The Samsung SGH-X820's digital media player supports MP3, AAC, and WMA files and is similar to the minimalist but serviceable player found on other Samsungs. The primary user interaction is done through the toggle, with a few other keys acting as shortcuts to different functions. The interface is minimalist. There's no album art, and only the track name scrolls across the top of the display. You can choose from six skin types, but none are too fancy, and there's an onscreen icon showing the toggle's functions (which direction is Play and so forth). The player comes with a number of functions, including playlists, repeat and shuffle modes, and four equalizer settings, as well as 3D sounds, which didn't seem to make much of a difference. As for getting music on the phone, you can transfer tracks from a PC with the included USB cable, send them via Bluetooth, or download them from the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser.
You can personalize the SGH-X820 with a variety of wallpapers, colors, skins, background colors, and alert tones. If you want more options or more ring tones, you can download them through the Web browser. Gaming options include two Java (J2ME) titles, Freekick and Bobby Carrot, but you can always get more if you want them.
We tested the triband (GSM 900/1800/1900; GPRS/EDGE) SGH-X820 world phone in San Francisco using Cingular's service. Call quality was surprisingly good, with sharpness and little static or interference. Volume was a tad low. While not a problem for us, it may be troublesome for users with hearing impairment. The speakerphone was satisfying overall. The sound was muffled at higher levels, but that's standard for cell speakerphones. Bluetooth headset calls were decent as well, and though the SGH-X820 lacks external stereo speakers, tunes from the digital music player weren't half bad for short stints.
The Samsung SGH-X820 has a rated battery life of 4 hours of talk time and 10 days of standby time. However, we managed to eke out an impressive 5 hours of talk time in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the SGH-X820 has a digital SAR rating of 1.19 watt per kilogram.
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