Samsung SCH-U550 Review


The Reception and Voice Quality of the U550 is quite good and equal to that of both the Gleam and FlipShot. When comparing the U550 to the VX8350, it produced the cleanest sounding and most “pleasing” voice quality through the earpiece speaker, without any background noise or interference. People that we called on a landline also agreed that the U550 produced good sound quality, with our voice being clear and lacking any interference. Also, the reception was better than that of the VX8350 and could be used to place and receive more calls while in fringe areas. Despite the this being an entry-level phone, and at a lower price than the Gleam and FlipShot, we are pleased that Samsung did not “cut corners” in regards to its reception and voice quality, since we believe those two features are the most important. The Speakerphone uses the mono speaker located in the back, which means it’s not as loud as some other phones, but it is also distortion free, even at high volumes.

Accessing any of the downloaded applications is easy and there is very little delay in opening them up. We also did not encounter the random re-boot problem that happened a few times while we were testing the Gleam. The User Interface is fast, regardless of which theme and layout we chose. The U550 only comes with 25MB of internal memory, and 8MB of that is used out of the box, leaving only 17MB of free memory to the user. Thankfully, the phone can support microSDHC cards up to 8GB in size, which provides plenty of space for storing pictures and MP3 files.

The included 800mAh battery is rated by Samsung to have 3.5 hours of talk time or 8 days of standby time on a full charge. Our testing showed that the U550 and Gleam both get 3 hours of talk time or 4 days of standby time on a full charge.


Even though the Samsung U550 isn’t a major upgrade from the U540, we believe that for an entry-level device, it is overall a better phone than the LG VX8350. Both the call quality and reception were excellent, and equal to that of phones costing much more. Not to mention that U550 has a better build quality and overall feels more durable than the VX8350. We also like the color scheme more than the Gleam, since its not as shiny, but it does give up a few extra features. We highly recommend the Samsung U550 for anyone that is looking for a no frills cell phone, while staying on a budget, and without sacrificing call quality.


  • Excellent call quality and signal reception
  • Can use up to 8GB microSDHC memory cards
  • Customizable pastel theme
  • Bluetooth music support


  • Small external display
  • Mono speaker
  • WAP Browser has problems displaying large HTML sites

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User Rating:

11 Reviews



1. robo87 unregistered

Unit has a semi-reflective clear outer face that will likely suffer from scratching if not protected. Nice feel, now avail at Costco

2. Shannon unregistered

I picked this phone out for my mom. It's great for the generation of cell phone users who are not looking for a phone with a big learning curve attached to it. The screen is big, and the contrast is great even when you're out in the sun. Adequate camera. I love how most of the newer phones that have been released lately have ICE in the contact list. My mom has some health problems, and all of her info is saved in the phone. It has given me a better peace of mind. Good voice quality, and has just enough features to excite my mom, and not overwhelm her. No, it's not an extra high tech it's not extra durable...but it has traditional cell phone users in mind. The users that like to talk on their phone...and that's about it. It still gives the options to do add mp3s with bluetooth stereo capability. Bluetooth stereo capability is an option that the alias (formally known as the sch-u740) doesnt even have. Plus 8 gigs of memory...something a lot of phones dont have right now. I can't wait to show her how to use all of the features once she's ready.

3. Dianne unregistered

I originally purchased the LG 8350 and Hated it! Granted, I am a very basic cell phone user but still, the 8350 felt like a cheap piece of plastic in my hand. I did not like the keyboard either. I thought the buttons were small and hard to navigate when texting. Most importantly, when I would hit the end button to end a call, sometimes the phone would shut off. Mind you, this was not my first cell phone so I do know the difference between ending a call and powering it on and off. I thought perhaps it was the first phone, but even my second, exchanged 8350 did the same thing. So, I went back to the Verizon Wireless store and traded it in for the U550. I have a similar Samsung as my work phone and it has worked just fine, with very nice reception. Everything about this phone seems better already, from how the phone feels in your hand to the clear sound quality. I am in my 40's so the eyes don't see the small print as well as they used to, so I really like that I can enlarge the font. The phone is much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than that ugly, dull matte 8350! Although it does seem that the shiny coating on the front of the U550 will scratch if dropped so I put the leather cover on it just to be sure. The battery on the 8350 didn't hold a three bar charge for very long, I have been working on the 2 bar charge from the store now for a couple of days! So, so far, so good. For what I need for now, I think the Samsung U550 will be just perfect.

4. Kenny unregistered

I love the sch-u550... EXCEPT the external display shuts off and displays nothing after a few seconds in order to save battery life. There is no option to make it stay on permanently, making the external display perfectly useless. You have to open the lid or hold one of the outer buttons for 5 seconds to make it light up. I've already go to where I just open it to see what time it is. I bought it because it uses micro sd cards to hold more photos, and because i thought the roman numeral clock looked nice. Well, the sd card works geat, but the external display stays off, rendering itself useless, and taking away from the cool appearance it has in every sales picture of it.

5. takled1

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I love this phone. Just one problem, I am on my second one and it is doing the same thing. It just randomly shuts down. I'll take it out to call and it will be off. Pretty annoying when you are expecting a call. If this could be fixed I'd be really satisfied.
  • Display 2.1" 176 x 220 pixels
  • Camera 1.3 MP
  • Storage 0.032 GB
  • Battery 800 mAh(3.53h talk time)

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