Samsung Infuse 4G Review

Introduction and Design

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, especially considering that it’s not tied to the Samsung Galaxy S family, the Samsung Infuse 4G is gunning for the top dog position on AT&T’s Android lineup that’s currently occupied by the Motorola ATRIX 4G. Although it shares some of elements that embody the Samsung Galaxy S II, like its super razor thin profile and gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus display, there are other things that make it unique in its own way. Specifically, it’s going to be AT&T’s first device to feature HSPA+ Category 14, which should bring along theoretical speeds of up to 21Mbps. Additionally, it’s mentioned to support HSUPA at launch, which is set for May 15th, as opposed to seeing it enabled down the road – much like what has happened to the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola ATRIX 4G. Priced fittingly at $199.99 on-contract, there surely is a lot to like with this one, but knowing that the Samsung Galaxy S II is beginning to permeate into markets around the world, will this one still be a contender in the high-end Android category?

The package contains:

  • Samsung Infuse 4G
  • 2GB microSD card preloaded
  • microSD card adapter
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Stereo Headset
  • MHL adapter for HDMI output
  • Quick Start Guide


Upon first holding onto the handset, we’re surprised to see how captivating the device really is, and even though it’s definitely one of the widest out there, its razor thin (0.35” thick) construction majestically shines above most things. Staring at it, the handset is deceptively manageable to hold in the hand and doesn’t feel as overly bulky as the HTC ThunderBolt. Additionally, we’re amazed to find out how lightweight the device literally is when holding it, which of course, is due mostly to its plastic construction. Still, it feels solid all around, though, its straightforward design approach might not come off as anything spectacular, yet it’s still nonetheless appealing.

You can compare the Samsung Infuse 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Staring blatantly right in front of us, the handset’s 4.5” WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED Plus display with support for 16.7 million colors shines ever so brightly and is hard to miss – thus, making it one of its most defining characteristics. Sure it looks sharp for the most part, but it’s evident that its WVGA resolution is rather diminutive for its display seeing that text within the web browser can look rather jagged. Nevertheless, we absolutely admire the rich looking saturated colors that the panel is able to establish – and rightfully so, it’s very much polarizing! Flaunting some great viewing angles, which allow colors to retain their iridescent appearance, everything on-screen maintains its visibility without being compromised under the direct gaze of the sun. In summation, its Super AMOLED Plus display unanimously does what it’s sought out to do – and that’s to capture the attention of anyone from afar.

Positioned close to the edge of the handset, there are still some instances when we accidentally press some of the capacitive Android buttons beneath its display. Meanwhile, the 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, slim looking earpiece, light, and proximity sensors are all located above the display.

Turning to the left edge, the only thing we find here is the raised and separated volume rocker that’s easily distinguishable to the touch, while exhibiting a reasonable amount of feedback when pressed. Moreover, the same can be said about the appropriately positioned dedicated power button on the right side of the phone.

Both the 3.5mm headset jack and one of its microphones are perched on the top area of the handset, while the other microphone and microUSB port, which is used for power, data connection, and video-out, are placed alongside the bottom portion of the device.

Flipping it around, the 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash is positioned towards the upper middle portion of the back, while the notches for the speakerphone are etched into the elevated area near the bottom edge. Removing the flimsy plastic rear cover is accomplished by simply yanking it off, from there, we’re given access to its battery, SIM card, and microSD card slots – the latter of which is accessible only when the battery is removed from its compartment.

Samsung Infuse 4G 360-degrees View:


There’s no denying that we would have loved to see this high caliber handset be graced with some sort of dual-core processor instead, but fittingly enough, we’re still nevertheless agreeable with its 1.2GHz single-core Hummingbird processor. Despite that, it’s able to perform at a high level and seems to handle even some of the most basic tasks without much fluff. Even with a graphically intensive live wallpaper activated, it doesn’t stall that much in its movement while navigating across its homescreen, but in the back of our mind, there’s no arguing that some of its luster is diminished primarily due to its choice of sticking with a single-core processor. Even though it doesn’t put up some impressive benchmark results, overlooking that and gauging its actual everyday performance, the Samsung Infuse 4G is more than speedy on its own.

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Rather than seeing the updated TouchWiz 4.0 experience that’s in use with the Samsung Galaxy S II right now, we’re simply presented with nothing more than the tried and true previous version of the customized experience running on top of Android 2.2.1 Froyo. Personalization is plentiful and abundant with the handset, especially when it boasts a decent amount of Samsung’s widgets, which you can use to beautify any of its 7 homescreens to your liking. Specific to TouchWiz, we find four icons positioned at the bottom edge of every homescreen and gives you access to the phone dialer, email app, web browser, and app tray. Meanwhile, its app panel is laid out in that familiar grid-like layout with its equally memorable square looking icons, which are evenly spaced from one another. There’s no doubt that it’s a pretty looking interface, but we still have to agree that HTC’s Sense UI is still significantly preferred partially because of the various enhancements it has to offer that makes the experience so complete.

