What's not: A workhorse QWERTY smartphone, but nothing is particularly cool and innovative.
Reviewed June 18, 2009 by Lisa Gade, Editor
The Samsung Jack is the follow-up to the very successful Samsung BlackJack and BlackJack II. These affordable and highly pocketable Windows Mobile smartphones feature front-facing QWERTY keyboards and a slim design. While the BlackJack models had a distinctive design, The Jack goes for a new look that's glossy and a tad reminiscent of the BlackBerry Curve. The gloss plastic finish looks nice, though not high ticket, and the Nokia E71x shows it up in terms of looking more expensive (though it's not).
The Jack gets a processor upgrade from the BlackJack II, WiFi and a better camera. The 3.2 megapixel fixed focus lens camera takes decent shots, especially for a budget smartphone. It has triband 3G HSDPA that works in the US on AT&T's bands and in Europe on the 2100MHz band. It's a quad band GSM world phone that will work anywhere in the world GSM service is available and AT&T has a roaming agreement.
The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard Edition, the non-touchscreen version of Windows Mobile. It supports POP3, IMAP and MS Exchange email and sports the usual Internet Explorer Mobile web browser. It has a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator and it worked well in our tests (AT&T Navigator costs $9.99/month).
Reception is average and call quality and volume are both good. The smartphone works well with Bluetooth headsets and it supports A2DP Bluetooth stereo.
If you're a QWERTY-bar smartphone person who could care less about a touch screen and you're not tied to BlackBerry's email service, the Jack is a solid choice and one of the better Windows Mobile smartphones currently on the market. It's responsive by Windows Mobile standards, has good battery life and good call quality. It lacks the sexiness and standardized ports of the Nokia E71x, but is more manageable and attractive than Samsung's own Propel Pro on AT&T (the slider counterpart to the Jack).