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[Review] Samsung Impression (SGH-A877)

[1]OVERVIEW

Debuted at the 2009 CTIA, the Samsung SGH-A877 (aka Samsung Impression) is a much talked about handset. It sports a full QWERTY keyboard with a gorgeous 3.2 inch touchscreen.  The 3 megapixel camera can can take panoramas (at a tiny 416 vertical pixels) and comes with 200MB of built in storage.  For additional storage, the Impression supports external MicroSD cards.

PRICE

In the United States, the Samsung Impression is free with a 2-year contract with AT&T, or $299.99 without. In other parts of the world the price will vary.

THE HARDWARE

THE SOFTWARE

The software is where the phone starts to fall apart.  It’s not a bad phone, but it has too many bugs for a phone 10 months old.

Bugs:

Quirks:

Good Things:

OTHER THOUGHTS

The Impression has a thing called “TouchWiz”- a little dock on the side which docks “widgets”.  These widgets are:  Analog Clock, Digital Clock, Dual Clock, Speed Dial, Favorite Contacts, AT&T Navigator (if you buy the phone from AT&T), Media Mall, MEdia Net, Today, Calendar, Favorite, Photo, Birthday, Profile, Bluetooth, Calculator, and Yahoo Search.  You can drag these to the main screen.  The reason I didn’t mention these is because the dock is collapsible, and I’ve had it minimized for the time I’ve had the phone.  It also has a proprietary headphone/USB/charging port, but to use the USB you don’t even need to install Samsung’s software: Windows (at least Win7) detects it and adds it to My Computer.

FINAL RATINGS

A fairly nice phone for a good price.

The trials are fun.

Two QWERTYs and a 123 keyboard, all with T9 optional.

Nice screen.

Nice camera.

Nice audio app.

Haptic feedback is handy because it is nice to know when you’ve touched something.

Quite a few bugs.

Why does messaging have a startup time?

User interfaces needs to be made more consistent.

Why are the power buttons raised?

The zoom function in the picture viewer is annoying.

For a US market phone, they don’t seem very interested in the correct conversion units.

FINAL VERDICT

The Samsung Impression is either a giant dumbphone that’s really smart, or a smartphone that’s really dumb. Since – technically speaking – it isn’t a smartphone, lets say it is a smart dumbphone. In my opinion, this smart dumbphone is a great phone which suffers from being rushed to production. The software has too many bugs for my taste, and the MicroSD card slot is stuffed underneath the case, which is very annoying.  Overall, it’s a nice phone, but I’d wait for a software update.

LINKS OF INTEREST

http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/mobile/mobile-phones/at-t-phones/SGH-A877RBAATT/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail