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Samsung SCH-A990


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Great phone when it came out, not worth it anymore


Sep 24, 2007 by williameis

Man this phone knocked my socks off back in the summer of 2006. It was one of the first that doubled as a music player (but note, this plays wma files, NOT mp3's). Now that we are in 2007 it is a pain to have to use wma files.

This phone has a built in GPS navigator that gives you awesome driving directions. 10 out of 10. You have to $$ shell out some monthly $8.95's plus usage minutes to use it.

Like almost all other 2007 cell phones, the interface is sluggish. I am praying the iPhone is setting the new standard with 10ms response times instead of the 60 or 70ms response times on phones like this one. If you are reading this review in 2008, don't pay money for this phone (get it with a plan if anything).

- Awesome GPS navigation if you don't mind shellin out $$$ per month.
- MicroSD is good. You can get a microSD to SD converter on amazon for $20.
- It has BlueTooth and I use my BT earpiece sometimes. Honestly though, BT is over-rated. You can't even transfer files with it.
- Camera is slightly above average by Sep. 2007 cell phone standard.

- In September 2007 this should be a $100 phone.
- Doesn't play mp3's. The music player was revolutionary but now is just annoying (can't shut the phone [omg]) etc.
- Internet browser is out of date. Can't load the mobile wikipedia page.
- my txt inbox is always fillin up. I think it is 50 inbox 50 sentbox limit.
- The VGA out is dumb. I'd like to meet someone that has done something useful with it.
- After using the GPS navigator or playing music the phone will not be in speakerphone mode, but will still playing everything through the speakerphone. To fix this you have to change the mode to speakerphone then change it back regular mode.
- The internet browser crashes on a lot of web pages. The crashes often don't let you power down. I have had to physically remove the battery probably 25 times in my 15 months of usage. This is rare and less annoying then it probably sounds.

Excellent phone


Aug 22, 2006 by Smartass1632

I live in the Northeast (Rhode Island). I sell for Verizon Wireless. This is my 5th phone with the carrier, and by far my favorite. I'm coming off of a Samsung SCH-a970, and decided to go with its more robust younger brother. I've had this phone for about a week with pretty steady use.

- Signal strength has been very good. An improvement over my 970, and almost as good as the Motorola E815. Far better than any LG's currently on the market. Calls sound clear, and I've received little to no complaints from people I've conversed with on the other end of the line.
- Best camera I've seen in a phone thus far.
Menus, options, and quality are all superb.
- The video isn't to shabby either, a significant improvement over the 970.

- Battery life. I'll list the battery life as a 'pro' because of how many options this phone has. If you use MP3's, bluetooth, and 3 hours of talk-time every day, then this phone won't last the day. Not many will. My 970 had the best battery I've ever used in a phone. This is a relatively close 2nd.
- Speakerphone. The speaker phone is loud enough, but won't blow your doors off.
- etc. What I like is that every port of this phone is covered. The video/headset port, the charge port, and the camera lens all have removable covers.
- Navigation. Awesome
- Music. The phone functions very well as a music player. Ability to create playlists. Shuffle, random, etc.

- User Interface. This isn't Samsung's fault. Verizon is forcing these manufacturers to use their standardized UI. Hardly any customization options whatsoever.
- Crippled Bluetooth.
Bluetooth printing is a nice option, but I guess that OBEX is a pipe dream if we're dealing with Verizon. Once again, a Verizon issue, not a Samsung issue.

Expensive? Yes. However, worth every penny in my mind. I like having a good all in one device. It's not perfect, but the closest I've found so far.



Sep 5, 2006 by Krossfire

I am an agent so the cost can not be listed as a gripe for me! I had a Chocolate for about a week and switched to the 990. Overall it is a good looking phone and as listed in another review it is always a good thing when all the ports have a cover. But for those of you who dont get a special price on this phone I give you the following info:
1st off many people ask me about this phone but the price does make them think otherwise as it would me.
Every feature you could want in a phone.
Possibly the best camera phone yet(would not want it for my only camera though)
TV out option is nice!
Speakerphone is good
Bluetooth headsets PAIR CRISPLY
Tv out is a pro but how many will use it a lot?
Battery life is fair>
For 1/2 the money you could have a chocolate w/ a superior UI
Not too many accessories(prolly not in a rush either)
other bluetooth functions could be improved but this is not Samsung's fault.

