Samsung Flight A797 Review
Our first inclination in the software department with a Samsung handset offering a touchscreen was some kind of TouchWiz interface. Instead of being blessed with the flagship interface like what we saw in the Mythic, the Flight gets a super watered down version of fledging platform – so it’s not TouchWiz. You can see remnants of it in the home screen layout, main menu, and media players – but the only thing sorely missing is the plethora of widgets. Navigating through the phone is simple, responsive, and generally utilizes some nice transition effects. It doesn’t offer the depth in personalization though that TouchWiz is known to have like the multiple homescreens and placement of widgets, but it works fine for this kind of device.
Following the same fashion as other Samsung handsets before it, inputting contact information is a breeze with little effort required. All the traditional information can be associated with each contact – phone numbers, email addresses, ringtones, and screen names to name a few. Holding all that information will be a simple task for the Flight which holds up to 2,000 contact.
It may not be the best QWERTY keyboard around, but we were baffled with the typing experience when composing a text message. There are three input methods on the Flight – on-screen numeric pad, handwriting recognition, and the QWERTY itself. There’s no option for a landscape on-screen QWERTY, so using the physical one will be the only way to get a decent experience. The SMS application is the same we’ve seen before except that there’s a noticeable lag when you really start flying on the QWERTY. It felt as though the phone had a tough time catching up with our fingers mashing on the buttons – it was bad to the point that errors were being made and button presses weren’t being registered properly. This was a definite glaring issue in our books because of the nature of the phone.
The instant messaging client allows for AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger to be used. Setting up email on the Flight was a breeze now that just about any provider could be used. We had no problem setting up our PhoneArena email on the phone by providing the specific mail server addresses. There’s a list of common providers that make the setup procedure a bit easier by just placing the address and password. We like the simple nature of the email application that manages to be passable for the everyday user that just wants to check messages.
Third party software support is the same on the Samsung Flight when compared to similar AT&T phones – some useful while others you may never use. Some of these include Mobile Banking, MobiTV, MobiVJ, My-Cast Weather, Where, and XM Radio to name a few. For people on the go, AT&T Navigator is loaded for location based services to get you to a destination in a timely manner. As usual, standard tools like the calculator, world clock, timer, stopwatch, and alarms are all available for your disposal.
You can throw the camera taking quality of the Flight straight out of the window with its bland colors and lack of fine detail. For a 2-megapixel camera, we wouldn’t even suggest trying to even print out a 4” x 6” shot because of its dismal quality. We’re treated to the same interface we’ve seen on previous TouchWiz handsets with a little bit less features for the photo enthusiast in you. Even with that, we were sorely disappointed with its quality.
With only a maximum shooting resolution of 320 x 240, the Samsung Flight’s video capture of 15 fps looked very pixelated. Colors were more on the drab side with no detail in sight in any of the videos we took. Voices turned out to be muffled sounding – making it really difficult to make out what was being said. This is just another example of a device being best suited for MMS use and not to capture all the spontaneous moments you want for the memories. The Flight is a video share enabled device.
Both the music and video players are facsimiles to ones we’ve seen on previous Samsung handsets. The simple layout of the music player will be familiar with its touch friendly sized icons, useful music information, and use of the mini player when exiting back to the homescreen. Sound emanating from the speaker phone was loud enough to listen, but crackling sounds were apparent on the highest volume setting. Regrettably we were a bit taken back by the Flight’s inability to play certain videos despite having a QVGA display. We were unable to play a 320 x 136 movie trailer in H.264 codec, but managed to load one in 220 x 96. It was able to play fine with no indication of lag or choppiness – of course it’d run smooth on a low quality video and played in landscape only. We had no luck in attempting to play a video in MPEG-4 format. Sound from the videos was audible and in sync – no complaints with its decent sounding tones.
There is roughly 90MB of shared memory available if you plan on saving media directly on the device. To support that, it can accept microSD cards up to 16GB in capacity.
Taking the handset to other countries for voice calls won't be an issue with it's quad-band GSM capability (850/900/18000/1900 Mhz). For data use, the dual-band UMTS support (850/1900 Mhz) is sufficient enough to get good connections here domestically.
Thanks to the Opera Mini powered browser on the Samsung Flight, web browsing experience is taken up a notch with its peppy speeds and proper rendering. Complex sites like ours loaded up speedily on the handset with almost everything in proper place. Scrolling isn’t the smoothest out there, but works well for a feature phone like the Flight. It’s definitely quite usable and found surfing the web an enjoyable experience.
1. Benjamin7890 (unregistered)
I'm so happy with my new unlocked cell phones! This has an unbelievably fast processor, great feel and easy to text on. I used to own a unlocked htc phones, but I'm so much happier with my brand new unlocked samsung phones. This Samsung Flight II is so much better for my business and pulls my email in so much faster. And I really couldn't be happier with it since it is an unlocked tmobile phones and it's a unlocked 3g phones I can take it overseas. My family loves my new phone and can't get enough of the games. I'm going to purchase another one for my son for his birthday from gsmauthority.com. Definitely would recommend this phone.
2. Gab (unregistered)
I like this phone, but I just can't figure out how to have a group text! How???
3. henderson883 (unregistered)
how do i flash this phone it does not come on