Pros Good reception, sound quality, large/high resolution screen, user friendly interface, nice feel in hand, good bluetooth file exchange with MAC
Cons Screen & buttons show oil/finger smudges, mp3 "touch" controls are difficult to use, external screen turns off and takes pressing side buttons 3 seconds to awake, NO SYNC capability with MAC, UGLY!
Summary I’ll hit on the main points here…
The camera: good resolution, works poor in low light conditions. A flash would have worked wonders. The zoom was fairly useless too.
The mp3 player: external controls utilize a “touch pad” which is difficult to use in your pocket. The external controls also “sleep” after 5 sec or so of no use and it takes a few seconds to “awake” the controls by pressing the side soft keys. This is annoying.
The phone supposedly can use up to a 2gig micro card, but Samsung techies only recommend 512mb because of slower response with a larger card. I purchased a 1g card for very little $ but was never able to use it before the phone crashed (see below).
NO cable was provided for transferring music, not that it would have mattered because I use a Mac. The “syncing” is only applicable to PC’s, a finely printed fact in the owners manual, not disclosed upfront. I’m sure you can get around this, though, by using a card reader and directly loading files to the card. Also, I was able to transfer a few songs using Bluetooth although this took awhile. Another annoying feature is that only headphones with a Samsung adapter can be used. I did find a great deal on a adapter, computer cable, and car charger for around $20 though.
The phone itself is UGLY, but it is clean looking (no frills). It feels good in your hand and fits well in your pocket. The buttons are extremely CHEAP looking, though. They are not well defined and slick to touch. They also show finger smudges easily. I was able to flip open the phone with one hand despite what others have written.
Battery life is average (three days with minimal use, one and half with heavy use). Call quality was excellent although the volume could have been louder. I had no problems with dropped calls.
The phone lacks many customizable features I took for granted with my Moto. Simple things like phonebook organization, menu customization, and ringtone preferences lacked essential customizing features. On the plus side, the user interface was extremely easy to use.
After having the phone for exactly 7 days, it croaked on me. The phone is stuck in a continuous cycle of restarting and shutting down. None of the controls work… its DEAD. I didn’t even have a chance to drop it in the toilet yet.
Here’s the bottom line: get the sync if you’re looking for a SIMPLE mp3 phone with a big screen. Just be willing to deal with the annoying external controls, smudges on the huge beautiful screen, and a lack of customizable features.
I’m exchanging the sync for an LG CU500. I’ll keep you posted how long that one lasts...Updated
I had the opportunity to own both phones at the same time and here is my comparison of the two models. In general, where one phone was weak, the other was strong. If you could combine the strengths of both phones you would have something close to ideal. In the end, I went with the LG CU500. Here’s the rundown:
Samsung Sync: Large beautiful screen. Clear, vibrant colors and the screen can be seen at virtually any angle. I nearly went with the Sync just because of the screen. The brightness is also fully adjustable. Truly impressive. Score: A+
LG CU500: Relatively small screen in comparison and the resolution is fair at best. The screen must be viewed straight on otherwise the screen looks overexposed or black. In my opinion, the screen is a major flaw of the cu 500 and there is no comparison when put side by side to the Sync. The syncs’ screen blows it out of the water. Furthermore, there is no brightness/contrast adjustment on the screen (shouldn’t this be a standard setting?) Score: C-
Samsung Sync: The speakers on the sync had incredible rich sound with lots of bass when music was played. It almost fooled you to think there were larger speakers hidden somewhere. Likewise, sound quality on voice calls was excellent and sounded rich. Only on busy streets did I have difficulty hearing people on the other line. Score: A+
LG CU 500: The sound quality for music playback is average at best and there is poor bass. Although there is an equalizer (which the sync lacks) there was little improvement on quality. Similarly, sound quality is average for voice calls. There was almost a little too much treble and not enough bass in the speakers. The volume was quite loud on city streets though. Never any trouble hearing the other person. Score: B-
Samsung Sync: A significant reason for me deciding on the cu500 over the sync was the incredibly annoying wake feature to activate the external screen. At first I thought I could deal with this, but it makes you pis*ed really fast. How stupid do you look when someone asks you the time and you have to pause and press the soft key for 3+ seconds before telling them. Why even have an external screen? Score: F-
LG CU 500: Instantaneous external activation when the soft key is pressed. Score: A+
Samsung Sync: Great hinge construction. The phone is on the ugly side, but once you get over that, it’s a nice size and was easily opened with one hand. The phone closed nicely and had a great sound when closed. This sounds funny, but compared to the Lg this was heaven! Score: A+
LG CU 500: The hinge construction is garbage! Straight out of the box the screen was loose. You can even feel the screen rattle in your hand when you talk/text/etc. Also, when the phone closes it makes a loud CRACK/SMACK sound.