So Far Excellent


Sep 2, 2006 by PeteHud

Was very unsure when getting this phone after reading the conflicting reviews. I am very glad I did. It has performed flawlessly. Battery life has not been a problem and I consider myself a fairly high user. Not sure if this is due to living in the NY tri-state area where EVDO is pretty much everywhere.

Battery Life
Very Clear sound
Awesome Camera
Time on outer display always

Cons: No cradle holder for belt around,
always seem to hit side buttons
when removing it from leather


Anyway as you can see, i highly recommend it.

Cool Phone


Jul 11, 2006 by seul87k

Just got it delivered to my house a few hours ago. It's a decent phone. The speakers are very loud and able to play my wma's. It does not support mp3's as far as I understand but my computer can easily convert mp3's into wma's.

This phone auto focuses when taking a picture and there are both a pro and con to that. The pro is that the photo is less blurry than other phones. A con is the delay after you press the button which is probably a good 2 seconds or so.

As for going through the menus, it's relatively fast. I've experienced no delays navigating through menus. Though I personally dislike the UI as do many others, it is designed to be easy to use and really is. The feel of the phone is solid and does not feel fragile or light.

I bought this phone because my E815 was getting out of date (though it still is a great phone). I am only 19 so I don't have many bills to pay and that is primarily the reason for me buying this phone. People who have a tight budget should think twice about getting this phone. Even though it's been good to be thus far, it's still just a phone with 3.2 megapixels. However, if you are inclined to be up to date with technology and love playing around with new gadgets, I think this would be nice to get.

All in all, this is a great phone but don't get it just for the camera because it won't compare to a real camera. Though I think the quality of the pictures are better than most other phones. Well, hope this helped.



Oct 9, 2006 by shooptek

I bought a KRZR last week, upgrading from my vx8100 which was the best phone verizon had made at the time it came out. I returned the KRZR because of a lack of features and goodies. Then I bought this phone, and I have been AMAZED. Now keep in mind that the vx8100 is the best phone I have ever owned, so I will be comparing it to that often.

Display - AMAZING, 256k colors, incredibly big, 240x320 pixels
External Display - bright enough, I like how the digital clock always stays on, but doesnt light up too much to save battery.
Battery - I am texting and talking constantly, not to mention using the camera and mp3 and I have had no problems charging nightly.
Camera - 3.2 MP, a little slow shutter speed, AWESOME for a cell phone!
Swivel Screen - Awesome for the camera.
VERY STURDY - The whole phone feels quality, including all swivels, hinges and doors.
Ports - All charging ports and openings have covers on them.
Signal - No problems here, everywhere I have gone I have gotten solid service, no dropped calls yet.
Clarity - Very strong, no crackling or echoeing.
Sound - music and custom ringers sound good out the two speakers.
Keypad - I like this flat, easy to push button style, its especially nice for texting.

Price - very expensive, but people its worth it.
OK Button - this is a little bit small, but you get used to it
Shape - Some people may not like the shape and size of this phone because it is bigger and thicker than the RAZR, KRZR and the vx8600, but its about the same size as the vx8100/8300 and has WAY more features.

This phone is FEATURE PACKED. If you are looking for a phone to fit your technological needs this is it. The calendar software and ability for PC synch to Outlook makes this phone the ultimate all in one device. You can really use this phone for everything.

If you look past the price, you will find an incredible phone with features you cant find anywhere else.

Best phone i've ever had


Mar 16, 2007 by BigSho

In the last two years i have used quite a few phones from many different manufacturers on the verizon network. Some of the phones include LG vx8000, razr v3c, razr v3m, moto e815, lg chocolate. I am truley a technology nut.

Anyway, when i first saw that this phone was coming to verizon i was excited. I ordered it from the verizon site on its on-line launch day (june`06 ish) and have been using the phone ever since.

