Matt Buchanan on Verizon’s Samsung Fascinate Lightning

Matt Buchanan:

Verizon, unfortunately, is also what ruins the phone. Or, rather, what it’s forced Samsung to do to the phone, which you could sum up in a word: Bing. Bing is the default—and only—search engine on the Fascinate. A Google Android phone. In the search widget, in the browser, when you press the search button. Bing. No, you can’t change it. There’s no setting for it, and the Google Search widget that you can snag from the Market is blocked (or at least very carefully hidden). Being unwittingly forced into Verizon and Bing’s conjugal relationship is infuriating on its own, but the implementation also feels like the sloppy hack that it is. The co-branded Bing/Verizon portal that an in-browser search takes you to is ripped from the circa-2005 dumbphone-approved “internet,” while the Bing Maps app that it pushes you toward is vastly inferior to Google Maps (no multitouch, Latitude, etc.).

Android is “open”, but who it’s open for, primarily, are the carriers. (Somehow I doubt we’ll see any Windows Phone 7 devices where Google is the one and only search option.)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010