There's a whole plethora of choices out there for messaging phones, especially for ones on the entry-level end of the market. The Samsung Intensity SCH-U450 counts itself among this set, touting an attractive, compact design and a few premium talents as its main selling point.
Like a number of messaging phones out there, the Intensity fits in two sets of keys - a T9-style panel on the front and a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard that pops out on the left side. Overall keypad performance is good, although they're a little too crammed together (which was needed to manage the compact size).
Design is very sleek for a basic handset, with a nice color scheme, curved corners and a soft-touch plastic chassis. Build is sturdy and it's comfortable to use. Display is a 2.1-inch LCD with a 176 x 220 pixel resolution, which is decent enough, despite being a bit too small.
As a phone, the Intensity offered good enough voice calls, although the sound is far from natural. There was some amount of echo present, along with a machine-like quality to the tone. Speakerphone is also clear, albeit with an even stronger echo. It has a rated battery life of five hours talk time, making the phone good for at least a day or two before charging.
Being an entry-level messager, features aren't too heavy. You get the standard set of phone capabilities, along with a full messaging suite (SMS with threaded messaging, MMS, email and IM). For emails, you get the option of either using the downloadable Mobile E-mail app ($5) or web e-mail (which simply means accessing it from the onboard browser).
The phone comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera (plenty of editing options but mediocre image quality), an onboard GPS (with support for VZ Navigayor) and a built-in music player (average). It supports the V Cast Music with Rhapsody service, but you can't download songs directly onto the phone (since it doesn't have 3G connectivity). You can get subscribed tunes from your PC, though.
Overall, the Samsung Intensity is a largely basic messaging phone with an excellent design. The multimedia capabilities aren't all that interesting, to be honest, but with great aesthetics, comfortable keyboards and an extremely affordable price (free on contract, according to Verizon's site), it just might prove to be a decent choice.