-Size is not too small, yet not too big.
-Camera is wonderful, takes crisp and clear pictures.
-Takes quick pictures with AutoFocus turned OFF (to do this rotate the screen to turn on the camera, press the button to the left of the "W" zoom button, use the "T" zoom button to scroll to AFS, press the shutter button, scroll to OFF, then press the shutter button again, then press the button to the LEFT of the "W" zoom again).
-Comes with TV out cable...great for showing off pictures and videos taken by the phone
-Solid RF performance....on par DB wise with my E815 which is activated on my 2nd line.
-Text to speech is great...although you must update to the latest firmware at a verizon store to be able to use it for texting. The original firmware only allows text to speech for picture messages.
-All charger/headphone ports have a cover
-camera lense has a cover
-camera flash can be used as a flash without even opening the phone.
-Time is ALWAYS displayed on the outer LCD
-Internal screen is absolutely beautiful.

-everyone i know wants to use/play with it.
-cant play mp3's...must convert to WMA.
-calendar glitches on all known firmware versions.

Conclusion- Paired with a 1GB microSD card and my bluetooth headset, this phone is everything i need. I dont even bother carrying a camera with me everywhere now that this phone takes such good pictures (although i do recommend using a normal digital camera for trips/vacations etc).Simply one of the best phones i've ever had. Now if we could only get rid of the Verizon UI

Let's Make It Simple


Oct 9, 2006 by DirtierThanYou

The other day I had the screen flipped back and the phone sitting on the center console of my truck with VZ navigator dictating directions to a restaurant. The phone rang (Floyd's Run Like Hell) and I pressed the side button with out touching the phone and began talking via speakerphone. After I parked in NYC I plugged in the headphones and listened to music on the six block walk. Didn't take any pictures but the option was there. Try doing that with your Ipod!

And when your holding this phone you can feel the difference. If this thing had a hole for $%^&ing it'd be too good.

Took A Chance and Glad I Did


Aug 15, 2006 by NEgadgetguy

This was by far the most money I have ever spent on a phone. Thankfully it was completely worth it. It's not too big where it looks like I'm walking around with a landline phone, and not too small where it falls out of my hand all the time. It's a perfect size, and very comfortable and the earpiece sits just right to get nice,clear, loud sound from the phone.
I like the fact that can read messages on the outside screen, and that the missed calls and messages and voicemail indicators stay on the outer display unlike the samsung a930.
The camera is nice for those spur of the moment shots but I still wouldn't use it for important photos.
I love the nice loud speakerphone and the fact that you can answer and end a call without even opening the phone.
Reception hasn't failed me yet and it looks like I have found the phone for me.
Very Highly Recommend A+++

Best Phone I Have Ever Owned


Aug 13, 2006 by cmag2006

I am coming off of the LG8300 and the Samnsung A930 and I can finally say that I have found my phone to keep until my NE2 comes up along time from now. The only reason to pay this much for a phone is if you're looking for a superior long term phone, which I was and so I did.

This phone improves upon everything that was wrong with the a930. The outside display is completely readable in direct sunlight, and the clock is readable without turning on the backlight. The side buttons are much improved. On the A930 they were too sensitive and it was very easy to hit the volume adjust keys and speakerphone keys while you were talking on the phone. On the A990 they are a lot better. The volume keys are placed lower on the side so your thumb rests above it, and the speakerphone needs to be pressed for about 2 seconds to activate unlike the A930 which turned on as soon as you hi the button. Those are definitely design improvements.

The inner display is big and beautiful and the wallpaper looks great, and even better if you turn off the eri banner and the inside clock. Calls sound loud and clear at all times and the speakerphone while I have heard louder, is just fine in just about all conditions.

Reception is second only to the Motorola E815 and a very close second. I have had no problems getting a signal or have had any dropped calls. The speaker independent voice dialing is the best yet in any phone i have had , and even when using bluetooth the phone always recognizes who I am trying to call.

Pictures are very good for a camera phone with 3.2 MP but I am not going to throw away my Canon by any means.

Battery life is so so. Right now I get about 2 days out of it. Last week I went to the verizon store and they were able to order me an extended battery with the door which is shipping to my house. I will see how good it is when it arrives this week sometime.

All in all I have never been more pleased with a phone. It's definitely the best they have.

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