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printed October 23, 2014
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Review: Samsung Flight II

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Screen

The Samsung Flight II updates the screen resolution from the original flight by 80 lines, for a 240 x 400 pixel resolution instead of the older QVGA. The screen was plenty bright and colorful, but the improved resolution didn't help text and graphics enough. Text still looked wiry, and some icons came through with jagged edges, instead of smooth lines. Still, the brightly colored app icons in the main menu looked great, and photos looked fine holding the phone at arms length. Outside, the screen lost most of its brightness under bright sunshine, but it was still usable. The camera viewfinder was more difficult, but not impossible to use, even in the harshest glare.

Sound

Sound quality on the Flight II was average for a quick messaging device. On my end, the earpiece was plenty loud, but callers often had a hissing noise behind their voices during calls. On my caller's end, friends reported good sound quality, but the signal could break up from time to time, and this caused my voice to cut out occasionally. The speaker on the Flight II could use some work. It did a fine job handling mid-range sound, so voices came through sounding clean and clear, but not very loud. Music sounded lousy through the speaker. High end treble tones and low end bass seemed to disappear from my songs, leaving just the singer sounding loud and clear, like some strange reverse karaoke machine. With the sound turned off, the vibration was not strong enough for me to feel the phone in a crowded pants pocket.

Signal

Signal strength on the Samsung Flight II was pretty good. I always had plenty of bars of 3G service, and the phone rarely dropped calls. Over a long testing period, only three or four calls were cut short, and only one or two failed to come through on my end. Data service was very slow, a disappointment considering the phone should support AT&T's faster 7.2Mbps HSDPA network. But the Web browser crawled along at a snail's pace, and often the data connection would hang, leaving me waiting for pages to load.

Battery

The Samsung Flight II had no trouble holding a charge for more than a day of use. It wouldn't quite last through a weekend of steady use, but if I forgot to charge the phone overnight, I had no worries about making it through the next day.

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