Besides the hinge construction the overall construction is decent. Score: C
Samsung Sync: The camera on the sync, although 2mp, was horrible at taking clear photographs except under very bright lighting. Don’t plan on using this camera in the evening or on any type of moving objects. Sync = Bluuuuuurrrrry photos. On the plus side, the photos that were taken of still objects under bright light came out excellent.
LG CU 500: The resolution isn’t as high as the sync, but the image quality is much better under low lighting. When photos were taken with each phone, loaded to my computer, and compared, the lg produced much higher quality images. Also, the rotating camera is a plus. I was able to set the phone down, set the timer, and take a photo of a friend and I with little problem. A-
Samsung Sync: Horrible MP3 controls. You must hold down the soft key for wayyy to long before activating the controls and the “touch” controls are awkward. Also, you can’t feel the buttons in your pocket if you want to skip forward a song. Poor design. Also, when MP3s are playing you cannot multitask. The phone may as well be locked when the MP3 player is on. Score: F-
LG CU 500: The external controls on the lg are on point! No lag time in activating the controls and the buttons are simple to use. The way it should be! I can even skip forward songs and adjust volume while the phone is in my pocket! Yeah! Also, you can still browse files and your phonebook while music is playing. Photos are not an option, though. Score: A-
Samsung Sync: I use a Mac and thus syncing either phone was not an option for me. Thus to transfer files I used a memory card reader and directly transferred files to the card (after extracting the card with tweezers). With the sync I was able to create play lists on my computer by dragging songs into folders. The phone was great at recognizing these folders without issues. Score: A+
LG CU 500: I tried to create play list folders on my computer and the lg would not recognize the folders. It simply dumps all the song files into the same folder on the phone. If you want to create a play list, it must be done on the phone which takes 4ever.
Samsung Sync: Since syncing the “sync” with my mac is not an option, I opted to use Bluetooth file transfer to transfer my contacts from my computers address book to my phone. This method worked great! Over 100 phone contacts transferred seamlessly from my computer to my phone. Yes! Score: A+
LG CU 500: Although my computer would recognize and transfer files to the cu500, the phone would not accept all my contacts at once. I would have to transfer EACH contact individually. This would take forever!!! Thankfully, I was able to use the SYNC to store my contacts onto my “smart chip” and then switched chips to the LG. Whew! Score: D-
Samsung Sync & LG CU 500: Both phones had poor micro card slot construction. Although the sync is poorly constructed and difficult to remove the card, the lg takes it a step farther and puts the card under the battery! Why? Also, tweezers have to be used to remove the card. Its like doing surgery on your phone every time you want to switch cards- which really isn’t all that often anyway. Scores: D-
Samsung Sync & LG CU 500: Another note, both phones appeared to have equal reception and I’ve only had a couple dropped calls on the Lg in the past month. The descending ring tone on the Lg was not an issue since i usually use the vibrate mode anyway. Another note, the sync doesn't have a silent mode! Ahhh! This should be a basic function Samsung!
So, there you go. I mulled over the two phones for about a week before I decided to go with the Lg CU 500. The primary reason I chose to purchase a music phone in the first place was for the music player and the camera. If neither of these tools can be used properly with the Sync, then I figured why should I go with it? Although I sacrificed a better sounding call, larger screen, and better hinge construction by going with the Lg, I am happy with being able to utilize the phones features and most of all, the external display!!!
