Samsung Mythic A897 Review

Software and Features:

The version of TouchWiz found on the Mythic takes some of its cues from the newer editions that are mostly reserved for most of Samsung’s high- end handsets. All the friendly looking widgets are back to fill up your homescreens with useful information. Instead of having a single homescreen, you can now move between the three that’s featured on the Mythic.The Samsung Mythic runs the well-known TouchWiz interface that we’ve been accustomed to be see on most of Samsung’s handsets. Speed is consistent in almost whatever you are doing – from placing or moving widgets on-screen to the transition effects used for in-menu navigation. It’s not to say that it isn’t mind boggling smooth or intuitive, but it’s more than tolerable to withstand. In addition, the main menu also gets revamped with three menus that utilize a grid-like format for its icons – you can move them around to your liking. There’s a lot of to like about the Mythic’s the Mythic’s new interface because TouchWiz interface and its – it  has good depth when it comes to personalization options.

Creating contacts is a simple procedure that follows the same pattern on previous TouchWiz handsets we’ve reviewed. It offers more information to be inputted than other basic handsets – phone numbers, email addresses, home address, ringtones, and screen names can all be saved. Memory won't be an issue because the Mythic will retain up to 2,000 contacts.

Depending on the user, touch screen phones can be just as swift when it comes to text messaging. The virtual QWERTY is responsive with vibrations accompanying each press – by far the best input method. There's also a handwriting tool that we found quite frustrating because it does not accurately register what is written on screen. Finally, you can use the dialing pad with T9 for a more traditional way. The SMS application is simple and allows for images, sounds, and videos to be sent.

The Instant messaging client allows for AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger to be used. For the longest of times, we knew that the Mobile Email app on AT&T phones did not allow you to manually setup specific email providers. So it was shocking pretty nice to see that the Mythic get treated to a suitable application that’ll allow you to use just about any provider. We had no problem setting up our PhoneArena email on the phone by providing the specific mail server addresses.

Third party software is in abundance on the Highlight – 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 and 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.

One area where we saw performance take a step back was in the quality of photos that the Samsung Mythic produced. Sure it has an auto-focusing 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash, but images lacked fine details and looked almost muddy. Colors had a softer tone in almost every lighting condition – it definitely looked more washed out than anything. We noticed that the phone had a difficult time attempting to focus in dark conditions with the aid of the LED flash – photos were extremely blurry when taking them from more than 4 feet away. The interface is what we expected with similar TouchWiz enabled phones – there’s a good mix of options you can modify to your preference. There’s really not much to like about the photo quality performance on the Mythic and we feel it’s best suited for picture messaging.

No surprise with video quality on this one as well – it was extremely pixelated and blurry at times when moving the camera to pan on something. Two resolutions are available with 320 x 240 being the maximum; so detail will be at a minimum. Audio from the captured video sounded muffled with a static background noise being audible throughout the recording. The Mythic is also a video share enabled device, but we were unable to test out that feature. In the end, it's best to take videos for MMS use.

Visually there is no difference in the music player found on the Mythic – it clearly takes the same interface that we’ve seen on the Solstice. All the useful information are is there as well common functions such as reverse, play/pause, forward, repeat, and shuffle. Exiting back to the homescreen will load up the music player widget so you’ll have continuous playback if you accidentally press the end button. At least there was an improvement in audio quality from the speaker phone – it didn’t crackle at the highest volume and had just enough power behind it to make tunes sound decent.

When watching videos on the Mythic we experienced similar results to previous TouchWiz devices.  Movie trailers we used in MPEG-4 at 320 x 240 and H.264 at 320 x 136 played smoothly without any noticeable lag. Thanks to the vivid screen, there was plenty of detail and lush colors to make the speedy video look nice.Unfortunately it doesn’t support DivX and Xvid in addition to not being able to handle a video in H.264 at 640 x 272. Sound from the videos produced similar results to what we experienced with playing music. It still had a decent tone allowing us to easily distinguish voices – all the while not being too loud or losing clarity.

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 tri-band UMTS device support (850/1900/2100 Mhz) is a slight step up from what we witnessed on the Solstice and Eternity. Unfortunately, the Mythic doesn’t sport Wi-Fi.

We’re just a bit mesmerized at how well the web browsing experience was on the Samsung Mythic – it rivals even some of the premier browsers out there. There’s no problem loading up web pages on the handset – our site took less than 30 seconds to completely load. Initially you are greeted to a page overview, with tiny text, that allows for a quick overall view of the site. You can simply double tap the touchscreen to zoom into a specific location. It had no problems scrolling in any direction with both text and pictures popping up almost instantaneously. This is definitely a great device to use if you plan on doing some heavy web surfing.

There is roughly 250MB of shared memory available if you plan on saving media directly on the device. To support that, it can accept microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity.



1. baldilocks

Posts: 1516; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Would be a great phone but the Interface is a lot slower and way more choppy than it should be. Still not an Eternity beater.

2. ADEIFE unregistered

i don't like d ideal not having automatic gprs configuration.
  • Display 3.3" 360 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Storage 0.18 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1150 mAh(3.00h talk time)

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