreciate the panorama feature on it.
The speakphone on the phone is excellent. I was amazed when I used it in my car and my father who is hard of hearing was able to understand me. The voice recognition software even works well with the speakerphone while outside.
The phone is bigger than most flip phones but while closed it is similar in dimension to my old chocolate as is even thinner than it because I had an extended battery installed on my old phone. This con is also a plus because it does feel solid in your hand and isn't flimsy. The hinge also feels solid and gives just the right resistance to feel solid but not firm enough to make it hard to use.
One of the only places where the phone is a disappointment is that is uses Samsung propriety jack instead of the increasingly popular USB standard. A 3.5mm heapdhone jack would also be more welcome than the 2.5mm headphone jack but I don't use my phone for music so this isn't a big let-down to me.
I love this phone. It is just what I need: a feature phone that is great at txting and is easy to use. The e-ink keys are the center of attention on this phone and not only are a cool gimmick but are very useful as well.
4 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very good phone for texting and everyday use
by robistro on May 13, 2009
Pros: texting, battery life, durability
Cons: no cons. I owned the original Alias liked it so much I bought the new one.
Summary: I also own the original alias which I liked so well I purchased this one on-line without seeing it in person. This phone is a little 'chunkier' than the original ...
Summary: I also own the original alias which I liked so well I purchased this one on-line without seeing it in person. This phone is a little 'chunkier' than the original and slightly longer. It also has rounded edges as compared to the squared of original version. The hinge seems to have a stronger spring action. This might be because my other phone is older, but it held up better than I originally expected. The keypad is the seller of this phone, and while amazing, also makes the phone easier for texting and dialing. Which is the main purpose I use out of cell phone. This is a great phone for the money. I have never had a problem with my battery running dead, dropped phone calls, or faulty operation from the original phone. I cant say the same for this phone as I have obviously just purchased it. But I see no reason not to expect the same quality. I dont use my phone for music, internet, or television. While some people have 'needs' for these services, I have other devices that I use for these luxuries. I have read reviews on numerous phones on the market. I still havent figured out what people expect from a 'cell phone' Maybe some just like to put down a product to get noticed.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Over all Pretty good.
by the computer genius on May 23, 2009
Pros: Key's Ease for getting into external ports, screen, rececption, Ease of texting, for me probobly the best thing is visual voice mail. Durable
Cons: Some calls still sound half duplex (some might mistake this as reception problem) but not as bad as Samsung Renown, It's hard to get the flip open with one hand (I figured it out but I still like the old way of doing things better)
Summary: Well Well Well I think I might of found I might keep (hopefully) I'ts only been one day but we will see. The phone is a phone I like ...
Summary: Well Well Well I think I might of found I might keep (hopefully) I'ts only been one day but we will see. The phone is a phone I like due to the visual voice mail (great for my business) the screen is big and guess what I understand what the other party is saying (The Latter is amazing) It still does not have the same sound quality of my Lg 8300 which sounds like a nice land line but it does the trick. I've realized these days with electronics the game is to settle instead of getting what you really want.Hi I A few days ago I exchaged my phone that wrote about in this post for another one. the sound quality is a better and the camera is not blury so I think the orningal phone was made in mone of the lower end rice patty fields in china. LOL the only main complaint I have is the phone is slippery and llittle difficult to open also due to my big hands and there is no case to improve the grip other than that it's a nice phone
Unlike my old phone the flip is hard for me to open because the phone is slippery and too thin, however after showing it to a few people I found out you have to either open it with 2 hands or put your thumb between the crack and push up. I think I might be able to live with that I'll know more after memoral day weekend when the customers start calling.
Sound quality- Unlike the Samsung renown where I had to keep saying what what and the nokia intruge 7205 with there volume fluxuation issue I actually undertand what the other person is saying without "too much effort" It's not as good as my LG but at least we are getting someplace. While on this subject let me explain about the half duplex thing. Sometimes if there is total silance yolu hear absolutely nothing until somone talks it's like a walkee talkee.or another example of this is if a baby is crying in the distant background and the party you are speaking with is not talking the baby's voice would cut in and out depending on the volume of the voice. With the Samsung Renown the actual words of the other party when speaking got cut off while this one I'm not getting it as much It's liveable (unlike the renown) (it's a samsung thing I'm convinced because my Lg8300 never did that.
I"m not that much into the multimeda stuff but I can say the camera is ok a little bury due to movemnt after shot but nothing to worry about. One thing I like is that this phone let's you choose like clip art or frames to put around your pic (yeah I'm actually waking up from the dead)
The music thing I haven't tried that I have satlight radio off a pionner system in the car, Vcast is cool but not worth 15 month. For me a 250.00 text message scam from verizon for $5.00 is enough for me.That covers half the charge for directory assistance. I only get charged for the call not the text WOW because thats included in my 250 messages. It also covers the cost to talk to some nutty clients that only communicates by text.
Visual voice mail for me is a plus I get calls up my Royal American all day long working on computers .
Another good thing I found out by a bad thing was I dropped the phone on hard concrete after I opened it :( good news is it stayed together and it still looks good) there is a little scratch on the bottom of it (which I guess voids my warnantee on the phone but I like it anyway. If I have to rid it I only lost 30.00 because I still have my old LG 8300 :)
BTW I forgot I can text message fast with the keyboard and yes the keys look real cool I'd recomend it unless you are an old fashion person who wants simple real clear sound quality like me (But I'm learning to compromise since our goverment requested to be owned by China.) Years ago they had Analog which sounded much better and speakers that actually had more of a broad fequency range.
