Review: Samsung Propel
Other than the lack of a 3.5mm jack, which is becoming an increasingly annoying epidemic among recent Samsung models, Propel's music player is superior. The lack of a 3.5mm jack is exacerbated by AT&T's infuriating decision not to include any headphones with the phone.
Music tracks load easily via drag-and-drop or using Windows Media Player. However, you will be prompted to reformat a microSD card you use from a previous phone. If you're using a microSD card from a previous phone filled with music files, off-load your tune files first and drag-and-drop them back onto the Propel once it reformats the card.
My biggest music playback complaint: you can't put tracks into Shuffle mode until a track is playing, which means you have to choose a track to start first.
AD article continues below...
The music play screen seems sparse, even though the only thing missing is album artwork. Otherwise you get all the important track information, as well as easy soft menu access to your varying libraries and playlists. In the Options menu you get an equalizer and other options, as well as an unusual Properties selection, which gives you handy data information such as file size, file format, and date and time created.
The music player stays active as you shift to some applications such as Web surfing, but not all; you are prompted to disable the music while picture taking, for instance. When you exit the camera, the music automatically restarts.
Active track information is displayed on the bottom of the home screen and the nav array stays active for skip forward, skip back and pause.
AT&T's Napster-partnered music store is a bit clunky – every page takes around 30 seconds to load, and music downloads take a couple of minutes, depending on track length. The service is herky-jerky and time-consuming enough to make it quite frustrating to use.
Propel also includes the subscription-based XM radio. Signals are received through the cell network, though, not from actual XM satellites. Before the service boots, you are warned the service swallows up a lot of data minutes, which means you better have an unlimited data plan. Caveat emptor.
Review: Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch
Samsung's Gear S3 is a capable smartwatch that stands on its own thanks to LTE radios and the ability to take calls and send messages. The form factor won't appeal to everyone, but the overall performance is quite impressive.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge for Sprint
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a unique Android smartphone thanks to its curved display. Samsung puts the extra pixels to good use, but it could have done a lot more.
Review: HTC One for Windows
Verizon Wireless was the first U.S. carrier to score the HTC One for Windows, which swaps Android for Windows Phone.
Review: Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung's Galaxy S8 flagship raises the bar for smartphones thanks to its eye-popping display, attractive design, and blistering performance. This Android handset impresses in nearly every way.
Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Active for AT&T
Samsung's latest semi-rugged smartphone for AT&T dials back the good looks of the Galaxy S7 in favor of a stronger, studier frame. The S7 Active is tough enough to take a tumble without the brick-like bulk of some fully rugged handsets.