A couple of days ago, a Samsung QWERTY smartphone was spotted in the wild, with a few good shots and some scanty info about its specs. Now we have an official confirmation coming from Samsung about the device’s launch. The smartphone will be known as the Galaxy Chat GT-B5330 and will feature a neat spec sheet to make it a worthy addition in the mid ranged/low end market segment. What’s interesting here is the addition of the TouchWiz Nature UX popularly seen on the Galaxy S III. The Galaxy Chat packs a 3-inch 240×320 (QVGA) touchscreen display coupled with a neat QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of internal storage, a sole 2MP camera on the back, Bluetooth 3.0, 4GB storage with a microSD card slot for memory expansion and a 1200mAh battery. There is no info about the chipset/processor of the device though. It will come pre-loaded with apps like AllShare Play, S Planner, Quick Office and Game Hub.
The phone packs a decent set of features to lure potential buyers. Samsung’s proprietary cross platform chat client, ChatON is on board too like in every Samsung device. What’s different here though is the addition of a dedicated ChatON key at the bottom row of the QWERTY keypad which gives easy access to the app. Kind of like how RIM adds a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key on certain BlackBerry smartphones. However, the service isn’t as popular as BBM, but given the wide range of Samsung devices in the market, it has a fair share of users out there.
The device apparently will be made available in Spain by the end of this month and will later arrive in Latin America, Europe, China, Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia and Middle Asia. The handset, unfortunately, will not be made available in North America, Russia, and Africa for reasons known only to Samsung. Interested buyers however can always import the device to the country with the help of online retailers.
The Galaxy Chat appears to be a good alternative to your typical BlackBerry smartphone. But all things considered, the touch screen + QWERTY form factor has still not caught up. We have a few phones from LG, Motorola etc which pack a similar form factor, but haven’t quite appealed to the masses. Nevertheless, Samsung’s reputation in the field and the fact that it runs Ice Cream Sandwich could influence buyers. This could be a good business phone, mainly due to the QWERTY keyboard and the availability of essential business apps like Quick Office. BlackBerry smartphones are exceedingly popular in Asian and European markets, and it seems like Samsung wants to capitalize in on that.