Review: Samsung Strive
The Strive's screen spans 2.6 inches across the diagonal and has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. I don't expect a high-def screen on a $20 entry-level phone, but a few more pixels would have been nice. That said, it is perfectly bright and readable indoors. The resolution is just high enough to ensure that most text, icons and such are sharp and not blocky looking. Colors look bright and rich. Outside, the display doesn't fare as well. It's readable, but only just. Even cloudy days trouble it some.
The Strive did an excellent job of capturing AT&T's network. Most of the time I was testing it, it had no trouble finding AT&T's HSDPA (3G+) signals. It held onto five full bars almost the entire time I used it. Rarely did I see the signal indicator drop to less than three bars. How did that translate to real-world effectiveness? Well, the Strive didn't drop a single call while I tested it. The Strive performed well even in areas where AT&T's signal is weak. Shame that it has no Wi-Fi.
Phone calls with the Strive sounded good. The earpiece provided plenty of volume so that conversations could be heard, even in noisy places such as airports. The quality of calls was solid, though voices coming through the earpiece sounded robotic every now and then. The speakerphone was sufficiently loud and quality was good. I thought the ringtones were just shy of loud enough. Set to maximum volume, I wouldn't be surprised if users missed a call here and there for lack of being able to hear the Strive.
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I am so used to using phones that only last a day, I was pleasantly surprised when the Strive lasted three and a half days before requiring a charge. With normal use (light SMS, email, calls, web browsing), it will get you though a weekend easily. Add music streaming, video streaming, or Bluetooth and subtract a day.
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