T-Mobile Samsung Behold Lightning Review

The Gadget: Samsung’s Behold, T-Mobile’s slice of touchscreen feature phone pie with a Korea-style five-megapixel camera and Sammy’s “innovative” TouchWiz UI.

The Price: $150 after the standard rebate and two-year contract

The Verdict: The Behold fills the hole in T-Mobile’s lineup for a not-quite-smart feature phone: It does a lot of the stuff a smartphone will do, like web browsing and email, just you know, not quite as capably as a real smartphone, or even as well as its cousin, the Instinct (even before it got better with its most recent round of updates). The web browser is bleh for anything but mobile sites since T-Mobile does you the favor of translating pages, which tends to butcher more complicated ones, and the email client won’t do standard IMAP or POP. The IM client is slow, though not terrible, but either way, you can’t really install your own apps to rectify the situation.

So what’s good? The touchscreen is one more of the responsive ones that Samsung has put out, a hair better than the Instinct, and the keyboard layout is pretty good too, though I wish the space bar was bigger. The TouchWiz UI is attractive and easy to use, even if it’s only skin deep—once you go past the widget-y “desktop,” you’re dumped into a more generic, though not exactly ugly, cellphone UI.

The 5MP camera, though not miraculous, is better than most of the ones in these kinds of phones by a long shot, with satisfactory noise levels and a decent suite of basic photo editing that’ll let you adjust fundamentals like contrast and color, crop or add crazy effects. I wish the flash were a little stronger and the autofocus were a little faster, though.

Overall, it’s what you’d expect out of a feature phone—it’ll do a lot of things, just none of them amazingly. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, for the money, I’d go with a G1—it lacks polish in some places, and the hardware isn’t nearly as tight as the Behold’s, but you’ll get more out of it.


Simple Hack Enables Roughly One Gazillion Japanese Emoticons On Any iPhone

Emoji: if you’ve never heard of it, that’s because you’re probably not living in Japan, 12 years old, and a highly social schoolgirl. An emoticon standard that is widely used in the country, it was included in the iPhone 2.2 firmware on the SoftBank network, but not for anyone else. Apparently fed up with his lack of ability to graphically express his numerous LOLs, a developer has figured out a simple tweak to enable these icons system-wide, no matter which carrier you’re with. Naturally, to show anything other than unintelligible strings of Unicode the recipient’s phone has to support Emoji emoticons, but apparently all 2.2 iPhones, hacked or not, can display the icons. The patching process, after the jump, isn’t terribly complicated.

You need to edit the file /User/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preferences.plist on the device -> whether you use a jailbreak to achieve this or merely some iTunes backup editor is up to you.

Add the following boolean key as ‘true’: KeyboardEmojiEverywhere

Then merely go to the Keyboards section of the Settings app, hit Japanese, and turn on Emoji. Will work for any text field/view in the OS, including on websites, AND including the titles of items on SpringBoard (e.g. if you save a bookmark to the home screen).

The easiest way to do with will probably be to run your iPhone as an SFTP server, which is as easy as installing a package or two on your jailbroken phone. After that it’s just a matter of editing the config file and emoting to your friends, again and again, via creepy little icons