Supporting text and multimedia messaging is a given, and we like that the phone supports threaded conversations. You also get instant messaging, mobile e-mail, voice command, voice recording, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, and an HTML Web browser. You don't get quick access buttons to your e-mail or Web browser--you have to go through the EasyEdge application first. The HTML Web browser is easy enough to use, but you have to use the magnifying glass to zoom in and out, which can get rather cumbersome. Also, since the screen is so small, there's quite a bit of scrolling about.
The music player on the Messager Touch is simple and not unlike other Samsung phones. You have to insert a microSD card in order for it to work. The songs are categorized into genre, artist, and album, and you can set the player to repeat or shuffle. The Messager Touch only has 100MB internal storage, but it supports up to 16GB microSD cards.
The 2.0-megapixel camera on the Messager Touch can take pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings. Other camera settings include four shooting modes, a self-timer, brightness, white balance, color effects, metering, a night mode, and three shutter sounds plus a silent option. It's Photo quality was mediocre. Its images looked sharp enough, but image colors seem muted and a little overcast. Also, it has a built-in camcorder that can record in 176x144-pixel resolution.
You are free to customize and personalize your phone with graphics for wallpaper and sounds for ring tones or alerts. You can download more options via the U.S. Cellular EasyEdge store. The phone comes with Namco's Pac-Man game, and you're free to download more via the EasyEdge store as well.
We tested the Samsung Messager Touch in San Francisco using U.S. Cellular's roaming network partners. Its call quality was pretty good overall. We heard our callers clearly for the most part, with natural sounding voices to boot.
On their end, our callers said they encountered a bit more distortion. They said it sounded like distant crackling, but it was quite faint and didn't happen too often. Its speakerphone calls quality is rather mediocre. Voices came through loud enough, albeit sounding tinny. Callers said we sounded rather muffled and reported quite a strong echo effect as well.
Its audio quality for music playback was decent. However, its mono external speaker emitted rather hollow sound, so we would suggest the use of a headset for better performance.
We weren't able to test the Messager Touch under ideal EV-DO Rev. 0 conditions, since San Francisco only supports the 1xRTT network for U.S. Cellular. However, we still enjoyed decent download speeds. We were able to load the full CNET front page in just 35 seconds, for example.
The Samsung Messager Touch has a rated battery life of 5 hours talk time and 12 days standby time. It has a tested talk time of 3 hours and 49 minutes. According to the FCC radiation tests, it has a digital SAR of 0.95 watt per kilogram.