When we took the phone out of the box, it felt a bit flimsy; it wasn't until we lit up the screen for the first time, however, that we understood exactly how much the cheapness radiated. Once we saw the 2.8-inch, QVGA display with 240 x 320 resolution pop up, we immediately saw the pixelation pouring out of the screen, as if we were trying to relive the glory days of 2008 when this type of display was more commonplace. It was slightly disappointing to see, since we'd have a much more enjoyable time with a green phone if it had a good quality display. To make matters worse, we experienced some rather unsettling scratches on the top half of the Replenish, and we don't even understand what could've caused it -- the review unit was used just shy of a week, and it rarely came out of our pockets (to clarify, these were pockets that didn't contain keys or other sharp items). We can't even tell for sure whether the display is glass or hard plastic; regardless, needless to say, if you purchase the Replenish it's not a bad idea to look into alternative methods of protecting the display so it doesn't get scratched up as much. Lastly, the phone isn't going to hold up through much of a beating due to the recyclable materials it's made of.
The Replenish feels like a long phone, even though it's not -- the optical illusion here is the result of two unbalanced halves, the top being the longer display, with the bottom being a short keyboard. The two halves are divided by a row of the four usual buttons: menu, home, back, and search. On the left side of the handset we find a volume rocker sitting next to a hole that a lanyard can loop through; the top has a 3.5 mm headphone jack on its left and power / lock button conveniently on its right; and the right side has a dedicated camera button and voice dial key. Down underneath is a microUSB charging port and mic, and on the back we see a small speaker grill sitting next to the 2 megapixel camera sans LED flash. The battery cover is delicate and slick, and is just glossy enough to easily pick up fingerprints. Our unit came with only the black cover, though several color choices should be available soon.
One area in which the Samsung Replenish should earn a round of applause is its optional solar-powered battery cover, which takes the green theme a step beyond any other phone that came before. We're impressed with the innovative length the companies went through just to embed a simple solar charger into a battery cover, which we think is something that should be done much more often. We love the fact that no clunky accessories are necessary to make it work. Instead, the cover is snapped onto the back just like normal, and can snatch up sunlight and charge the device without additional wires. It's not a quick charge, mind you -- one hour of exposure to direct sunlight will hook the phone up with 20 minutes of talk time -- but it will definitely work in a pinch when you're nowhere near an electric outlet.
The Replenish is geared with a 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7627-2 processor, which is now standard on entry-level smartphones. An OS like Android 2.2 demands a lot out of its CPUs, and they get pushed hard. The CPU works okay for normal tasks, but we noticed some performance concerns that could be related to either the processor or buggy firmware; we've seen better performance out of other Android phones with the same specs, so we're leaning toward the latter. Our issues stemmed when, over the course of two days, the device crashed and rebooted three separate times -- each time occurring as it was pushed to the upper limits of its performance. In addition to the processor, the Replenish also houses 512MB RAM, a laughable 136MB internal storage space (with 2GB microSD included), and a 2 megapixel camera. We were, however, pleasantly surprised to see a 1600 mAh battery included that claims to offer 5.5 hours talk time. In our tests, we could use the phone moderately (making calls, sending messages, taking pictures, browsing the web and downloading apps) throughout the full day without requiring another charge, but definitely needed to plug it in at night. Calls were loud and clear until switching to speakerphone, in which voices still came out clear enough but sounded slightly tinny and muffled. We didn't experience any dropped calls or fluctuations in service with our unit.