Samsung SCH-A990 Review
The A990 is not only capable of sending and receiving text messages, but also pictures and video. Sending a text message is simple to use with T9 input. Sending a picture or video message works the same way as a text message, except for the fact that you can attach a picture or video from either the phone's internal memory or from the MicroSD card. Picture messages can be sent to other capable Verizon phones or to any E-Mail address.
The A990 also comes with a Mobile Instant Messaging application that works with AIM, MSN, and Yahoo. I was able to use it with AOL IM (AIM) without any problems. It woks in a similar fashion as sending a text message, except that it goes to people you select on your Buddy List. When they send you a message, it will be displayed on your phone's screen.
Bluetooth is also a useful tool that is incorporated into the A990. However, typically for Verizon, they have limited the Bluetooth functionality. It will only support Wireless Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dial up Networking, and Printing. Not all OBEX profiles are supported, and Bluetooth Stereo (A2DP) is not supported. We feel that Verizon should not block any Bluetooth profiles in their phones. It only limits phone's functionality. When using the A990 with a Bluetooth earpiece, it will integrate with the Voice Command Feature to allow Voice Dialing.
There is a standard WAP 2.0 browser that will provide you with access to Verizon's Mobile Web site. There is a lot of useful information available from the Mobile Web site (News, Weather, E-Mail, Sports, Entertainment, Shopping, and Account Services). You can also use the WAP 2.0 browser to visit any other WAP site. You can browse normal HTTP web sites, but the phone is limited to only displaying text and small pictures. Trying to view a large picture-intense HTTP web site will cause an Insufficient Memory error message. WAP sites load quickly thanks to Verizon's EVDO coverage. Otherwise the A990 will use the slower 1x network. The Verizon Mobile Web page will load in 5 seconds when using EVDO. Normal HTTP sites will take longer depending on content. As of now, only SmartPhones come with a standard web browser and can view normal HTTP sites without problems. We believe that with current cell phones advancements, the WAP browser is at the end of its life and needs to be replaced with a HTTP browser on all upcoming phones. This would allow users to visit normal web pages and viewing them properly. Overall, the A990's WAP browser is easy to use and works well, despite its limited capabilities. Mobile Web is available for $5 a month or is included in the $15/month V Cast service.
Music can be downloaded from Verizon's V Cast Music Store. You can jump to What's New and What's Hot, or browse by Genre, Artist, Album, and Song. The easiest way to find what you are looking for is to use the Search feature. You can listen to a 20 second preview of each song before purchasing. Songs cost $1.99 to download. You can have the song saved to the phone's internal memory or to the MicroSD card. You also can download a free version of the song on your computer. A 5MB song only took 40 seconds to download using EVDO.