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Samsung SGH-a657 Review

Samsung SGH-A657

Posted: , posted by PhoneArena Team



Samsung SGH-a657 Review
The Samsung SGH-a657 proves to be a very well manageable device for phone calls. There was either minimal or no background sounds as we used the phone. Voices sounded clear and easily audible through the speaker. And we did not need to place the volume on the highest setting in order to hear our conversation. People on the other line said that our voice was clearly heard with no noticeable degradation in quality. When using the speaker phone, we noticed just how much power it had and the little need to ask our callers to speak up. It was very vibrant and provided strong tones when listening to our caller. Conversely, the other person said they were able to hear us fine through it.  

Signal strength was fine throughout our use in the greater New York metropolitan area. Bars were equally strong when comparing it to other devices we used on the AT&T network.

The rated talk time for the a657 is 3 hours with stand-by at 252 hours; pretty mediocre when compared to similar devices. However, we had good results with four out of five bars on the battery indicator after four days of normal use. It's a little impressive in our books seeing that a fully charged indicator will show five bars. Yes, the rated talk time is a lot less than other phones with a hefty sized battery. We only hope they could have managed the battery consumption a little better so it could last a bit longer.

So we managed to do some crazy things we wouldn't normally test out on a phone. We would imagine something that was built to meet military specifications be extremely resilient to the usual accidents that would occur. Dropping the phone from 5 feet onto a carpeted surface posed no problems for the Samsung SGH-a657. It simply just bounced a couple of times and came to a stop. Then we decided to drop it from the same height, but on a tiled surface instead to really see if it can withstand it. To our dismay as we let it go, the phone flipped over and hit the tile floor with the screen impacting it. Of course we cringed because we know it wouldn't be pretty if we did that to any other phone. To our surprise, the phone still functioned fine after the extreme fall. We pressed on some of the keys on the dialing pad to make sure it still recognized them all. Finally, we decided to actually apply some weight on the a657 as it lay flat on a surface. Using one foot to apply some weight, we were amazed that the phone was able to withstand the pressure from our entire weight. At times we know that any ordinary phone would become paper weight if we put it through the same tests. Although not entirely water proof, it can be used in the rain without the worry of having it short out. To our amazement, the a657 does live up to its name as being one durable phone.


The Samsung SGH-a657 might have taken some of its design from the B2700, but some compromises had to been made to make it live up to those military specifications. You won't find too many features like a camera or video recorder, but this phone was made to last through just about anything you can dish on it. We've dropped the phone a few times on the ground from a decent height and it still functioned correctly. No scratches were found, but we would imagine there would be plenty if you drop it on a rough surface like concrete. Who says that design has to be the first thing to consider when you create a truly durable phone? In the end, the a657 proves to be a tough phone withstanding just about any abuse while still being a functional phone.

Samsung SGH-a657 Video Review:


  • Durable design
  • Audio quality
  • Decent web browsing


  • Isn’t water resistant
  • Low rated talk time
  • Tiny screen
  • Bland looks
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PhoneArena rating:
Display176 x 220 pixels TFT
Size4.53 x 2.05 x 0.77 inches
(115 x 52 x 20 mm)
4.34 oz  (123 g)
Battery1420 mAh, 3 hours talk time

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