Hopefully this will help you make your decision.
Pros Small, Sleek, Fun, Easy to Navigate
Cons No over the air downloading of songs
Summary This phone does it all! I had the Razr, then the Treo 650, and I bought this one 4 days ago...it is spectacular! Great reception, wonderfully loud (I can actually hear people, ahem, Razr...) Downloading videos is super fast on Cingular's 3G network, get the media max bundle or you'll be payin' thru the nose for all the cool downloads on Cingular video. It doesn't come with a headset or a USB cable but that didn't bother me since my laptop has Bluetooth and the phone transfers pics, songs and files just as quickly over bluetooth as a USB. Just make sure you don't purchase Southwing's bluetooth headphones with this phone, b/c they don't work. I will be looking to purchase the wired headphones since I have really enjoyed the MobiRadio 7 day trial on the phone and it will play nearly any format of music except for iTunes downloaded music...grrr. However for just $15 a month to Napster you can have unlimited downloads yadayadayada. The phone dimensions make this phone a hair thicker (literally) than the Razr; the exact same in length but quite a bit narrower (holding them side by side). $49.99 after mail in rebates makes this phone a steal. Did I mention 2.0 megapixel camera??? It's a cool phone that does it all. Enough said.
Pros Intuitively designed, full featured, quality in every aspect
Cons No silent camera, no voice dial
Summary I am so in love with this phone! I researched and visited stores for months, and it was worth the wait. The design is beautiful, controls are very intuitive. I love that you can customize certain buttons/features. The camera is amazing. I wish, and maybe I just haven't figured it out, that you could take pictures in silence.
I am a professional musician, and the sound quality of the music player is stunning. I expected (since the store was too noisy to tell much) to pretty much ignore this feature. It plays everything well.
The display is easy to read. There seems to be at least one shortcut to anything you'd use frequently. I love it!!
I do wish that it had voice dial so I could dial the phone with my bluetooth headset.
But, hey, with everything else, that is just nothing. I keep staying up until the wee hours playing with the darn thing. The internet is faster than my computer. Then I can pop on some Miles Davis and nod off.
How good can it get? (If I could play solitaire and listen to music, okay, that would be better. And maybe I just haven't figured that one out yet either.)
I am fussy about gizmos. This gizmo's got it all.
Pros It has several of the features my motorola V551 had, and soo much more. The cingular video is wonderful and the 3G is excellent. I wouldn't have gone for any other Cingular phone besides the LG
Cons The only con is.... it was a transition between motorola and samsung.
Summary Definietly a good buy... It's not as masculine as the LG CU500. It has some great features where you can add notes to a contact (say if you want to remember how you know them) and FDN where you can automatically not answer calls from particular numbers... these were just some of the features I haven't seen in non-PDA devices so I was impressed
Pros Great size (razr size), great video, music, pciture quality
Cons wish it accepted regular headphones
Summary I would rate this phone a 10 except that there is not a typical headphone jack (I had to buy headphones specific to samsung). Other than that the phone is perfect. Great picture, video, and sound quality. I am not sure where the cnet reviewer used the phone, but my call quality is excellent. Cingular 3.5G is FAST FAST FAST. I can start watching a 3 minute movie trailer in 10-15 seconds without sputters or stops during the entire video.
This is my first flip phone in many years (nokia guy), and I am still adjusting but all the features and the price make it worth while.Updated
I have now used the phone for two weeks and can provide additional feedback. The phone is still good and very FAST, I like the 2mpxl camera and the mp3 player. Here are some drawbacks which it, perhaps all mp3 player phones, have.
1. When playing music you cannot browse the internet or change settings on the phone. ie. One most close down the mp3 player before changing the ringer profile.
2. Really annoying that the phone lacks a regular headphone jack limiting earphones to the uncomfortable huge ear bud phones currently available.
3. The earphone jack and charger is one and the same, meaning you cant charge the phone and listen to music on headphones.
4. It seems like I have to hit two buttons to complete a function (call back someone or call back a text message) which required only one on my nokia.