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printed September 1, 2014
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Review: Samsung Rugby Smart for AT&T

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Screen

The Rugby's display measures 3.7 inches and includes 800 x 480 pixels. The result is a sharp display that looks surprisingly good. Truth to tell, I was prepared to see a low-cost display on this phone, but was quite pleased with the high-quality OLED panel chosen by Samsung instead. Colors are accurate, and I was able to see the screen when outside under direct sunlight.

Signal

The signal indicator at the top of the Rugby's screen says "4G", but this is not an LTE device. It uses AT&T's HSPA+ network. The Rugby performed on par with other AT&T devices in the same areas. I didn't have any trouble connecting calls or zipping across the internet when there was a strong signal. Under the worst network conditions, the Rugby offered slower data sessions and dropped one call. I missed two calls while testing the Rugby.

Sound

Voice calls were acceptable, but not great. The earpiece volume is good when set all the way up, but may not be loud enough for some users. I noticed a lot of static and hissing during voice calls. It wasn't intrusive, but I could hear it just the same. The speakerphone is absolute junk. Not only is the volume pathetic, but the quality is horrid. I expected megaphone volume capabilities from this device, and was sorely disappointed. Ringers aren't loud enough, even when set all the way up. It's easy to miss a call in noisy places. The vibrate alert is decent.

Battery

The Rugby has a 1650mAh battery tucked inside and it delivers a full day of use with no problem. I used the Rugby with the GPS and Wi-Fi radios on, and with email and social networks set to sync pretty much constantly. Toss in some phone calls, some music playback, and web browsing, and I'd call that a pretty normal day. The Rugby still had enough power left over the following day to get me through lunch.

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