To sum this up I would recomend this phone. For Todays standards which is lower than years ago it seems to be the only one that I would keep. It's got great features and the build quality is good, the the sound quality is better than the avg phone out there today. I'm sure there are phones with a little better sound quality but then I"d loose it in features so for balance this is great enjoy
Updated on May 27, 2009
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
good phone bu many bad qualities
by armyeodman on April 1, 2010
Pros: Good and easy text messaging
Good camera and video or voice recording
Good storage space
Cons: The phone shuts down after a a few weeks of use.
Summary: Ive followed the directions exactly and charged it completely without over charging it. but since december ive gone through three phones and four batteries. Each phone has died and shut ...
Summary: Ive followed the directions exactly and charged it completely without over charging it. but since december ive gone through three phones and four batteries. Each phone has died and shut down on me before restarting. It repeats the process multiple times and then acts like everything is fine. It also doesnt start up at all even when charged and not over heated and then later it will work like nothing was wrong. Sometimes though it doesnt even work again. I havent exposed the phone or battery to anything but yet they dont work. Ive never gone through phones this fast Dont get this phone.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
by techpirate5791 on August 31, 2009
Pros: The two-way opening and being able to operate the camera with the outside buttons for music
Cons: Extremely slow, to use the keyboard to text sometimes you would have to hit the button to change it like twice each time and several glitches like with the mobile im
Summary: I have the alias, the first one and loved it, so I thought i would get the 2nd one cause the first one was amazing, I had the alias 2 ...
Summary: I have the alias, the first one and loved it, so I thought i would get the 2nd one cause the first one was amazing, I had the alias 2 and had to switch back to my alias1 within 24hours, because it was so bad, and just have returned it. I dont see how samsung could come out with an amazing phone and then have the newer version of the phone be so terrible. Im a big fan of mobile im, and i found the most problems with this, when i tried typing in my password the capitals wouldnt work, when i was in an actual conversation it wouldnt let me scroll up to see the rest of the conversation, the only way i could do this was to save it and then look at it there, and when i went to type a message in it, i would have to hit the button to change the keyboard two times, and it went really slow. Typing overall was terrible, im pretty fast at texting and when i would go to text it wouldnt show a lot of the keys that i pressed, you had to hit it pretty hard (i text lighter because of the speed) just so it would show all the letters. The new technology isnt worth all of these problems, the alias1 is amazingly better and i DO NOT reccommend this phone at all.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great phone except for voice commands.
by davepr on July 7, 2009
Pros: 1 Voice quality is excellent
2 Easy to use and set up
3 Inside screen is sharp
4 Innovative use of e ink technology on keyboard
Cons: Voice command or voice recognition is not usable.
Summary: The phone works extremely will except for voice commands. When trying to use with or without my blue tooth, I get a 80 to 90% failure rate. I received my ...
Summary: The phone works extremely will except for voice commands. When trying to use with or without my blue tooth, I get a 80 to 90% failure rate. I received my first Alias 2 last week and could not get the voice command function working consistently. I tried adaptation but to no avail. I called Verizon tech support and they sent me a replacement Alias 2. I have the same problem with the replacement. Verizon does not recognize this as a generic problem for this phone. I would be interested if anyone has a solution.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
this phone is just cool
by mantra813 on May 20, 2009
Pros: I get great call quality and the key pad is great. Its a great phone if you just want to text and call.
Cons: I dont like the OS, and web based email is disappointing. the keys are small when just making a call, but the full key board is well worth it.
Summary: I have had it for a week and I couldn't be happier.
Summary: I have had it for a week and I couldn't be happier.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Part number: Alias 2
- Description: The Samsung Alias 2 gives you the convenience of a QWERTY keypad in a unique flip-style format. It has the same dual-hinge design that made the original Alias a hit, but Alias 2 adds a touch of magic - a Magic Key keypad using e-ink technology. In phone mode, it's a standard phone keypad. But in texting mode, the keys change into a full QWERTY keypad. But the magic doesn't stop there. The Alias 2 also has a large 2.6" QVGA display for crisper, clearer viewing, a 2.0-megapixel camera and dedicated hot keys for one-touch access to the features you use most. Who says sequels are never better than the originals?
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Cellular phone
- Form Factor Folder (flip)
- Phone Design Convertible flip
- Integrated Components Voice recorder,
- Antenna Internal
- Width 2 in
- Depth 0.7 in
- Height 4 in
- Weight 4.3 oz
- Technology CDMA2000 1X
- Band CDMA2000 1X 1900/800
- Service Provider Verizon Wireless
- Input Device(s) QWERTY keyboard
Messaging & Internet
- Cellular Messaging Services SMS
- Messaging & Data Features Text messages,
- Data Transmission EV-DO
- Wireless Interface Bluetooth
- Bluetooth Profiles Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP),
Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP),
General Audio/Video Distribution Profile (GAVDP)
- Communication Features Internet browser,
Mobile Email client
- Phone Functions Call timer,
- Additional Features TTY compatible,
16 GB microSD card slot,
V CAST Music,
- Personal Information Management Calendar,
- Missed Calls Memory 90
- Dialed Calls Memory 90
- Received Calls Memory 90
- Phone Book Entries Qty 1000
- Supported Flash Memory Cards microSDHC
- Sensor Resolution 2 megapixels
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Digital Zoom 10
- Navigation Software & Services VZ Navigator
- Type LCD display - Color
- Technology TFT
- Diagonal Size 2.6 in
- Display Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
- Color Depth 18-bit (262000 Colors)
- Type LCD display - Color
- Display Resolution 128 x 128 pixels
- Technology Lithium ion
- Capacity 880 mAh
- Run Time Details Talk - up to 300 min,
Standby - up to 336 hour(s)
- Included Accessories Power adapter , Power adapter