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Samsung Jack / BlackJack II review

6.3/10 AVG.
RATING



6.3/10
Informr score
The Samsung Jack / BlackJack II currently has an Informr score of 6.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 79 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Blackjack is back, and Samsung has made some improvements, mostly marginal.

The Blackjack II sports a 1700 mah battery, which is key, since the prior model was heavily criticized for having an inferior battery. It also ships with Windows Mobile 6, has an improved combination D-pad/scroll wheel, which work together to allow for easier surfing. It also comes with a software suite that allows you to edit MS Office documents.

The Blackjack II also has a GPS receiver. You can either pay a monthly fee and use the Telenav service, or use Google Maps for free.

Unfortunately, they got rid of the rubberized exterior, which made for secure handling, replacing it with lots of shiny parts. Any shiny cell phone owner will tell you that fingerprints are a constant problem. The 2.4 inch screen is smaller than most smartphones, and screen display size is a critical element to consider for any phone that will be used to surf the web.

While Samsung did rearrange the number keys by grouping them together, the keys remain small and very close together. Many users state that the keypad makes it difficult to type without making errors. I found typing on the Blackjack very challenging.

The Blackjack II is definitely a viable entry-level smartphone. Its form factor allows you to use it one-handed. Its slim enough to slip into your shirt pocket. Because it runs Windows Mobile 6, you will be able to choose from a nice selection of third-party software, and the addition of GPS capability adds a meaningful touch.

But you’ll definitely want to test drive this model in the store and see for yourself how you feel with the closely-spaced keys.


Operating system
Windows Mobile
Processor
260 MHz
Screen Size
2.4"
Camera
2+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


MobileBurn

Samsung's original BlackJack, the SGH-i607, was a very good device that had a couple of serious flaws. This new i617 variant addresses a number of them, including the biggest problem with the original: battery life. The BlackJack II still lacks voice dialing, which is disappointing for a business ph...

- Michael Oryl, MobileBurn


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Common Questions


Samsung released the Jack / BlackJack II on October 23, 2007.



Samsung backs up the Jack / BlackJack II with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Jack / BlackJack II has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Screen Size
2.4"

The Samsung Jack / BlackJack II's screen size is 2.4 inches with 320 x 240 pixels resolution.

Processor
260 MHz

There is a ARM OMAP1710 260 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system (OS).

Camera
2+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 2+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
155 MB

Internal memory is 155 MB. An external, MicroSD (up to 4 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1700mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1700 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 15.5 days standby time.

Jack / BlackJack II Specs

Overview
Release date October 23, 2007
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
HSDPA
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows Mobile 6.0

Compare Windows Mobile Smartphones

Processor ARM OMAP1710 260 MHz
Internal Flash Memory 155 MB
RAM 128 MB
ROM 256 MB
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.2 W/kg
Body: 0.92 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1700 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 15.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Colors Black, Blue, Pink, Red, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 cm (4.4 x 2.4 x 0.5 in)
Weight 116 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 65k
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 2.4 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type Scroll wheel
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, BPP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 4 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Brightness control, Multi-shot, Self-timer
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
QVGA (320 x 240 pixels)
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC+, AAC
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack Other / proprietary
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps
Included Software / Apps Microsoft Office Mobile, Windows Media Player Mobile
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SGH-i617

A Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system update is now available.
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Jack / BlackJack II Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Jack / BlackJack II
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Critic Reviews


MobileBurn

Overall the BlackJack experience has improved greatly

from MobileBurn

Samsung's original BlackJack, the SGH-i607, was a very good device that had a couple of serious flaws. This new i617 variant addresses a number of them, including the biggest problem with the original: battery life. The BlackJack II still lacks voice dialing, which is disappointing for a business phone, and I am not very fond of the new glossy exterior, but overall the BlackJack experience has improved greatly...

More

Samsung's original BlackJack, the SGH-i607, was a very good device that had a couple of serious flaws. This new i617 variant addresses a number of them, including the biggest problem with the original: battery life. The BlackJack II still lacks voice dialing, which is disappointing for a business phone, and I am not very fond of the new glossy exterior, but overall the BlackJack experience has improved greatly.

