Cool little gadget, but....
My wife got this phone for me as part of a package deal (family plan). When she bought her phone (an Audiovox camera phone) from our new carrier, Verizon, she got the Samsung phone for free, and gave it to me, so we could keep in touch in case of emergencies. The hi-res color display is bright, clear and crisp. The sound quality is good, albeit a little choppy at times, especially in "bad" areas (in S. Fla., where I live), where the signal strength tends to suffer, and the clamshell design is solidly built, although when closed, the top seems to be a bit on the "loosey, wiggly" side. But all in all, the a650 is still a cool, fun, and useful little gadget, for all it's worth. Not perfect, but perfect for me! ;-)
Could be worse
I've had this phone for about 2 weeks, and it does the job. Its simple, but could be better. I wish it had an external caller id, but oh well.
I dont understand why people are saying the ringer is quiet, i dont have that issue. I also dont know why people are saying there is no vibrate and ring, i have it? why dont you? Perhaps you need to investigate your phone better before you submit a review.
Overall, i dont mind this phone, all digital is crap.
RECEPTION IS GREAT, with tmobile i had 1 bar in my room, i get 3-4 with this phone.
Build quality is above average.
Its cheap, and over basic. I wish it had a few more options and was a little more fun...but its a phone, why does it have to be fun? i bought it to talk, so im satisfied!!!
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Great phone overall
I got this phone as part of my upgrade with Verizon Wireless and so far have been happy with it. The main feature I was looking for in a flip phone was tri-mode. The other phone I was considering was Audiovox CDM8900, but when I saw this phone, I decided it was better to get Samsung since they make good phones.
great reception where my old Motorola 120c wouldn't work
good battery life for a standard battery
sound quality is excellent and loud
backlight on keypad isn't a bright blue like some phones I've seen. Easy on my eyes.
No external display
ringer isn't always loud enough, even when at full blast
should the retractable antenna need to be replaced, the phone must be taken apart to replace it, unlike other phones that use a universal screw on retractable antenna.
Can't see the screen in bright light, especially sunlight.
The caller ID displays all phone numbers in 10 digits rather than 7 for local, which causes any phone numbers in the phone book to not display the person's name to the number should it be programmed in the phone as 7 digits since it lists all numbers as 10 digits on the caller ID. I didn't have that problem with my old Motorola 120c or my Kyocera 2235. It would be nice if there were a software upgrade to correct that problem.
If you travel a lot, this phone is needed for when you travel in analog areas, and when I go into Michigan on Alltel's network, they still have analog in some areas, though not as much as they used to 2 years ago.
If Samsung still has tri-mode available when I upgrade in 2006, I'll consider getting another phone from them. That is if the FCC doesn't force the wireless industry to shut off analog first.
a650 great phone
in my opinion the a650 is a great phone. it is easy to use has alot of great features including downloadable ringers, screen savers
etc etc. My favorite thing is that it has a loud ringer which for me was a necessity.
Happy but not overjoyed
I really like this phone because it's affordable, small, cute and so far seems to function well, I've had it for about two weeks. I would like the voice activated dial(I don't think it's available on Canadian version) as well as maybe a camara but you get what you pay for. Over all the quality versus price is good and I am happy with the phone. If your looking for something cheap but small with basic features this is your phone.
I wanted a trimode clamshell with PIM (calendar / alarm) with good RF and NO camera. So I picked up a650. Verizon selection of trimode phones is rather limited. Apparantly most people want camera and care less about analog so I am in the minority here. At a first glance a650 looked like a perfect match. After few days of using it I am dissapointed.
The WORST thing in the phone IS the phonebook UI ! You can not scroll the contact type (mobile, home, office) whith navigation keys, instead you must press OK after selecting contact and go to the second level screen then press down key few times to skip info lines before you get to the desired contact type selection. Also the phonebook always starts in the alphabetically sorted list. There is no frequently used list. I've tried entering most frequently used contacts first but you have to press "right" key to switch to this ordering. So the typical sequence to get to non-default contact is:
"soft key" (contacts), "right nav" (original ordering), "up/down nav" to select the entry, "Ok nav", "down nav" 2 times to get to the first contact type, "down nav" to select type, and finally "Send".
Besides this uglyness the following pros/cons:
1. good RF (definitely better than LG VX3100 and on par with Kycera 2235) tested in the fringe area;
2. extendible antenna which further helps RF;
3. build quality - very good, very nice shape and button feel;
4. calendar can be set as wallpaper;
5. ringer ID (somwhat compensates for lack of external display);
1. phonebook - BAD UI throughout !!!
2. no recurrent events in calendar;
3. PC sync ? What PC sync ? No way to sync calendar via cable.
4. kind of hard to open;
5. no external display (tiny BW LCD would do for me);
6. no "vibe then ring" mode, no ringer volume escalation;
7. button backlit kind of ugly (minor).
I'll probably keep it but switched my contract to 1yr (RS has good deal on 1yr a650). Unless Samsung fixes the GUI I will be in search for another phone in a year...
Excellent, Simple Phone
My Mom needed a simple-to-use small flip phone and this has turned out to be the perfect choice.
+Perfect size for a small phone
+Clear and bright display
+Simple to use with no extra features to trip up a basic user.
+No external display
+Sound quality slightly "digital".
it's okay with me
Ok see me and my mom got the buy one get one deal at verizon and got two of these a650's. As of right now it's going well for both of us. she can use her earpiece and have auto anwser. we can ignore calls, talk to eachother without cost. I mean the phone's nice. and to her the type in the standby screen was a little hard to see. But then I changed the background for her and made the contrast a lil darker and now it's perfect. I mean you can also change the blacklight so that the lcd and keypad stay lit up longer so that you can see everything. and whats even better is theres a planner and every person has a speed dial number that can be changed if you want it too. also they give various ways of finding peoples numbers so you dont just have to scroll down the list. if there in a group just go to it and press send. I like the phone is what I'm trying to say.
I have used Motorola StarTacs for years. I used the Samsung i-600 for the past year. When I changed jobs, I needed a new phone. I purchased a a650 based on my positive experiences with the i600. The a650 is a POS. While the reception is very good, the user interface is terrible. The print is too small, and cannot be adjusted. The dial pad is not lit. The phone directory requires you to select a name, select a number, pop up a menu, select talk. You can't pick the number and hit send! The ringer is not loud enough to hear, so you will miss calls.
Buy something else.
Dislike the a650
I purchased two of these phones at our local Verizon Wireless store (don't even talk to me about the long lines!)
There are two big problems: The first is that I don't have any service in my house. My Motorola from Cingular has better reception in the house and Cingular doesn't even have service in this area (Hudson Valley, New York). The second problem: Both phones have battery-life issues. We fully charged them, and the next morning the phones were turned off and we had a low battery warning. We charged them again, same thing happened.
I went to the store, stood in a long line, left them for service, picked them up after waiting a long time...same thing. These phones will not hold a charge. I'm terribly dissatisfied.
So, it's off to the store again to stand in line. This time, I'm getting a different phone.