Samsung Blaze 4G pictures and hands-on

At first sight, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G is a stubby little spud of a phone. To read that it's got a 4-inch screen - okay, 3.97-inch - is quite the surprise. It comes across more of a pebble than a slab thanks to its chunky middle. That's probably the only place though that would make you realise that this is, in fact, a budget-friendly phone.

The Super AMOLED display is a cracker, even if it is just WVGA resolution (800 x 480 in new money), and there's not so much as a thought of a glitch as you swoop your way about the TouchWiz UI thanks to the monstrous 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor at the helm.

Sure, it's not an Ice Cream Sandwich device but the Android 2.3 Gingerbread experience doesn't feel like you're in the dark ages - it might by the end of an 18-month contract - and there's plenty of Google goodies to enjoy. You get all your Maps, Calendar, Gmail and Market basics, Samsung's Media Hub and a few treats courtesty of T-Mobile, on whose network this phone will come out, in the shape of a 4GPro App Pack offering an aggregation of key business applications such as DropBox, Evernote, Square, TripIt, Camscanner and LinkedIn.

The set of double cameras is a relief, with a 5-megapixel rear-facer that can also shoot 720p and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. There's even an LED flash to support on the rear as well as a simple enough speaker just in case you want to use your Blaze 4G as some kind of terrible beat box.

It might not be a top of the line unit but there's a good, solid, feel to this phone with some metal housing here and there as well as a sturdy and nicely designed back flap. The microSD card slot has moved around to the side, as with most of the new wave Samsung mobiles we saw at MWC 2012, and that adds a good degree of convenience too.

Following on from the Samsung Exhibit II 4G that went live in the US in October, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G will cost $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan. No word on a UK release but don't hold your breath waiting for one since it's got that 4G part in its name. Still, with those plans from Three on the way...