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Review: Samsung Sunburst

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The three inch touchscreen on the Samsung Sunburst looks pretty good, even though resolution could be higher. The screen shows 400 by 240 pixels, which is respectable for its class and on par with the slightly pricier Solstice. Thin text looks jagged, but pictures look sharp and colorful. The TouchWIZ interface looks great on this display, with large icons and finger-sized buttons. It was easy to read the screen indoors and out. The display lost some visibility under bright sunlight, but only a little.


Sound quality through the earpiece on the Samsung Sunburst was a bit muddy. Callers sounded bass heavy, without enough bright treble in their voices. There was also a slight hiss in the background. This didn't cause trouble during calls, it just gave callers a slightly slurred sound. The speakerphone actually sounded better than the earpiece. It was crisp, except when I cranked up the volume, at which point my callers would distort when they spoke loudly. On their end, callers said I sounded good, with no hiss or audio trouble.

Ringtones were loud enough, but not abusively loud like I prefer. The phone also has a strong vibrate, so between the two, I was easily able to hear and feel the ringing from my pocket.

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The Sunburst received a strong signal riding AT&T's EDGE network. The phone usually reported four to five bars of service. Calls always went through and data, though slow because of the lack of 3G support, never stalled or failed to connect. The lack of 3G is the main thing separating this phone from the Samsung Solstice, but honestly, you'll hardly notice the slower networking unless you decide to tackle the sub-par Web browser. For messaging and simple status updates, EDGE networking is good enough.


Battery life was pretty good. I got nearly six hours of talking time out of the Sunburst. I was expecting a bit more, though. The Samsung Solstice managed only a half hour less using AT&T's 3G network, so I thought the lack of 3G support on the Sunburst would translate into more minutes, but that wasn't the case. The Sunburst was able to hold a charge through a couple day's use. The phone also alerts you when the battery is full so you can unplug the charger to conserve electricity.

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