Samsung Sway Hands-On

The Samsung Sway just swooped into our offices this morning, and so far we’re impressed by what Verizon Wireless’ new superslim handset has to offer.  The device reminds us of a cross between the Samsung M520 from Sprint and the Samsung Soul, but without the haptic touch display on the front. A new and revamped user interface provides the same quick access to places like the phone’s Media Center, and Verizon Wireless’ deck services that include the V CAST Music store (side load only with Rhapsody), and VZ Navigator. Unlike other feature-rich phones on Verizon Wireless’ network, though, you’ll need to manually download VZ Navigator from the phone’s Media Center Menu. We originally reported that the phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and while that remains true, Samsung provides a 2.5mm headphone adapter that doubles as a USB plug for syncing the phone with your computer. In the past, we’ve docked Samsung phones for not including a headphone jack and sometimes not providing a USB cable; this solution solves most of the problem, but we’re still looking forward to the day when Samsung’s flip phones come with a 3.5mm jack. The Sway has a 2-megapixel camera, without flash, but a shot taken during a morning meeting came out sharp overall. You can also shoot 30-second videos for sending, or longer ones for saving to your computer, and there’s plenty of room thanks to the included 256MB microSD Card. If you need more space, the Sway supports up to 8GB of additional storage. Sending off texts on the keyboard this morning was easy and comfortable. The metal keys have a soft bounce to them and are spaced far enough apart for quick two-handed texting. Stay tuned for our full review of the $69.99 Samsung Sway. So far, we’re pleased with what we see. Update: We’re super turned off to learn this device doesn’t support Verizon Wireless’ 3G EV-DO data network, which means all of those over the air services are going to be super super slow to the verge of pointless. No over the air music or video. Cut our excitement in half.

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  1. HAnnah Says:

    i just got it yesterday and i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. erick Says:

    i just got mine today and i think its awsome but it really needs something to help u slid it open like a thumb grove… other than that its great!

  3. zulu Says:

    I was under a 30-day free trial with Verizon, and unfortunately, this Sway will have to be returned~
    The phone features are fun, but the slider function is difficult with one hand without any type of thumb grove. You’re fingers end up pushing multiple key functions as you are attempting to slide it open. But, my main reason for return will be the inability to choose to keep your keypad in the “unlock” mode! I checked with tech support, and they even said that there is no option for that. So, unfortunately, if you would prefer to use your phone in the closed mode, you have to push the “OK” button for EVERY function, every time! You can’t even end a call! Most disappointing and aggravating feature. Bummed!

  4. Stillen Says:

    Great phone…it is a no frills cell phone with a few minor treats thrown in. Just what I was looking for; a straight forward phone with great reception, slim slider and a media player…all I need these days. Not looking for a 3G pocket PC and a 100 plus dinero monthly bill.

    Anyway… it is a very cool phone and with Verizon coverage, hard to beat. Samsung took their time designing a great feel ergonomically, modern look with a touch of functional nostalgia.

    **It’s a keeper!

  5. sarah Says:

    i am extremely close to getting this phone. but i was wondering, if the sway doesnt have Verizon Wireless’ 3G EV-DO data network, then does that mean no bluetootheing ringtones to my phone from other phones? i was just a little confused about that.

  6. David T. Says:

    It has bluetooth, and should support bluetooth transfer. I just ordered this phone… it is the only phone currently available FREE WITHOUT MAIL-IN REBATE on NEW EVERY TWO that includes bluetooth, video messaging, VZ Navigator, and Rhapsody subscription. I was originally going to get a sch-u550, but it disappeared off the online upgrade list and when I tried to order it over the phone, the online specials did not apply. I hate Verizon. The fact that my wife’s family is on it and the coverage is solid are the only things holding me right now.

  7. cc Says:

    the battery does not last at all i do a couple of phone calls and txt and by the end of the day no battery. i hate these phone.

  8. sandwich Says:

    Yeah the battery life is terrible. Quite dissapointing. Other than that the phone is great.

  9. review Says:

    Originally, I loved the phone but when you txt there’s a delay from the time you hit a key to when it appears on the screen. This is really annoying, especially if you’re used to txting from other phones. The battery life on it is TERRIBLE. I’ll fully recharge it in the morning and by the night its completely dead, and I barely used it! My previous phone only used one bar a day under much more use. It also uses up a charge when its not being used at all. I thought this was a defect in my phone so I returned it to verizon and got a brand new one, but the battery life it the same. Beautiful phone. Not worth all the hastle.

  10. connop Says:

    I really want this phone but my mom does not think i need a cell phone what do i do???

