Samsung Strive A687 Review

User Interface and Software:

There isn’t anything new about the Samsung Strive’s interface, it’s simply the standard AT&T UI.  It moves quickly enough though with a zippy sliding transition as you move from screen to screen.  What does set the Strive apart from past devices is the inclusion of new AT&T services, namely Address Book and Mobile Share.

The former is AT&T’s response to similar contact backup services offered by Verizon and Sprint, and to a lesser extent to cloud solutions offered by today’s popular smartphones.  Its premise is simple: there is a web interface that the user can log into and edit their contact list, and any changes made via the web or the handset are mirrored by the other.  Of course this service also comes in handy when losing a phone, or damaging the SIM beyond repair.  This service is offered at no extra cost.

Mobile Share “helps customers quickly transfer photos and videos captured on their mobile phone to other destinations and allows customers to manage that content across the mobile and PC screens.”  Despite the fancy wording it is simply a way to upload pictures to an AT&T website, or share them via MMS or social networking sites.  This is a welcome addition for AT&T users, but something that other carriers have been offering in one form or another for years.  Unlike Address Book, Mobile Share will run the user $10/month for 50 media transfers or $0.35/transfer.  The online “AT&T Locker” for storing media is thrown in at no charge provided you keep it under 250MB, beyond that it is $5/month for 10GB of storage.  To be honest, everything about Mobile Share sounds like an outdated ripoff.

Messaging and Multimedia:

Another new feature launched with the Samsung Strive is AT&T’s “next generation messaging.”  Much like Mobile Share, the fancy name is merely spit-shine for AT&T playing catch-up with its rivals.   One of the main features of this next generation is threaded messaging, something we’ve seen on phones for years and a feature that Sprint has incorporated into even the depths of its lineup.  Other features include group messaging and “reply all” functionality, nice if you’re frequently texting the same group of friends to coordinate plans, etc.  The Samsung Strive of course has support for SMS and MMS standards, and for a fee AT&T’s Mobile Email program that allows the user to check popular preconfigured accounts like Yahoo!, Gmail and other providers.

The Samsung Strive’s 2.0-megapixel autofocus camera performed admirably, especially with adequate natural lighting.  Our outdoor samples displayed very good color reproduction and detail for a low-end camera, and even indoors pictures were very acceptable.  As the light dimmed so did detail and graininess appeared, but for what it is the camera was more than passable.  It allows for some advanced features not normally found on an entry-level device, such as night shot and geotagging.  The camcorder was not so impressive offering a resolution of just 176x144 and 15fps.  The Strive does support AT&T’s Video Share service, allowing you to share live video while on a phone call.

The music player is far from polished, but can be run in the background and generally gets the job done.  It failed to read some of our album art, but was able to sort out the artist/title/album thing just fine.  Lack of a headset jack is of course a serious deterrent to using the Strive as a music device, though it does support stereo Bluetooth.


1 Comment

1. madfinn unregistered

any way to download phone contacts from computer to cell phone, have tried everything
  • Display 2.6" 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 0.08 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1000 mAh(3.00h talk time)

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