Stick it to em': Slightly bigger than a pack of gum, but still quite pocketable.
Other changes include a larger, eight-line, 128x128 color LCD that really pops; a blue-illuminated, backlit keypad; and a clear plastic bar on top of the phone that lights up red when a call comes in, when you make a call, or when it's charging.
Samsung has added a speakerphone to the back of the mobile. To use this feature, check the right side of the phone and press a small silver button bearing a speaker icon. On the other side of the N400 is a two-way rocker button that controls volume. However, if you don't turn on the keypad lock, you can inadvertently turn off the ringer when the phone is in your pocket or loose in your purse.
Like other PCS Vision-enabled phones, the N400 lets you customize its look with downloadable graphics, pictures, and sounds, available as part of Sprint's next-generation data service. The wireless Web interface also looks jazzier, though it remains largely text oriented. (See the Performance section for more on the wireless Web features.) As with many of Sprint's latest mobiles, the N400 is packed with features, including three-way calling, 20 ring tones, a vibrate mode, a calendar, a memo pad, an alarm, a countdown, a calculator, a world clock, voice-activated dialing, SMS, a 250-name phone book, and caller ID (when available).
Look ma no hands: The N400 comes with a speakerphone.
The N400 is also GPS ready for e911 services, and as one of Sprint's PCS Vision mobiles, it supports J2ME so that you can download ring tones, screensavers, and applications for a few dollars more. Some of the downloads are silly, while others are somewhat addictive. Better yet, you can go into a special "airplane" mode that allows you to play the games without having the cell radio on. This phone is compatible with Sprint's optional digital camera attachment so that you can take and send pictures from your mobile. We tested the N400 (CDMA 1900, 800/AMPS 800) in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area using Sprint PCS service and found call quality to be above par. Calls were clear, and callers said that they couldn't tell we were using a cell phone. When we turned on the speakerphone feature, callers said they didn't even know we were using a cell phone, let alone a speakerphone.
One complaint about the wireless Web experience: Though Sprint's 3G network is supposed to make surfing the wireless Web quicker, we didn't notice much of a speed boost. To be clear, the lag time isn't long, but we expected it to disappear with the new 1xRTT data network.
As for battery life, we managed to meet the phone's rated talk time of 2.9 hours and standby time of 7 days. We appreciated that Samsung ditched the desktop charger that was available with the N200 in favor of the compact travel-sized charger.
Hit the road: this compact charger won't take up a lot of room in a bag.