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Samsung Impression Review

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Home screen - Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
Main menu - Samsung Impression Review

Home screen

 

Main menu

Unfortunately this is the same TouchWiz user interface we’ve seen before with nothing new to mention. We were hoping to see the flashy new interface that was previewed during the Mobile World Congress. There are seventeen widgets you can choose from that can be placed on the home screen to give it a personalized look. Most of them are just quick launch items to lessen the need to go through the menus. Others, like the mini music player widget, will control music playback. There are plenty of transition effects used when navigating through the menus; with no hint of any lag. We like how simple the interface is; making it easy for first time users getting acquainted with it.  However, it is a bummer not being able to download additional widgets to truly make it personalized.

You can save up to 2000 contacts with up to 5 different phone numbers. On top of that, you can add pictures, ringtones, birth date and a short note. Searching is done only by first name, which is a common problem, but is largely annoying when present in such a high-end device. Additionally, you can scroll through your contacts using the magnifier icon on the side and navigate to the letter of the first name.

Contacts - Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
Contact editing and creation - Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review

Contacts

 

Contact editing and creation

 


Thanks to the Messaging menu, you can write and send text/multimedia messages and emails. There are no factory preloaded templates, but you can save such for both, text and multimedia messages. The T9 system is present here and it will assist you type text faster. Inputting text is done via the screen numeric keypad, turning the phone counterclockwise to display the virtual QWERTY keyboard, or slide open the phone to use the QWERTY. If neither option is to your liking, you can even use the handwriting recognition as an alternative to input text. Although the feature is welcomed, it does take longer using your finger to write out the character you wish to use.

Numeric keypad - Samsung Impression Review
Virtual QWERTY - Samsung Impression Review
Handwriting recognition - Samsung Impression Review

Numeric keypad

Virtual QWERTY

Handwriting recognition



You can use the Mobile Email application to set up to 5 email accounts with the phone. Unfortunately, it allows you to set up specific accounts supported by the software such as Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail and does not allow other email accounts; such as Gmail.

Mobile Email application - Samsung Impression Review
Mobile Email application - Samsung Impression Review

Mobile Email application



Camera interface - Samsung Impression Review
Camera interface - Samsung Impression Review
Camera interface - Samsung Impression Review
Camera interface - Samsung Impression Review

Camera interface

Pitting the Impression against the Eternity in the photo image quality, we found similar results with the newer device. The Impression retains the same 3-megapixel resolution found on the Eternity with results looking the same. Launching the camera application by pressing the dedicated button took three seconds to load. There is no auto-focusing system but images still had good detail. The phone will automatically edit the taken image by adjusting the brightness of the photo. Although this a welcomed feature by most, some may find it strange that it cannot be disabled. Indoor shots had some fuzziness in them while colors looked washed out. Outdoor or brightly lit shots produced the best quality with great detail and color saturation. The Impression has the same camera interface found on the Eternity which makes it very simple for someone to pick up the phone and start taking photos. Not known for its camera prowess, there are some options you can change for image quality or effects.


Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
Camera samples - Samsung Impression Review
Camera samples - Samsung Impression Review
Camera samples - Samsung Impression Review

Camera samples

 

Music player - Samsung Impression Review

Music player

Music player widget - Samsung Impression Review

Music player widget


Videos
on the other had similar results found on the Eternity. It is probably best suited for MMS with support for a maximum resolution of 320x240. Videos taken in low light conditions came out dark while outdoor settings with plenty of light came out decent. Audio quality from the produced videos had almost robotic sound to it.


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 three buttons. They are used to 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. And just like other recent AT&T phones, additional music programs such as XM Radio, MusicID, and Make-UR-Tones can be found.



XM Radio - Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
Make-UR-Tones - Samsung Impression Review
Music ID - Samsung Impression Review

XM Radio

 

Make-UR-Tones

Music ID



Audio quality when playing songs came out very well with no problems. You can easily hear it when you place it on the medium setting while no crackling was heard when placed on the highest volume. Although it did lack some bass, we still did not find any issues with the produced audio quality. On a sour note, the Impression does not use a standard 3.5 or 2.5mm headset port. Instead, you’ll have to use stereo Bluetooth headphones or order a Samsung adapter to allow use for headphones seeing that the box does not include them.