Conveniently taking into consideration the needs of social networking conscious individuals, we adore the Social Updates widget since it aggregates content from your social networking accounts all in one place. Additionally, we can write quick status messages, which can be sent to various accounts simultaneously. Not stopping there, it’s also nice being given the ability to even upload photos to those respective accounts as well – as opposed to using separate clients. Conversely, the Buddies Now widget is pretty useful too since it provides you quick access to some of your favorite contacts. Of course, you can instantly place a phone call or text message to a specific person, but it’s also tied closely to your social networking accounts so that it’ll display some of their recent status messages.

Organizer & Messaging:

We also appreciate the usefulness of the integrated Calendar, since it pulls events from your Google, Facebook and corporate Outlook/Exchange accounts. Views are separated by day, week, or month (the default tab), or you can view a list of your recent and future appointments, holidays, and birthdays. Reminders are easily set, and you can choose if the phone is to mark the event only on the handset, or sync it to the cloud with Google Calendar as well. Pushing events work quickly, so adding that party to Google Calendar or Facebook saves it to the phone instantaneously as well.

The alarm function can be found under the Clock icon in the apps menu, and also includes a world clock, stopwatch and timer for all those hard boiled eggs in the morning. It's nice that you can control every aspect of its sounding, and even snooze duration and repetition.

Thanks to its monstrous sized display, you know that the messaging experience is going to be easier partly due to its roomy confines. Presented with three on-screen keyboards (stock, Samsung, and Swype), buttons are acceptably larger than most others in portrait, but we’re equal content with the responsive nature of the handset – thus translating to an error-free messaging experience. Obviously, the landscape style keyboard offers the most amount of real estate, able to accommodate even the largest of fingers, but when it comes to speed typing, it astoundingly caters to the needs of even the most stringent users out there.

Not surprisingly, the Gmail experience is pretty much the norm at this point – especially with a high caliber handset like this. With plenty of room to view emails in all of their glory, it’s supplemented with the vast set of features that we commonly find with the experience, like threaded view, the ability to label stuff, and add multiple Gmail accounts. Besides Gmail, you can quickly and easily set up other popular accounts by simply providing your email address and password. In some instances though, especially for custom email accounts, you might be required to give additional pieces of information, like server addresses and ports, to have it properly set up on the handset.


It seems that most high-end phones are now coming with an 8-megapixel camera (or larger), and the Samsung Infuse 4G is no exception, as it also employs auto focus and a single LED flash. The camera menu is pretty similar between other Samsung phones, giving you options for changing the resolution, scene modes, timers, white balance, effects, ISO, and light metering…among others.

After snapping a few photos with its 8-megapixel auto-focus camera and previewing them on the handset, we’re actually impressed with the quality since it appears to ideally capture the moment. However, after downloading them to our computer, we’re not encompassed with the same feelings since they look just passable. Outdoors, it manages to capture a fair amount of detail, but it’s still not as sharp as we’d like, while its somewhat over-exposed appearance makes it look as though color production is on the cooler side. Conversely, indoor shots under natural lighting appear to be soft in tone with cooler looking colors present once again. Fortunately though, the LED flash does a wonderful job in lighting up the scenery with its clearer details and accurate looking colors.

There’s nothing pretty found with the results dished up the handset’s 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, but it’s perfect for all your video chatting needs. Using AT&T’s network and Fring’s video chatting service, we’re content with its performance in getting video and voices synced simultaneously.

As more high-end handsets boast full 1080p video recording, some would argue that 720p might not be able to sufficiently give the kind of quality that some people desire. However, those critics can be silenced because 720p recording on the Samsung Infuse 4G is undeniably good. In addition to its fluid capture rate of 29 frames per second and plentiful details, the one absolute thing that makes it so useful is the fact that it employs continuous auto-focus – something that naturally keeps things looking sharp. Furthermore, it’s not overly sensitive when it comes to exposure, which means, it’ll gradually adjust according to the lighting conditions. Meanwhile, its audio recording it fairly normal sounding in tone without much distortion to it.

Samsung Infuse 4G Sample Video:


The multimedia files get organized in the Gallery, which offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view. It automatically indexes the pictures and video on the card and in the phone. The gallery syncs with Picasa upon launch, assigning different icons to the pics depending on their source. Images can be rotated and cropped right in the gallery, uploaded on Google's Picasa, or sent via email, MMS or Bluetooth. The Samsung AllShare function is also here, if you happen to have a DLNA capable TV to view the pics or videos from the phone on the big screen. Videos can also be uploaded straight from the gallery, to Google's YouTube.