  11. timothy Says:

    you people compaining about the thumb grip are lazy. this phone is amazing. and i believe it works better than the frikin iphone….plus i got this phone for $20. i love sway

  12. darin Says:

    TIMOTHY….where did you get it for 20 dollars…please reply at

    im in the need of this phone but im low on cash lol

  13. Moony Mendez Says:

    I tried both get a Iphone 3g It is a lot better and the basic bill is only 90.00 a month with 450 minutes Iphone rules

  14. kj Says:

    i have been looking at reviews ALL night long. what do you guys say? should i get it or get the lg venus? i have heard good and bad reviews. like i dont agree with the thumb grip. its good my friend has it. and i think the texture is cool. the slowness isnt a real big deal is it? and i have only got good reviews on the camera!!! none bad.
    P.S. what should i do???????? i need a phone by monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. lala Says:

    Texting is a bit slow, and unlocking every time is kind of a pain. now i slide it open to use it ’cause it’s less of a hassle. Battery life is terrible, it’s annoying to have to charge it every night. In terms of not having a grip to slide it open, i started putting my thumbnail in the space between the top and bottom part of the phone to push it open. (my nails aren’t very long btw) but despite all these negatives, i love my phone ’cause its super slim, looks awesome, and the sound quality is great!

  16. Katie Says:

    Does anyone know how the extended life battery holds up?? I just got this phone and i love it but i can’t have the battery dying after 14 hours of use…so i was looking into the extended life battery that has 1300 maH versus the standard 800 maH…does anyone know how long the extended life battery will last???

  17. A-Dizzle Says:

    I found the solution to the poor battery problem!

    What I found is, before and after you charge, take out the battery and wait about 5 seconds, then put it back in. Now the battery will work perfectly fine.

    If the issue comes back, repeat the steps.

  18. Mike Says:

    Phone so far is not looking good for me. The button response time is very delayed both in texting and putting in phone numbers for calling. It often results in mistakes because it cannot catch up to the speed I am texting/typing. And as said above, the battery life is terrible. My phone is usually dead in under a day under minor use. I usually got three days out of a charge, now not even one. What I do know is that there is a software update out for the phone. My local Verizon store does not yet have it available (don’t know if that is a local thing or if it isn’t yet available). This update may make the phone work more efficiently as far as texting and typing. And if the software is the problem, it may also help with battery life…I can only hope. If anyone has any other thoughts or information on the software update and how it may affect the phone, please post back.

  19. Britny Says:

    I LOVE the Sway. It’s amazing as far as basic phones go.

    As for the text delay, that is easily solved by a software update that can be installed for free in 30-mintues at Verizon.

    It’s a sleek, slim slider with a beautiful stainless steel finish. I live the slider, it’s very smooth and easy to use. The menus are bright and beautiful, and can be customized.

    The best non-touchscreen phone out there! (After the software update, of course).

  20. e-millli Says:

    im getting a new phone soon. i was almost positive that i was going to get the sway but i looked at the other responses and now im not that sure…should i?

  21. anonymous Says:

    The solution that A-Dizzle mention works. I noticed this before when I removed the battery for some reason– though I hadn’t connected my removing the battery to the unexpected longer battery life. And after that I was convinced there must be something up. I think there is a firmware defect that causes something like bluetooth or service searching to activate and thus drain the battery, which goes away if you remove the battery.

    In anycase the battery issue is solved for me. Just remove the battery at the end of a charge and itll last for at least 3-4 days. The battery will start discharging at the faster rate after one charge cycle, so youll have to remove the battery again once that happens. But removing the battery once every 3-4 days is a lot better than charging everyday. and i like this phone.

  22. eddieg Says:

    Just got the sway. so far so good, but thanks for the info on the battery. Does the system upgrade REALLY work??? The texting thing is a bit of a pain, but i”m trying to get used to it.

  23. peaceout Says:

    should i get this phone i love the style but i need some more advice its btween this and the juke

  24. Kelsey Says:

    i just cant wait till i get this phone! i get it in a week from saterday!

  25. Gray Says:

    first of all, battery life is BAD. only lasts a day even if you don’t use much.
    keypad delay is true. but once you get used to it, not really a problem.
    if your hand is dry, it’s hard to open.

    but phone is great, good sound quality, nice looking.
    and it’s cheap.

    i would recommend this phone to “phone” users but not a good one for people who text a lot and if you talk a lot on the phone, you definitely need to buy extended battery.

