"King of the AT&T Hill"4.5 starson by dumbego
Pros: - Battery life
- Screen - big and bright
- Hardware - Internal Storage and Processor
- Design - light and thin
Cons: - Fewer widgets than HTC Sense
- AT&T - it really isn't a 4g phone in any sense of the term because AT&T's network prevents you from taking advantage of the phone's full potential
- "Outdated" - TouchWiz 3.0, Android 2.2
- Bugs during the first co
Summary: As per usual, I completely disagree with CNET's conclusions. Let's take a loot at their two major complaints -
1. AT&T's data speeds
2. "Pixelated" screen
Allow me to answer for both -
1. Yes, AT&T is the worst carrier when it comes to 4g. I'm getting nowhere near what they claim I should be getting, and I live in a city. Not a metropolis, but a small city, nonetheless.
2. Their second complaint just isn't true. You will see pixelated text if it gets down to maybe size 6 font and you try to zoom it. Otherwise, you won't notice any pixelation.
Now, allow me to elaborate on some of the finer points.
I've read many reviews which criticize the battery life on this phone. Either these people have never used a smartphone before, or they didn't take care of the battery by draining it to zero at least once before charging it up, because the phone does a great job. It comes with a Task Manager pre-installed, and it does a great job closing most apps on its own. Considering the size of the screen, with moderate use (an hour of playing music through the speaker, five to ten minutes of talking, texting throughout the day, occasional web browsing, half an hour of reading an e-book, all per day), I can get 1.5-2 days out of the battery. The one complaint I have is that it takes a long time to bring that up to charge. Turned off, it takes about 3 hours to go from 0-100%, and turned on, about 4. It's not the end of the world, but is certainly something to take into consideration.
The most impressive thing about the phone is, undoubtedly, the screen. I came from an HTC Aria, one of the smallest devices out there, to this behemoth, and the difference is incredible, especially in typing. On the Aria, I basically had to live by autocorrect, but now it is far much less so. Additionally, the default Android keyboard is very user-friendly. The screen is clearly visible when turned up all the way in direct sunlight, and the phone comes with the option of automatically adjusting the brightness based on your surroundings. Most of the time, I use this feature.
The phone is, naturally, very snappy. It can multitask extremely well, and plays high quality videos without a single hiccup. A nice added bonus is the 13 GB of internal storage, a far cry from the roughly 2.5 GB TOTAL (SD card included) on the Aria (granted, they're two very different phones, but it's the only reference point I have). It also comes with a 2 GB SD card, so you have plenty of room for apps, music, and videos. Speaking of videos, the MediaHub credit is useful, but buys you very little. The only real "bargains" are video rentals, and those range from $2-5 for 24 hours, depending on the movie. Movie purchases are as much as $18. So, they give you $25, but it's deceptive in that it buys you very little. I'll certainly use the credit, but I don't think I'll be using MediaHub once I've spent that.
Kudos to Samsung on the design. While the screen could have warranted a kickstand for watching videos, it likely keeps it out in order to maintain its incredibly slim profile. In fact, the phone doesn't really feel that big, because although it is wide and tall, it's also very thin and light, something you will likely have to experience in person to fully appreciate. As for the style, you can just look at the video and see for yourself.
Now, I realize that there have been complains about the OS, in that it has neither TouchWiz 4.0 nor Android 2.3. However, as I saw with the upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2 on my Aria, the reality is that there's very little difference between each small update. The lack of TouchWiz 4.0 bothers me more than the lack of Android 2.3, and hopefully we'll see an update soon (though I won't hold my breath). Regardless, it really wasn't a deal breaker for me.
I did have some problems with bugs during the first couple of days. The phone simply froze up on me a couple of times, and I also had difficulty getting the Media Scanner to scan and locate the SD card that I had swapped from my old phone to this one. In the end, I just used my computed, moving the files from the old card onto the phone, and using the SD card that came with the phone, and the problem went away (perhaps a newer generation SD card, I don't know enough to give an adequate explanation, myself). Additionally, within the first few days, I had trouble with the phone locking up, especially when using the music player. I changed music players, and started using SongBird (I made the switch because there doesn't seem to be shuffle on the stock player, and that's a feature I enjoy using). After starting with SongBird and getting my music library perfectly synced, those bugs also went away. One thing that you should note, though, is that the screen might react to stray hairs, smudges, etc on the screen. If the phone suddenly starts jumping around or hitting random buttons, turn the screen off and clean it. It should be fine.
In conclusion, this is most certainly the best phone in Android's lineup. It beats the pants off of the iPhone (which I've also had the "pleasure" of experiencing before), and certainly makes up for the lack of dual core with its screen and OS, pushing it ahead of the Atrix.