Review: Samsung SYNC
The Sync keeps the external screen off to save battery, so to check the time you'll need to press on either volume key for a few seconds until the screen comes back on. A number of clocks can be chosen for both the external and internal screens. The default external is by far the most visible, but there are many better options for the internal home screen. Once in the menus, there is a small strip that often displays the time, but it is not always visible. For instance it is not displayed when composing a text message or during a call.
We had to go back and double check our results after running JBenchmark's battery of tests on the Sync. But running additional tests did not improve its Java performance, even after a re-start. The Sync has extremely disappointing Java performance, even for a mid-level phone. On the MIDP 1 battery, it scored an 880. The Nokia 3220, an entry level phone with a tiny screen, is the only handset we've ever tested that scored lower. In the MIDP 2 test it fared better scoring a 106. This is still lower than last year's mid range phones and about half that of this year's set. The 3D scores were also about half of this year's average as well.
Bluetooth implementation is fairly complete on the Sync. It can send and receive almost any type of file. Applications, however, can only be downloaded over the web. We were even able to quickly transfer all our contacts to it by sending a multi-contact vCard, which many phones can't handle. Pairing the Sync with a computer and a headset was painless, and the Sync did a good job of sending sound to the headset whenever it was in range. Finally, the Sync supports DUN over Bluetooth. We were able to use the Sync as a modem with only minor hiccups.
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As we said earlier, getting to most of the useful extras requires digging down through a number of menus, but everything from an alarm clock to stopwatch to notepad is there.
The music player is a rather simple affair allowing you to play MP3s placed in the Music folder or protected music transferred via Windows Media Player from a PC. Windows Media Player playlists can be transferred to the device from the PC, otherwise music can only be sorted by title, album, and artist. The music player will work when the phone is closed, however it cannot play in the background while you are doing anything else on the phone.
There are several music applications in addition to the music player, including billboard forums and the music recognition service. We admit we didn't spend too much of our free time using the music player, instead opting for clips of yesterday's Daily Show and Colbert Report from Cingular Video.
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