With its gobs of RAM, great keyboard, crisp display, and solid battery life, the new BlackJack II has earned its place among the best QWERTY phones on the market, including RIM's fantastic BlackBerry Curve 8300 series. If Windows Mobile is your thing, the new BlackJack II is very likely the best non-touchscreen QWERTY smartphone on the market. It has a great form factor, robust capabilities all around, and won't require daily recharging. That's easily enough to earn it a "Highly Recommended" rating from this fan.

Read full review

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User Reviews


HASN'T WORKED FROM DAY ONE !!!!

What can I say? I bought one and had to return it within 5 days because it stopped working. The 2nd one I get (one I still have now) worked OK for about 30 days (something fishy about that) now there is no way to hear anyone you call, you can't even hear the "help" person when you dial *611. I tried m...More
What can I say? I bought one and had to return it within 5 days because it stopped working. The 2nd one I get (one I still have now) worked OK for about 30 days (something fishy about that) now there is no way to hear anyone you call, you can't even hear the "help" person when you dial *611. I tried many ways to get rid of this phone, but after 30 days you're stuck with it & my carrier won't let me upgrade for 1 year. I am not a rich person so I have had to go without a cell for about 6 months. Now I am going to buy a new one. Hopefully this type of thing won't happen again. I will never buy Samsung again though. Less

Not bad for 2 Years - But Close

For 2 years, the phone help up. With lots of extra programs, this phone kept up with many expensive models. Battery was able to last one day. Small screen, slow processor, windows 6.1 - lots of frustration. Just glad I will upgrade now.
Amazon

First Smart Phone

from Amazon
This is my first experience with a smart phone. I have used it for over a year now and have no regrets. It gets great reception and functions great! The phone seems to need a bit more RAM but works really well. I personally am not a big fan of Microsoft but will find it hard to have a phone without...More
This is my first experience with a smart phone. I have used it for over a year now and have no regrets. It gets great reception and functions great! The phone seems to need a bit more RAM but works really well. I personally am not a big fan of Microsoft but will find it hard to have a phone without a Windows OS installed. I have kept the phone in a rubber cover and it still looks good. It seems to be a very durable phone as I have dropped it many times. I love the auto backup feature as well. I also utilize the media player on the phone. I bought an earphone adapter and it works great as an MP3 player. Less

The worst phone I have ever had

We have buy 3, my wife, my son and me. All 3 have had problem. 2 have been change by the seller. Mine is always in function but I have many problems with it. I don't speak English enough good to details all problems but I can say just one thing : don't but it !!!

by far the worst phone I have ever had

I can not tell you how bad this phone is, it has never done out going email and none of the service reps have ever been able to fix it. The things it can not do are amazing and the crap that is does do reall who needs. Just give me a simple phone that works. Today it has finally just stopped charging....More
I can not tell you how bad this phone is, it has never done out going email and none of the service reps have ever been able to fix it. The things it can not do are amazing and the crap that is does do reall who needs. Just give me a simple phone that works. Today it has finally just stopped charging. No reason , battery is not old. Just does not want to take a charge. I will never have anything samsung again. If you have one of these throw it away and get something that works. Many thanks Less

Almost 2 years,and still going strong

Of the reviewers, I have probably had the phone the longest, almost two years. I have not had any of these problems. The battery lasts for days if you don't use it, and hours if you use it constantly just as Samsung says. Still true after two years. I am using it on the ATT network which has good...More
Of the reviewers, I have probably had the phone the longest, almost two years. I have not had any of these problems. The battery lasts for days if you don't use it, and hours if you use it constantly just as Samsung says. Still true after two years. I am using it on the ATT network which has good coverage. I had a RAZR3 on the T-mobile network before where the reception was terrible enough to make me switch to ATT. T-Mobile had bad reception at home and at work. Now I have good reception with ATT. If you have bad reception it is your network. Don't blame the phone. Change your network. Ask your network provider for a coverage map and compare it against other networks' coverage maps. They are not all the same. Some of them are really small. I did drop it on concrete, and nothing but a scratch on the corner where it hit. No other physical damage has occurred. I have not physically abused it, and then complained that it broke. Smart phones are new, if you want to play music, watch video and surf the web all at the same time, then you might need to wait for the next generation, or get a netbook. I have had none of the bad experiences of other reviewers. Or any of my own. Less
Amazon

