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printed September 19, 2014
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Samsung Showcase 2005

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The MM-A900 is Samsung's answer to Motorola's RAZR. Normally a company like Samsung would vehemently deny "copying" or "following" a major competitor, but the RAZR has been such a resounding success that Samsung executives were quick to compare the A900 to the RAZR. And really, it's hard to deny the influence; there's simply no question what inspired the A900.

Samsung executives also tried to point out that Motorola didn't yet have a CDMA EVDO RAZR, and Samsung would be first with such a product. In fact, the CDMA EVDO RAZR had just been announced that very morning. The CDMA RAZR should hit the market with Verizon in a few weeks, about the same time the A900 will launch with Sprint, making this an interesting head-to-head battle.

 

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Like the RAZR, the A900 employs a special ultra-flat keypad to achieve its thin profile. Like the RAZR, it does have tactile feedback - you can feel the keys "click" down when you press them - but like the RAZR, that feedback is not as good as on an average phone.

 

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The flatness of the keypad doesn't allow for raised or contoured keys that would make them easier to feel apart from each other. On the RAZR, this is dealt with by adding raised rubber ridges between the keys. Unfortunately, the A900 has no equivalent feature, making it difficult to feel out each key without looking at the keypad. In fact, there is no physical separation at all between many of the keys, and the white horizontal lines between the number keys only help divide the keys visually, not ergonomically.

Samsung has another ultra-thin phone coming out soon: the T809 for T-Mobile. While the A900 is a clamshell, the T809 adopts the increasingly popular slider form factor. Both phones have a similar profile when closed.

 

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The A900 has a slight size advantage, which is impressive given its extra display, although the T809 has the major advantage of a memory card slot, which the A900 unfortunately lacks.

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