Review: Samsung A900
The A900 appears to use the same brilliant screen as the T809, which we reviewed earlier. As with the T809, this screen is still easy to read on the lowest brightness setting, even in direct sunlight. The colors are very rich and resolution is sharp. Sprint's menu icons are highly detailed, and this screen does them justice.
After installing the most recent software update, the A900 has performed admirably, holding a usable signal further into some dead zones than other Sprint handsets we've tested. However there are also times when the phone displays signal bars in dead zones, but cannot make calls or get online. It performed well in our underground vault test - making calls as well as sending and receiving text inside.
The default ringer volume on the A900 is rather deceptive. It is set at 4 out of 8, which is plenty loud for most indoor situations. Despite this acceptable volume, the phone is not that loud even when the ringer is set all the way up. Couple this with a rather weak vibrating alert, and you may miss a few calls when you're out in loud environments.
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The earpiece volume is quite effective. The loudest setting can overpower the background noise of mass transit without much distortion. In less noisy environments the maximum volume is too loud. The speakerphone is also easy to hear in all but the noisiest environments. However access to it is hidden in the in-call menus.
With average use, the A900 gets about 2-3 days of battery life. This included calling, sending texts and using a number of the Power Vision services. With heavy use the battery rarely lasted 2 full days. Watching videos or playing music did not seem to impact battery life significantly, nor did sporadic Bluetooth use. The battery indicator will strike fear into the hearts of heavy users, as it seems to speed through the first two bars rather quickly, leaving just one precious bar of battery life. However, that last bar last about twice as long as the other two. As with most CDMA phones, the A900 exhibits an impressive standby time. If left untouched, the phone will stay alive for days.
Samsung Showcase 2005
Hands-on report from the Samsung launch event in New York City for their late-2005 / early-2006 lineup.
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