Get A Different Phone, Save Yourself The Trouble!

from Amazon
I bought this phone brand new almost exactly one year ago. To date, this is my 4th Blackjack II since I have had to exchange it with AT&T under the warranty 3 times. This phone has been constant a headache. About 6 months after I got it all of my ring tones, including the ones that come on the phone,...More
I bought this phone brand new almost exactly one year ago. To date, this is my 4th Blackjack II since I have had to exchange it with AT&T under the warranty 3 times. This phone has been constant a headache. About 6 months after I got it all of my ring tones, including the ones that come on the phone, became corrupted and I had to restore my phone to factory settings (apparently a common issue with the BJII). Next, I would have between 3-5 signal bars of service and the phone would not make calls, receive call, or send or receive texts. And no, it was not AT&T's service to blame because when I used an old phone while waiting for a replacement unit it worked fine. The next phone I got had the microphone break after only 1 week of use. I again exchanged the phone to encounter the same problem as before where I was unable to make calls. After talking to AT&T they agreed to send me a different model phone because of the constant problems I have been having with this phone. Aside from all those issue's, the phone itself is a headache when it actually "works". When I lose signal, like in an elevator, I usually have to turn my phone on and off to regain signal even up to 30 minutes after losing signal. When texting or writing an email often times the phone will skip a letter that you did actually type. This can be very frustrating if you are a fast typer, which is easy on a full keyboard, because you type out a long text or email, then when you proof read it you realize that every other word is misspelled because the phone didn't add random letters. I have checked this by quickly typing 3 letter and finding only 2 show up, so its not just that I am bad at texting. A friend of mine has this phone and has had much the same experience as me. He, like me, loved this phone at first. The, after about a month the phone became more and more of a headache. I strongly recommend you find another phone if you are considering this one, it is not worth the trouble. Less
Amazon

The Worst Phone Ever

from Amazon
Before the end of the 12 months warranty I started to encounter problems. The battery would go flat within minutes. The keys get stuck. The Screen freezes. I tried to get a new one but I was sent a re-conditioned one and that's event worse. Do not get this phone. Even 1 star is being generous.
Amazon

Broke after 3 months

from Amazon
First of all, this was my first smart phone. My last phone was a very simple, inexpensive Nokia that I had for 5 years. At first I was really pleased with all the features this phone has and I like the way the phone looks. The camera was pretty good, although it wasn't as good as I had hoped from usin...More
First of all, this was my first smart phone. My last phone was a very simple, inexpensive Nokia that I had for 5 years. At first I was really pleased with all the features this phone has and I like the way the phone looks. The camera was pretty good, although it wasn't as good as I had hoped from using friends' phones to take pictures before. Pictures would come out blurry a lot, especially in medium to low light. One thing I didn't like was that the phone got really hot when I would talk for more than five or ten minutes. I don't know if this is normal for smart phones, but it made talking so uncomfortable that I would have to use a headset. Another thing is that the quality of the sound seemed worse than that of my old Nokia. Lastly, and most importantly, is that after about three months the phone just stopped working. Since the phone was refurbished, it isn't under warranty anymore, so there's not much I can do. I dropped the phone a few times from short distances while it had a case on, but my old phone took much worse abuse and has never had a problem for over five years. I think for my next phone I will go for something more reliable, even if it's at the cost of fewer features. Less
Amazon

Crappy Power Port for Music Listening

from Amazon
The problem I had with this phone is the ill conceived idea of the power port being the interface for music and computer connectivity. This power port is very flimsy and breaks easily with any wear and tear and Samsung will not fix it because it is connected to the motherboard of the phone. They say it...More
The problem I had with this phone is the ill conceived idea of the power port being the interface for music and computer connectivity. This power port is very flimsy and breaks easily with any wear and tear and Samsung will not fix it because it is connected to the motherboard of the phone. They say it is Beyond economical repair and send your unrepaired phone back to you. Very flimsy, try a Blackberry instead, if you want to listen to music and enjoy all the functions of your phone, it is more durable and has a separate connection for music. Less
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