The music player is identical to that on the other Delve. It has a straightforward interface that supports album art. Features aren't plentiful, but you get playlists, shuffle and repeat modes, and six equalizer settings. You can drop files onto the phone using a number of methods (a USB cable or a memory card), You can send the player to the background while using other functions and select an airplane mode for listening to your tunes while aloft.
The U.S. Cellular Delve's 2-megapixel camera is almost the same as on the Alltel model. It takes pictures in six resolutions, from 1,600x1,200 down to a special "picture ID" size. Other editing options include three quality settings, exposure metering, an adjustable ISO, a self-timer, an auto-focus, brightness and white balance, five color effects, and three shutter sounds (plus a silent option). You also can use multishot, mosaic, and night shooting modes, and choose from 24 photo frames. As previously mentioned, the Delve doesn't have a flash. Photo quality was quite good, with bright colors and little image noise.
The camcorder function shoots clips with sound in two resolutions (320x240 and 176x144). Camcorder options are fewer than on the still camera, but it's a decent assortment. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped about 15 seconds, and you're limited to a 176x144 resolution, but you can shoot for almost 10 minutes in the standard mode. Integrated memory is 150MB of shared space, but the microSD-card slot will accommodate cards up to 8GB.
You can personalize the Delve with a variety of wallpaper and alert tones, and you can compose your own greeting. You can download more options and more ringtones from U.S. Cellular's EasyEdge Web service using the full HTML browser. The Delve doesn't come with any games.
We tested the dual-band Samsung Delve (CDMA 800/1900) in San Francisco using U.S. Cellular's roaming service. Call quality was comparable to the Alltel phone, which is to say it was quite satisfying. Voices were natural and we got a strong, consistent signal without any static or interference. Here again, the volume could be higher but imagine that most people won't even notice.
On their end, callers had positive feedback. There was less background noise than on the Alltel phone, so we had little problem holding a conversation in a variety of environments. Callers could tell we were using a cell phone, but that's not unusual. Speakerphone calls were decent as were calls with a Bluetooth headset.
The U.S. Cellular Delve is a 3G EV-DO device, but we were unable to access the high-speed network in roaming areas. Over the 1xRTT connection, however, the browser was relatively responsive. The browser interface is similar to that on the Behold; it performs about the same as well. Music over the external speaker is just OK, so we recommend using a headset.
The Delve has a rated battery life of 4.7 hours talk time and 14.5 days standby time. We had a tested talk time of 4 hours and 21 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Delve has a digital SAR rating of 1.04 watts per kilogram.
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