Samsung Solstice II Review
We've witnessed Samsung releasing follow up models to feature phones like the Eternity and Flight, but they're not stopping yet as the Samsung Solstice II SGH-A817 is the latest member to join the club. Being a direct successor, it's going to require some particularly outstanding improvements in order to refocus consumer attention on it in light of some entry-level smartphones. Accordingly priced at $29.99 with a contract through AT&T, the Solstice II will at least be very forgiving on the pockets.
- Samsung Solstice II
- microUSB Cable
- Wall Charger
- Quick Start Guide
- User Manual CD
It's more of the same for this typical looking candybar handset as it employs the traditional mix of design cues common with other basic Samsung feature phones – like its all plastic boring looking construction. Compact in form (0.47” thick) and fairly lightweight (3.35 oz), it won't burden you in the pockets as it quickly disappears into the depths without much notice. Although its design is far from remotely being close to compelling, it's more than fitting for the category placement it finds itself in.
You can compare the Samsung Solstice II with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Successive handsets generally receive an upgrade in specs, but sadly, the Solstice II retains the same exact 3” TFT display with its resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. Granted it's more than sufficient in viewing on-screen text, its color production on paper tallies in at 65k – versus the 262k color support with its predecessor. In any event, colors still look lively when it's placed on the brightest setting – but it does suffer from poor viewing angles and unsatisfying visibility in direct sunlight. However, we adore its choice of utilizing a capacitive panel over the former's resistive one seeing that it's acceptably more responsive.
Its send, end, and back/clear buttons are directly below the touchscreen and offer some good feedback when pressed while allowing enough room for all finger sizes. On the sides of the phone and clinging onto the plastic silver bezel, you'll find the microUSB port, lock/unlock switch, shutter key, quick menu button, and a responsive volume rocker.
In the rear, we find the same 2-megapixel fixed focus camera outlined with a chrome border, while a couple of notches in its plastic back casing houses the speakerphone. Removing the rear cover will uncover the spring loaded microSD card slot, 1,000 mAh battery, and SIM card slot.