Samsung Eternity Review

After seeing our neighbors across the big pond get acquainted with Samsung’s multimedia touch screen phones such as the Pixon, U.S. consumers can now get their hands on the Eternity with AT&T. This is one of the first phones in the States to use Samsung’s TouchWiz interface for a fresh new look with various widgets on the home screen. In addition to the updated software design, the phone is filled with a plethora of multimedia features such as a 3-megapixel camera, AT&T’s video share service, and Mobile TV to keep enthusiasts content.

The package contains:

  • Samsung SGH-A867
  • Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User Manual
  • Interactive Device Tutorial CD


As with other touch screen phones, the Eternity keeps to fashion with its slick candy bar design (4.3x2.2x0.5 inches) that closely resembles the Instinct in dimensions. Glossy black plastic is used for the casing with a chrome metallic border going around the phone. At first glance, the battery cover looks to almost have a brushed aluminum finish but it is in fact just a hard plastic material which emulates the feel and look of a metal surface. Placing the device in your hands feels really well thanks to its relative low weight (3.9 oz). We liked the overall construction of the phone and did not feel as cheap as the LG Vu in terms of durability.

You can compare the Samsung Eternity with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Samsung kept the size of the resistive touch screen to a reasonable 3.2” which has a resolution of 240x400 pixels and 262k colors. Vibration feedback is implemented with the device whenever the screen is pressed to notify the user that a selection has been made. The Eternity does a good job of using the vibration feature in its software to keep things new and fresh. There is a light sensor on the phone that adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the amount of ambient light coming in. We found that even viewing the phone in direct sunlight to be no problem with colors and text still being distinguishable.

Below the screen you will find three physical buttons which are flush with the device. The green send and red end keys are found on the side with the middle button being used as the back/clear key. On the left side you will find the volume rocker and charging/USB port. Samsung did not go with the traditional mini or microUSB connection and decided to stick with their own proprietary port. We are happy to find that the right side of the device has a 3.5mm jack to allow regular headphones to be used. You will also find the dedicated camera button on the bottom right side to quickly take photos. There is also a button on the right side of the phone that brings up the shortcut menu which allows you to perform basic functions such as making calls or text messaging. However, the icons in this menu can be brought up at any time but you cannot modify them to your liking.

On the back you will find the 3-megapixel camera which is a step down from the ones found on the Pixon and F480. Additionally, there is no flash or self portrait mirror found on the Eternity. The plastic battery cover slides off to reveal the battery compartment, SIM card slot, and microSD slot. We are still baffled as to why manufacturers still insist on having users remove the back cover and battery just to install a mircoSD card.

The bottom of the phone houses the microphone and a new feature that adds some flare. Whenever you receive a call, the entire bottom of the chrome border illuminates in a color. However, you can only choose five different colors for the settings. We would have been happier if the colors rotated instead of just having a singular one.



14. baldilocks

Posts: 1555; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Was still a great phone.

11. Agent

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 16, 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.

10. Agent

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 16, 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.

4. Armo

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 13, 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: 1555; Member since: Dec 14, 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: Dec 13, 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: 1555; Member since: Dec 14, 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.

9. Armo

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 13, 2008

ok buddy. think wat u want.

12. GBallew

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 10, 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.

1. Midnight

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 11, 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: 52; Member since: Jun 09, 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: Dec 11, 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: Dec 11, 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: Feb 10, 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.
  • Display 3.2 inches
    400 x 240 pixels
  • Camera 3 MP (Single camera)
  • Storage , microSDHC
  • Battery 1300 mAh

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