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Samsung Showcase 2005

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The A920 is pretty simple to describe: it's basically Sprint's version of the A950, which is already out for Verizon. Although the A950 is clearly designed to be a music phone, Verizon has yet to launch a real music service. Even though A920 will come out well after the A950, it will support Sprint's already-launched Music Store from day one, making a bit more useful as a music phone.


Unfortunately, the A920 on display wasn't activated. That meant we couldn't try the music features since they are all handled by a Java application that - for some reason - requires active service.

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Other than the color and the software, the main difference between the A950 and A920 is the external controls. When I first heard about the A950 and A920, I was disappointed that the A920 wouldn't have the nifty scroll wheel like the A950. But after trying the A950's scroll wheel in person, I have to say I much prefer the controls on the A920. The A950's scroll wheel has terrible ergonomics that make its a pain to use. Mostly at fault is the strange raised plastic around the wheel. I imagine it's designed to prevent accidental presses, but actually it just makes it very difficult to use.

It would have been neat if the A920 had a touch-scrolling feature instead, like an iPod. The surface does look like it does that, but unfortunately I was told it's simply a group of five buttons. Since I couldn't start the music application, I couldn't test it out.

The rest of the A920 is just like the A950, including stereo speakers, a microSD memory card slot, Bluetooth, a megapixel camera, dual color displays, speakerphone, and PictBridge. It's also a Sprint Power Vision phone with EVDO like the A900, so you can expect high-quality streaming video as well. The A920 also has full voice recognition technology like the A800, so you can actually dictate text messages with your voice.

One final note on the A920: on the one I tried, the hinge was very "soft"; it didn't open all the way when I tried opening it with one hand, and pushing it open further, I wasn't quite sure where it was supposed to stop. It didn't feel weak like it would break, I just prefer when a phone "clicks" open in a solid way.


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