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. We were able to load a clip in 320x136 H.264 format on the Samsung Impression with surprisingly smooth frame rates and good detail. The device will only play it in landscape view with no option for portrait. Sounds that accompanied the video were clear and audible.

Video playback - Samsung Impression Review
Video playback - Samsung Impression Review

Video playback



Samsung Impression is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and dual-band UMTS (850/1900 MHz). It does not support 3G access overseas in Europe.

The web browser is exactly the same that was found on the Eternity. Web sites loaded up pretty fast thanks to 3G connectivity in our location. When loading complex sites like ours, everything displayed fine with images rendering quickly. It’s quite usable for surfing the web while we wished that there was some sort of page overview to give us a quick glance at an entire site. The only other display option available is the mobile view that optimizes web sites for a single column view; eliminating the need to scroll left to right.

Web browser - Samsung Impression Review
Samsung Impression Review
AT&T Navigator - Samsung Impression Review
IM Client - Samsung Impression Review

Web browser

 

AT&T Navigator

IM Client



For travelers on the go, using AT&T Navigator will provide good turn-by-turn directions while offering plenty of local points of interests. The Impression’s IM client allows you to choose from AIM, Windows Live Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. Just with other recent phones, you can jump back to the home screen while the IM application runs in the background.

The Impressions comes loaded with 189 MB of storage memory out of the box. You can supplement the storage memory with microSD support for cards up to 16GB.



4 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 1

1. Impession user (unregistered)


I have a Samsung impression and loved my phone. Not anymore it drops calls, freezes randomly shuts itself off and then back on. i do multiple hardshutoffs weekly and am on my third replacement with the same problem.

posted on 11 Mar 2011, 22:53 1

2. Amy (unregistered)


Had had this phone for well over a year now and love it. It's a great phone if you are using it for mainly calling/texting, and the keyboard is a nice size. I also love the camera. It takes great pictures I think, so much so that I do NOT own a digital camera and take all my pics with this. The USB cable allows me to quickly and easily transfer my pics to my computer. I take a lot of pics of my kids, and can be picky about them, so it says a lot that i'm happy with this camera.
I am upgrading to the motorola flipside, but only because I want something different. (im kinda weird with cel phones...like a new one every year or so). I am not switching out of unhappiness with this phone...just wanting something different.

posted on 28 Apr 2011, 11:59 1

3. pikagod (unregistered)


I have an impression and have for almost a year and a half. It is a TERRIBLE phone. after just a couple months it began giving me a solid magenta colored screen whenever I would open or unlock it. sometimes this stayed for a few seconds, sometimes the battery must be taken out and the phone rebooted. The qwerty keyboard gets less and less responsive each day; what I mean by that is slower. I type the same speed but it won't register keys, or sometimes registers that the key was hit 5 times. slowing down when pressing the buttons does NOT fix this. calls get dropped, during calls I can no longer check messages or any such thing. and at times, the 3 buttons, as well as the qwerty keys stop responding. only the touch screen will work but you have to shut it down to fix it. problem? can't shut it down with touch screen, so you have to take the battery out. I'm VERY gentle with my phone, and still am on my second one with the same problems. in a matter of months one of my closest friends went through 3 impressions with the exact same problems. its a great phone hardware wise, but as usual samsung's software sucks. I highly recommend avoiding this phone. get something a little cheaper from a brand that understands how to make software.

posted on 17 Sep 2011, 09:22 1

4. ScubaSteve913 (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Sep 2011)


I had a lot of the same problems with this phone. At first it seemed great but after just a few months it wouldn't send messages without me restarting the phone (which was agonizingly slow) and the problems began to pile up, the screen would get this magenta color when I slid the phone open or closed, it would randomly turn itself off, the keyboard was unusable by the time I hit a year with the phone. After that I upgraded to an iphone 3GS and threw it in the drawer. I thought the problems were done with it, but after my girlfriend's phone got trashed I gave her the phone to use temporarily. Only a week after she began using it the entire screen lost touch response and without that the phone is entirely unusable. Avoid this phone at all costs, its nothing but trouble.

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Display3.2 inches, 240 x 400 pixels (146 ppi) AMOLED
Camera3 megapixels
Size4.48 x 2.28 x 0.61 inches
(114 x 58 x 15 mm)
5.30 oz  (150 g)
Battery1000 mAh, 3 hours talk time

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