When it comes to playing some tunes on the Samsung Infuse 4G, we’re glad to see that the interface is definitely up there in terms of functionality and presentation. Naturally, it displays all the usual set of items when a particular song is playing, but the beauty of its interface is found when you enter “disc view.” In this mode, albums and songs are arranged in this 3D carousel of CDs that fluidly move around as you’re browsing. Additionally, the handset offers a good amount of equalizer settings to tastefully accommodate the genre of music and a visualization effect that runs while a song is being played. Audio quality with its speaker is actually punchy in tone and doesn’t sound crackly or distorted at the loudest setting.

Taking into account its rather large and brilliant looking display, you know that it’s the perfect combination for watching videos. Loading a video encoded in DivX 1280 x 720 resolution, it plays swimmingly in full fidelity with no instances of slowdown or lag. And despite not offering a dedicated video out port, the packaging does include an HDMI-out adapter that enables you to output videos to your high-definition television set. Also, you can get a mirrored experience that allows you to view everything you do on the handset directly on the big screen.

Internally, there’s 12GB of free storage out of the box, but supplementing that capacity is the preloaded 2GB microSD card. If that’s still insufficient, you can always replace it with something up to 32GB in size.

Internet and Connectivity:

Regretfully, the Samsung Infuse 4G is bitten with the same bug afflicting other recent high-end Samsung devices like the Droid Charge. Specifically, it’s just unable to handle web sites with heavy Flash content, much like ours, seeing that it locks up every now and then – making for one excruciatingly frustrating experience. Come to think of it, that’s probably why plug-ins are set to “On Demand” by default as opposed to “Always on.” For other sites that aren’t Flash intensive, it offers a smooth and responsive experience much like any of its contemporaries out there. Seeing that pixel density isn’t as high compared to other devices with smaller sized displays, on-screen text do not look as sharp as we’d like – thus requiring you to really zoom-in to get an adequate size.

Being a world phone and all, you know that the handset will work in just about any corner around the planet. Interestingly enough, the Samsung Infuse 4G is also AT&T’s very first device to feature HSPA+ Category 14, which should theoretically get speeds of up to 21Mbps. Continuing its greatness, it’s mentioned to support HSUPA when it’s officially launched on May 15th, 2011, which is the upload component of HSPA+. Right now though, we’re once again disappointed with its highly touted data speeds – much like the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola ATRIX 4G before it. Actually, we tested it out in New York City and within the greater Philadelphia region, and to no avail, we’re simply greeted with 3G-like speeds instead. Naturally, the handset employs all the usual set of connectivity features – such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Luckily, its mobile hotpot functionality will share its cellular data connection with up to 5 Wi-Fi devices.


Besides the hollowness in voices through the earpiece and speakerphone, we’re pretty much content with the overall good calling quality of the handset. Thankfully, there is no distortion or background noise evident on either end, which makes for some clear conversations. In addition, our callers say that our voice is clear and distinctive on their side.

Signal strength with the Samsung Infuse 4G is normally found at -83 dBm in high coverage areas within the greater Philadelphia region. Meanwhile, we didn’t experience any major fluctuations in signal strength or dropped calls during our testing.

Leaving a bitter taste at the end, battery life with the handset is rather lax in output since we managed to get 15 hours of normal usage with a fully charged battery, which mainly consisted of text messaging, web browsing, emailing, and an occasional phone call. Clearly, heavy users will want to constantly charge it as much as they can, while light users should edge near a day of usage.


After being encompassed with jubilation upon first handling the device, it eventually subsided as we began to really figure out the ins and outs of its offerings. Yeah, its $200 on-contract price is more than fitting, and equally contends with its rivals in this area, but there’s just this nagging feeling knowing the that it’s not quite on the same level as some of its next-gen peers; specifically the Samsung Galaxy S II. However, it still packs a punch with its impressive razor thin construction and larger than normal Super AMOLED Plus display – making them its standout characteristics. Oppositely though, we’re rather saddened to see that its highly touted 4G speeds are still nowhere close to what we see put out by some of T-Mobile’s devices. Nevertheless, the platform experience is still solid, despite not having Gingerbread from the onset, but hopefully it receives its dose sooner than later to keep it in favorable light amongst consumers.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android 2.2.1
Software number: 1.36.605.1
Kernel version:
Build number: FROYO.UCKD5

Samsung Infuse 4G Video Review:


  • Super-sized & beautiful Super AMOLED Plus display
  • Razor thin construction
  • Peppy performance


  • Slow “4G” data speeds
  • Unable to handle sites with heavy Flash content

PhoneArena Rating:


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