Samsung SCH-A990 Review
Even with all the advantages of the A990, the most important feature is the voice and call quality. I am happy to say that despite the antenna being internal, the call quality was one of the best we have tested. This proves that it is possible to manufacture a phone that has good call quality without the antenna sticking out on top. When using the A990 and talking to a person using a land-line, their voice quality was excellent. When reversed, the person on the land-line said that they could not tell a cell phone was being used. The speaker volume is good and a setting of Medium or Medium-High was loud enough to hear in most environments. When used in fringe areas, the A990 was still able to place and receive calls even with zero to one bars showing. Since the A990 is a Digital only phone, it will not work in Analog only service areas. The A990 also features a Full-Duplex Speakerphone. When using the speakerphone, the volume had to be turned down. If it is set to Medium or higher, the voice gets too distorted by the speakers. This is a common problem with most phones. The Speakerphone can also be used when the phone is closed. This is a nice feature since most other phones require them to remain open when using the Speakerphone.
The overall performance of the A990 is excellent. Call quality is excellent and sounds like you are using a landline phone. The Speakerphone works well as long as the volume is turned down. The Menus on the A990 are easy to navigate, but they lack attractive graphics and are out-dated. When using the standard battery, battery life is rated at 4Hr Talk Time or 13 Days Standby Time. I got 3Hr of Talk Time or 8 days of Standby Time. Since the Internal Display on the A990 has more pixels, it requires more battery power that most other phones.
We think that the Samsung A990 is the best camera phone currently being offered by Verizon. It is well constructed and seems like it will hold-up if not abused. The black matte plastic with silver accents gives the phone a professional look. It fits very nicely in the hand and is not too noticeable when in a pocket, thanks to the internal antenna. The 3.2MP Camera provides the highest quality pictures that we have seen from any Verizon phone. The QVGA Internal Display is excellent quality as well, but it is apparent that corners were cut with the External display. Voice Command is very convenient when driving and when using a hands-free device. The Music Player works well and songs sound great with the stereo speakers. It is unfortunate that the A990 will only play WMA music files. Mobile Web and V Cast will keep you up-to-date with the latest news, weather, and entertainment information; while VZ Navigator will get you where you need to go.
The Samsung A990 appeals to customers that are looking for an all-in-one device that does everything well. The A990 incorporates a phone, camera, music player, and GPS navigation in one device. The A990 accomplishes all of these functions well. Most other phones do not. Voice quality is good and sounds better than several other Verizon phones. If you are looking for a high quality All-in-One device, the A990 might be your next phone.