Samsung Eternity Review
F480’s 5-megapixel or Pixon’s 8-megapixel camera. Instead, U.S. customers will find only a paltry 3-megapixel camera which is still higher than most phones released over here. Not only did the Eternity step back with the resolution, but it does not include a flash, self portrait mirror, or auto-focusing system. Point, stay steady, and click will be the process we will be reduced to.
It takes about 3 seconds to start the software, after holding the button on the right side. The period between two pictures is relatively short too (3-4 seconds). We were greeted with a simplistic interface – it is monochrome and very basic. There are two sets of four icons arranged vertically on the sides of the application.
Some might argue that the 3-megapixel is an outcry, but when compared to other available carrier handsets, it provides exceptional photo quality. Colors came out quite accurate without having certain colors being too saturated. We compared the LG Dare’s 3.2-megapixel camera quality and found that produced images looked almost similar. The Eternity fared better in indoor shots with low light conditions because pictures did not come out too fuzzy. Finally, close-up shots of text came out quite clear and legible.
Videos on the other hand tell a different story though. We were quite disappointed to find that it only supports a maximum resolution of 320x240. There is a substantial few more options with the video and limits the user to small set of choices. After taking some videos in low light conditions and previewing them, we noticed that mostly everything that was captured came out dark. On the other hand, videos came out pretty decent in outdoor settings with plenty of light. We did not have any problems hearing the audio, but the Eternity outputs all sounds out of the main speaker (used for phone calls & speakerphone).
The music player has two versions – one taking up the entire screen, and which is accessible from the main menu and a second one that is visualized as a widget. In the first one, under the album cover and the track info now playing, there are six buttons. They are used to shuffle songs, repeat, modify the equalizer settings, rewind to the previous track, pause, and forward. You can sort tracks by the artist, genre, album, play list selection. Overall, the interface is easy to use but has an unattractive “antique” design. The simple functionality (fast forward, play/pause) is accessible via the widget player.
Unfortunately, the same weak speaker you use during a call is employed for sound reproduction. Crackling noises are heard when at maximum volume. Using the 3.5mm jack provides really good sound quality when using the correct equalizer setting. Heavy bass sounds are quite audible without any distortion when we connected the phone to an auxiliary port in a car stereo. The same goes when using standard headphones with the Eternity.
Viewing videos was tolerable, but nothing like what you would see on the iPhone or Storm. YouTube users will be pleased to know that you can watch streaming videos on the device as well. AT&T’s Mobile TV service is also included with the device and we were lucky enough to be in an area where it is provided. Watching television is acceptable on the device and did not find our eyes squinting too much. It’s great that the service offers users a guide for scheduled programs so that you can check ahead to see what shows you want to watch. At some points though, we noticed that the video quality would become pixelized and accompanied with choppy audio. After a while the video would catch up and resume its telecast.
The CD that comes with the phone does not include any synchronization software for the Eternity. We find also that the lack of a USB cable with the phone to be a little bit annoying seeing that the phone uses Samsung’s proprietary USB connection cable.
You will find a variety of applications already preloaded with the phone. For GPS tracking, you will find the AT&T Navigator software to quickly give you turn-by-turn directions to addresses or points of interests. If you’re in an area where traffic is a problem, the software can quickly redirect you to avoid it and arrive at a prompt time.
Business users might want to look elsewhere if they plan on reading important documents because the Eternity does not support viewing any Microsoft Office files. In addition to that, PDF files were unable to load as well.
Other useful software applications such as Mobile Banking were available to only Wachovia, Suntrust, Synovus, and Bancorp South customers. You’ll also find MusicID to quickly tag and identify any songs when the phone is placed close to the audio source. All the games loaded with the phone are demo. XM radio users will be happy to know that they will able to use their subscription on the device.