  26. Richard Says:

    I have the samsung sway and take it off the charger when i get up in the morning. by lunch time in school it has dropped one bar off of the battery. by the time i get home it is half gone. thats even with no phone calls made or recieved. by ten at night it is beeping at me that it needs to be charged. i hate this phone and you really should not get it unless you plan on replacing it soon thereafter

  27. alexandra Says:

    i got the sway recently, have had it for a little over a week.
    i love this phone, my battery life is great! the key is to actually let the phone battery run down there’s no need to charge it every night.
    there are a few key problems though.
    I text faster than the phone, I’ll be words ahead of the phone and it gets confusing and frustrating. There is no way to unlock the front keypad. you have to repeatedly press the “OK” key or slide the phone open every time. the slider feature is a little hard to use but i have a case for my phone which helped out a bunch.
    if your not looking for a phone to break your budget and your not needing all those useless features, the sway is perfect! i love the phone and have no regrets getting it.

  28. L Says:

    I have replaced this phone already through Verizon for the battery life problem. I rarely use the phone and am always in a strong signal area. The battery has yet to last >24hrs. What happened to the 12-13 days in this review??? If I have to recharge this phone ever night, what is the point? Does anyone know if you can switch out the phone without having to pay Verizon’s rediuculous $35 restocking fee???? I am well within my 30 days so far.

  29. Anon Says:

    I have the sway and experience sucky battery life. The reason why your phone’s battery life sucks is because the screen turns on in your pocket from the buttons being constantly pushed on the face of the phone.

  30. Edd Says:

    My recommendation is not to buy the Sway Phone due to its very real and widely reported battery problem. It usually won’t last the day, even with little or no use, such as a few two-minute calls and no texting.

    So far the Verizon store has been adamant about not replacing the phone under the one-year warranty. Its been a very aggravating experience dealing with them even though the phone clearly does not meet its performance specifications for use time and standby time. The problem is that their in-store test has to show that the phone is bad. It passes the in-store test. They have no long term “real-use” test that would surface the problem we are experiencing. They have to follow their processes, however, at some point the manager is authorized to use his discretion and replace the phone to keep a happy customer. This hasn’t happened. I’m not sure it will happen. We continue to test. Note that the only problem talked about here is the battery problem. If the battery is OK, the phone will connect. Even though this is an attractive phone and has some good features, if it won’t turn on and have reliable standby and talk time, the phone is worthless. My best advice is to avoid these problems from the start. Do your research and select a different phone. I wish I did.

  31. edd Says:

    Update from Edd,

    The phone got a firmware and tower list (Preferred Roaming List) update from Verizon. After 3 days, the battery is still good and the phone appears fixed. I don’t know whether it was these fixes or if it had to do with Verizon removing and recharging the battery. (One method the blogs talk about to cure the battery problem is to remove the battery for 10 seconds before or after charging. It appears to correctly reset something in the phone that allows a full battery charge or reduction in idle current).

  32. Ada, Says:

    This phone is a piece of crap. The battery life sucks, and after a month or so the screen will stop working. Don’t bother with this one!

  33. Daniel Says:

    I have this phone and I can just slide it from the side of the top sliding part no problem

  34. Sheila Says:

    I just got this phone, and it is annoying me with talking to me when I go through the menus. The only way I can get it to stop is turning the volume off? Am I missing something? How do I shut her up? Please help if you know the answer. thanks!

  35. Daniel Says:

    I have had this phone for a while now and I have only had the screen problem like once if at all. The battery trick works if you take it out for 10 sec. not 5. Other than the defect with the battery meter, no complaints

  36. John Says:

    I have had the Samsung Sway for six months so far, while it does have some nice features all in all the phone is a piece of junk. My biggest complaint is the battery. It dies out before they day has ended and that is on a full charge. I have fought tooth and nail with Verizon wireless over this phone. I have been giving 3 battery’s so far and a software flash, neither have fixed the underlying issue that this phone is poorly made. Avoid this phone at all costs! Instead opt for a LG or Sony Erickson.

  37. Liz Says:

    I love this phone- but it does annoy me at times. As everyone else has said, the battery life is horrible! You make one long phone call and your battery is down to one bar. I have to turn the phone off at night just to save battery. And I have lost screen pictures a couple of times but other than that I love my phone. Wouldn’t pay any money for it if you are thinking about getting a phone- Verizon should give them away for free. Not a good texter phone by any means

  38. Rick Says:

    I had a LG chocalate 3 and my wife washed it. Thank god for insurance but anyway. My replacement fone is a Samsung Sway. It does all I need it to do other than dont coming with the usb cord to transfer music from my computer to my fone. That is the only complaint I have about theis fone.

  39. kat Says:

    okay i have had one for about 6 months and i hope you relize the screen will break and mess up , look on yahoo also it happens to almost everyones!!!

  40. Junior Says:

    I got this phone for a penny (that was a heck of a deal) and its been worth that and much more. Great nice and simple phone.

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