Phone Scoop

printed October 23, 2014
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Velocity Samsung Access ZTE Packet Video  

One of the phones Samsung debuted this week was the Access for AT&T. It is a MediaFlo-capable phone that can play mobile TV. The form factor is a bit odd, but its still a capable device.

 

Samsung Access

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The phone's best and most noticeable feature is its screen. It is nice and bright, and simply looks fantastic when viewing live TV. It isn't the biggest screen in the world on which to view TV, but it was big enough so that it wasn't painful.

The Access is a wide phone, and a tad on the thick side on the upper portion of the phone. You really have to stretch your hand in order to wrap it all the way around the Access. It's not super uncomfortable, but if you have small hands, you might want to be sure to see how it feels to hold before you buy it.

It uses design language that is similar to that of the ACE or the BlackJack series of phones. In fact, if it had a QWERTY keypad, it might almost be mistaken for one of the other phones. But it has a regular 12-key keypad. Speaking of which, the keys felt nice. They provide really nice travel and feedback, and are large and easy for your fingers to find.

The navigation cluster is tightly packed under the screen. The D-pad was a little bit on the small side for my tastes, but it worked well enough. Part of the navigation cluster is a dedicated TV key that fires up the MediaFlo Mobile TV service. The service takes about 5 seconds to launch and goes right into the last channel that you were watching. Using the guide to switch channels is easy, and the picture looked great. Switching from one channel to another was super fast, with almost no delay. Be sure to watch the video below for a demonstration.

The menu system is similar to what we've seen from other Samsung handsets on the AT&T network, with the black background and orange icons. The camera and music applications are all the standard set from Samsung and aren't feature rich, but certainly get the job done.

Overall, the Samsung Access is a solid phone. It's biggest feature is obviously the TV service, and it does a wonderful job of displaying good looking mobile TV. If you're not interested in mobile TV, there may be other phones better suited to your usage.

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