Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Samsung A900

Until quite recently I was the proud and happy owner of a Samsung vi660. It was a simple phone in terms of features but had color graphics, was fairly compact and got great reception. Yet as with all clamshell designs, the hinges were susceptible to wear and what started out as a hair thin line last December become a full blown crack earlier this week. Shortly thereafter parts started falling out and thus I was involuntarily placed on the warpath for a new phone.

Because I still had four months until my two-year contract with Sprint matured I was only able to get $75 off any new phone I purchased. My journey started at the Sprint store and as I made clear with the automated survey I responded to earlier this evening, the experience could have been a lot better. The salespeople were not at all knowledgeable about the product as they made several promises, such as being able to transfer the contacts from my old phone, that turned out to be completely based in fantasy.

That leads me into my major complaint about this phone. Though the camera, multimedia capabilities and enhanced web access are all new, the basic applications such as the calendar and address book are virtually unchanged from the vi660. For instance, transferring contacts stored on your computer requires a Bluetooth connection despite the presence of a USB connection. And even then it's considered a small miracle when it works. If you're thinking about synching the phone with your calendar, forget about it. The capability simply does not exist.

Yet despite these glaring feature omissions, this phone is simply amazing in terms of multimedia support, ease of use and looks. And by looks I mean it looks damn fine. In my opinion it's the best looking phone out there, even more so than it's inspiration the RAZR. The swivel camera is a definite plus as it allows you to take pictures or videos of yourself while previewing. And with the USB connection I can easily transfer items to and from my computer without the need for a 3rd party vendor.

Indeed, the past few days have found me using the A900 to watch videos, play games and in general do much more than just call people. It is truly a multimedia wonder for such a small size. And yet I know that I probably haven't even touched on half of the available features. No doubt I will be spending the next month grokking this phone in an effort to maximize its capabilities. I look forward to the surprises in store for me.

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