Experts agree that while the Samsung Craft is the most advanced feature phone on MetroPCS, it's still no match for full-featured smartphones. "It's not a revolution," says PCMag's Sascha Segan, and PhoneScoop.com's Philip Berne says the Craft has little to offer besides being the first 4G LTE handset for MetroPCS.
Reviewers find the phone a bit thick due to its slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and its glossy body is a magnet for fingerprints. The keyboard is well spaced for easy typing but lacks dedicated keys for punctuation. While the Craft gets attention for its 4G connectivity, experts agree that its speed is more comparable to 3G networks. Even worse, since MetroPCS has limited 4G and 3G coverage, many customers will be stuck with a slow "2.5G" connection. Reviewers praise the option to connect via Wi-Fi, but criticize the phone's web browser for being sluggish.
Experts universally praise the phone's AMOLED display, finding it sharp, brilliant and colorful. But its touch-screen capability gets mixed reviews -- some find it responsive, others don't. The Craft comes with Samsung's TouchWiz interface that some reviewers dislike; Berne says "it gets cluttered easily." PhoneArena.com's editors are most frustrated by the lack of preloaded software; the Craft offers a basic messaging feature that doesn't even support threaded messages.
The phone's music and video players are excellent, reviewers say, while image quality is decent -- Segan believes the Craft's camera is the best on MetroPCS. The inclusion of a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and microSD card slot is praised, too. The "Star Trek" movie that comes on the 2 GB card can't be deleted, though, which means owners have to supply their own card to download music and other content. Call quality gets mediocre to good reviews, with some experts complaining of occasional echoes, muffled voices and dropped calls. Battery life gets poor feedback: CNET's tested talk time is three hours and 15 minutes, while PCMag's is four hours. The Craft has a rated talk time of six hours.
CNET's and Phonescoop.com's extensive reviews of the Samsung Craft tackle most of the phone's features. The latter even reviews some of the MetroPCS services available on the device, including music downloads and video streaming. PCMag's and Phonedog.com's shorter reviews get right to the point, while PhoneArena.com's and Unwiredview.com's comments provide numerous pictures of the handset.
Editor Jessica Dolcourt reminds users that while the Craft has 4G connectivity, it's only available in limited areas. Nevertheless, she says the crisp display, HD video playback support and TouchWIZ widgets could be a good deal if one is already on MetroPCS.
Review: Samsung Craft SCH-r900 - black (MetroPCS), Jessica Dolcourt, Oct. 4, 2010
In this very critical review of the Samsung Craft, Philip Berne says it has little to offer outside of its status as the first 4G LTE handset. Since the target market for this phone includes existing subscribers of MetroPCS, however, he says those who have been stuck on the carrier's lower-end phones could be impressed.
Review: Review: Samsung Craft, Philip Berne, Sept. 30, 2010
The Samsung Craft is the best phone on MetroPCS for several reasons, Sascha Segan says. Even so, he advises buying a full-fledged smartphone instead for more apps and a better web browser. He compares the Craft's design to the Samsung Rogue, and recommends other devices such as the LG Imprint and the BlackBerry Curve 8530.
Review: Samsung Craft SCH-R900 (MetroPCS), Sascha Segan, Sept. 30, 2010
PhoneArena.com says the Samsung Craft's "solid dose of features" help it stand out, but it can't compete against smartphones. The reviewer complains about touch-screen responsiveness, attributing problems to the software and slow processor.
Review: Samsung Craft Review, Editors of PhoneArena.com, Oct. 15, 2010
While the Samsung Craft fits in among top messaging phones, Sydney Myers believes it will only satisfy users who have "reasonable expectations." She recommends it to those who already subscribe to MetroPCS.
Review: Samsung Craft Review by Sydney, Sydney Myers, Oct. 15, 2010
Brad Molen says the Samsung Craft is "okay, but not great," and is still "nothing more than a simple messaging phone that happens to do a few extra cool things on the side." He praises the phone's 3.5 mm jack and Wi-Fi capability, but criticizes the lack of dedicated keys for punctuation and special symbols.
Review: MetroPCS Samsung Craft Review, Brad Molen, Dec. 17, 2010