Lest we believe Samsung forgot Mother Earth, here comes the Samsung Evergreen (SGH-A667), a very affordable AT&T messaging phone with a list of lower-impact eco-credentials. The hardware is built from 70 percent recycled post-consumer materials, and the packaging is made from 80 percent recycled post-consumer paper and is printed with soy ink (regular ink is petroleum-based). The user manual comes on a CD. These are similar to measures taken with Samsung's other environmentally conscious phones like the Reclaim, Restore, and the Blue Earth.
At only $29.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T, the 3G-capable Evergreen has enough interface perks and midrange features to make it a good-value messaging phone for heavy texters who can do without a touch screen. A responsive slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a roomy dialpad, and AT&T's extra services, like AT&T Music, make the Evergreen appealing to budget-conscious socialites and tree-huggers alike.
You'd hardly call the Samsung Evergreen a small or stylish phone, and indeed, with rounded corners and a black plastic body, it resembles most other all-black Samsung messaging sliders of its type, with only a few colorful accents around the navigation toggle and on the keyboard--bright green, in this case--to give it some interest. That said, the Evergreen is inoffensive to the eye and its dimensions (4.56 inches tall, 2.2 inches wide, and 0.6 inch deep) make it pleasant in the hand. It wasn't more brickish than other QWERTY phones, and it ranks standard in weight, too, at 4.5 ounces.
The 2.4-inch QVGA display supports 320x240 pixels and 262,000 colors. This isn't a high-resolution display by mobile standards, but it is common for this type of phone, and it's bright and colorful. Navigation is straightforward and responsive with the four-directional toggle that sits below the screen; it has a central Select button. On both sides of the navigation array are gently concave buttons that host the two soft keys, a texting shortcut, and the combined Clear and Back button. The Talk and End buttons are slightly raised and also easy to press. We were pleased with the roomy dialpad and the corresponding large, onscreen numbers. Each wide, backlit dialpad key has an angled bottom edge, which makes it possible to dial by feel.
Although the Evergreen's spines have the usual attributes--a volume rocker, a Micro-USB charging port, a microSD card slot, and a camera shutter--there is one surprise. Sharing the camera shutter rocker is a convenience key that opens an onscreen ticker through which you can launch a variety of features like the texting or gaming module and the music player. Note that while there is a player on board, there's no dedicated headphone jack--you'll need to use the Micro-USB port instead. On the back is a 2-megapixel camera.
We've seen a lot of QWERTY keyboards, and the Evergreen's ranks fairly high. It manages to be spacious without being too wide, and the domed keys are nice and responsive to press. Samsung did well placing the tall soft keys on either end of the keyboard, making them easy to get at.
The Samsung Evergreen has all your basic messaging features, plus a few more besides. The address book holds 2,000 entries, each with room for multiple phone numbers and e-mail addresses. There's also space for a caller group, note, customized message tone, photo ID, and one of 11 default ringtones.
Tools include a calendar, an alarm clock, an audio recorder, a calculator, a to-do list, a note pad, and a tip calculator. There's also a voice command app (powered by Nuance). For communications and connectivity, there's text and multimedia messaging; Bluetooth and GPS support; AT&T Social Net (powered by iSkoot), which pulls down RSS feeds; and Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace status updates. Various other AT&T-branded apps also make an appearance, like AT&T Navigator, AT&T Maps (powered by NavTeq and YellowPages.com), and AT&T Music for $4.99 per month (run by PacketVideo). In addition, there are third-party apps like Where and Yellow Pages Mobile.
If you activate it, the Evergreen supports AT&T's Video Share feature, which streams video live to another caller who also has the service enabled. For Internet, there's the highly stylized ATT.net browser. AT&T Locker is an online storage unit for your photos.