Verizon’s Samsung Alias 2 has the same popular dual–hinge design of the original Alias, but the Alias 2 adds a “Magic Key” keypad using E Ink technology. In phone mode, you see a standard phone keypad. In texting mode, however, the keys change into a full, four–row QWERTY keypad. By far our favorite feature, the new E Ink keyboard solves the majorly confusing letter/number problem with the first Alias, as well as other similar phones.
The Alias 2 also has a greatly improved screen , a 2.6″ QVGA screen for crisper, clearer viewing, but unfortunately you have to open the screen for it to illuminate.
The 2 megapixel camera is becoming obsolete, but it does the job. There’s dedicated hot keys for one-touch access to some of your most used phone features, like Bluetooth and text messaging.
One flaw: when in landscape mode it’s almost impossible to open one-handed, something most multi-texting folks are used to.
Software: Nothing too extreme or new. But there’s some features that stand out, such as the “Flight Mode” a must-have nowadays. While it doesn’t have a full web browser like the iPhone, its mobile browser is the same as all other non-smart phones. Contains many e-mail client choices and Multimedia Messaging. MP3 Player, but very few people use that due to the limited capabilities they offer in comparison to an iPod or other MP3. (In Europe a phone with an MP3 player is much more widely used than in the US.)
Tip calculator is a must have, and it has it. Also, the menu has a lot of flexibility in how you order it, or the specific set up you want.
For music lovers, it comes with V CAST Music with Rhapsody (wireless, subscription and PC downloads.)
Conclusion: The keyboard is what ultimately what makes this phone, especially as it solves the problem of the prequel Alias. For those who don’t use advanced features, like Web browsing, GPS navigation and multimedia playback, the Samsung Alias 2 makes a great choice,
If you sign the two-year contract and use the online coupon you can pick it up at Verizon for around $80. A 1-year contract will cost you $149 after a $50 MIR/online discount and full retail is $259.