1. Midnight (Posts: 14; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
I dont see how this phone scored higher then the BlackBerry Storm. its clearly not as advanced. it doesnt come with as much memory, the media players not nearly as robust, its browser is not as good or as fast, it doesnt have a great organizer, it doesnt have full html push email, it doesnt have a fully working accelerometer (storm os .75 makes its accelerometer work well), and it doesnt have business tools like word powerpoint etc. how is this a 7 but the storms a 6? Every review I see of phones makes me question the storms unfair review even more. I think you guys compared the storm to the iphone which is not fair because the iPhone has been out like 1.6 years and has had countless software updates while the storm is the first attempt and is still a work in progress. should of reviewed it on its own merits
2. MoonlitTear (Posts: 35; Member since: 09 Jun 2008)
If the Storm was not a Blackberry, I think it would have scored higher. But because it's got the word Blackberry across the back, it was put to higher standards. Blackberry's by definition need to be good at composing emails as well as getting them. And they said in their review that the Storm is tiring to type on. Even for short messages your thumbs hurt and get fatigued. I mean, I am not a reviewer for this site, but I think that really hurt it's overall score. They did say at the end that if you were looking for a good multimedia phone the Storm did very well. Just my two cents.
3. Midnight (Posts: 14; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
Yeah but thats an opinion because I have had no such problems typing on my storm. My thumbs do not get fatigued.
8. darthvegas (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
That's your experience, but it would seem that many people don't agree. When someone reviews the device and says that the input method fatigues their hands, that's NOT an opinion. It doesn't hurt your hands. I checked it out and it didn't hurt mine either. A few other people I know had a different experience with the phone. Most likely because they used it for far longer than I did. In any case, many people have had this problem with the Storm so it cannot simply be dismissed as opinion.
13. GBallew (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)
Not just that, but the Blackberry is a different class of phone. If your logic worked everywhere, commuter cars would be judged a whole lot lower than than say BMW's or Mercedes. But people who are in the market for a corolla arent interested in what there car is judged next to a Kompressor, because thats just not what they're looking for.
4. Armo (Posts: 13; Member since: 13 Dec 2008)
i dont really like this phone. to me its a bit on the ugly side. its not shiny like the behold and iphone. and its not got the slick, soft touch look like the G1. its looks really cheap. the features are okay but i prefer the behold. it looks a lot nicer. the touch screen works faster, the phone overall works faster. the only bummer is that it doesnt have a 3.5mm headphone jack and the browser was a let down. when r u guys gunna do the review for the behold?
5. baldilocks (Posts: 494; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)
Let's see, it has a landscape keyboard that's light years better than the iPhone. It also has a larger screen than the Behold and a much better design. Until you have the phone yourself it's hard to take you seriously. The Eternity does NOT feel cheap.
6. Armo (Posts: 13; Member since: 13 Dec 2008)
just to let u know, i hate the iphone. i never said the phone FEELS cheap. i said it LOOKS. the design is NOT better then the behold's. anyone can say the behold is one beautifully designed handset. if u think the eternity looks better, ur lying to urself. the screen is bigger, but it doesnt make that much of a difference since the only advantage it would get over the behold is an easier to use keyboard. but the keyboard on the behold is a breeze to use. get ur facts straight.
7. baldilocks (Posts: 494; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)
I have my facts straight. I have put both phones side by side. The Behold has ugly soft keys and a boxy design that would have looked great in 1985.
12. GBallew (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)
Umm...looks are an entirely opinion matter. You can say "This phone looks cheap to me" or "to me, the behold looks better". I personally like the way this phone looks better than the behold and love the way it feels. Which is exactly why I got it, because FOR ME, its a better phone all around. The point of the story is: Just because it doesn't look the way YOU want it to, doesn't mean it isn't it doesn't look great to SOMEBODY ELSE.
10. Agent (Posts: 30; Member since: 16 Dec 2008)
I think the Eternity looks slightly nicer than the Behold. I owned the Behold for a couple weeks. It's nice, but the plastic battery door that sticks out in the back negates the metal backing, which is actually not a very cool color (Espresso). The buttons on the front of the Behold are cooler than the Eternity's, but the Eternity looks better overall. And the screen size is an issue. Surprisingly, 1/10th of an inch makes a difference when browsing the web, etc.
11. Agent (Posts: 30; Member since: 16 Dec 2008)
P.S. I also played with the Eternity quite a bit and actually ordered it through letstalk, but then cancelled because the phone was backordered. Now I have a G1. Go figure.