Samsung's "Eco-Friendly" Android Phone Feels Like A Cheap Gimmick

samsung replenish

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

Samsung decided to surprise us today with it’s new “eco-friendly” phone, the Samsung Replenish.While the phone won’t exactly blow you away, it does come at a great price. You can get it for just $50 with a two-year contract from Sprint.

Not a bad price for a fully-functional Android phone.

But for most people, you’re probably better off with one of the higher-end Android phones. The Replenish is covered in bendy plastic that feels cheap. (That’s probably the point, since one-third of the phone is made from recycled plastic.)

In fact, the battery cover popped off when I squeezed the sides. Not a good sign.

The 2.8-inch touchscreen is pretty dull too. It’s nowhere near as bright and vibrant as the other Samsung phones I’ve used, although it is very responsive to touch.

A full QWERTY keyboard juts out the bottom of the Replenish. It’s pretty easy to type on, but I’m over physical keyboards at this point. Samsung’s touchscreen keyboards are smart enough to adapt to errors by now.

At the end of the day, the Replenish feels more like a marketing gimmick than a serious phone. It’s nice that it comes in recyclable packaging (if you ignore the plastic shrink wrap and twist ties, that is), but don’t expect too much as far as performance.

The Replenish comes in this cute recyclable box

Here's the Replenish coming out of the box.

It feels like it's made from flimsy plastic

Even the user's manual is made from recycled material. The shrink wrap and plastic ties? Probably not.

Micro USB port on the bottom for charging and syncing

There's a camera button on the side, for snapping photos

The top of the phone has the headphone jack and power button

And the other side has the volume rocker

It's nowhere near as thin as the iPhone 4

The Replenish's display is pretty dull. Here's what it looks like next to the iPhone 4's Retina Display


At just 2 MP, the camera is pretty weak

The keyboard is easy to type on, but it's still not as nice as a full touchscreen device would have been

Now check out a really cool Samsung phone...

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