After spending some quality time with Samsung's ACE
for Sprint the past few days, yep, we can now say with confidence what we've suspected all along: it's essentially a BlackJack
in Sprint clothing. Actually, it's more accurate to say that it's 95 percent BlackJack and 5 percent improvement, with a more inward-slanted, square d-pad that makes it considerably harder to accidentally hit the surrounding controls, and angled keys that offer an embedded numeric pad in the proper configuration (we appreciate what Samsung tried to do with the original BlackJack's every-other-key layout, but in practice, it just didn't work out). The Windows Mobile 6 Standard software load is fairly typical, albeit mildly Sprint-ified with a yellow theme and shortcuts to access On Demand, Sprint TV, and the like. The phone seemed reasonably snappy, and the EV-DO modem hauled butt when we downloaded the Sprint TV client; don't expect that kind of performance overseas, though, as the ACE's GSM radio lacks any sort of 3G. Check out the gallery for all the glamor shots -- the Sprint-branded SIM card gets us every time!