The New Samsung SCH-u620

Review – Samsung SCH-u620

Specs:

Display: 2” QVGA (240 x 320) 262K color TFT LCD.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: 42.7 MB of total download capacity. Phone book holds

up to 500 entries.

Size: 3.76 x 1.86 x 0.85 inches. Weight: 3.7 ounces.

Phone: CDMA digital dual band (800/1900 MHz) with EVDO for data.

Camera: 1.3 Megapixel camera with flash and self-portrait mirror, CMOS. Can record video with audio. Still image resolutions: 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 and picture ID. Video resolutions: 320 x 240 and 176 x 144. Up to 10x zoom, no zoom for highest resolution photos.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 2.5mm stereo headset jack. Music player included. Voice recorder included for recording up to 60 sound clips.

Networking: Bluetooth v1.2. Supported profiles: Headset Profile, Hands-Free Profile, A2DP, Dial-Up Network (DUN) Profile, Object Push Profile and Serial Port Profile.

Software: Verizon flash user interface. Calendar, contacts, notes, music player (MP3 and WMA), V Cast video player, Mobile TV player, the usual Verizon Get it Now applications, video player supports MPEG4, 3GP and 3G2 file formats, Mobile Web 2.0 with browser, text, MMS and web-based email.

Expansion: 1 microSD card slot.

In the Box: The phone with standard battery, travel charger, printed User Guide and Quick Reference Guide.

About the phone –

Welcome to the new true digital TV Services for mobile phones. The Samsung u620 comes with bright QVGA screen, 1.3 megapixel camera, microSD card slot, Bluetooth and V CAST content support. The Samsung is a dual band digital CDMA phone that works 1x voice networks and it has EVDO support for fast data. While it has all the features that make the phone comparable to other high-end V CAST feature phones, the Samsung u620 offers the unique convergence of mobile phone and mobile digital TV.

What exactly is Mobile TV?

No, it’s not the usual V Cast video clips, in fact the service doesn’t use the phone’s data connection. Rather it’s digital broadcast TV over-the-air, much in the same way traditional TV broadcast works. This means that phones like the LG VX9400 and the Samsung U620 have tiny TV tuners and not so tiny antennas that you’ll telescope up when you want to watch TV. Like regular TV, you’ll see a TV programming grid when you press the dedicated TV button, and channel programming is always running in real time: there’s no on-demand or DVR. This means you’ll need to catch your favorite show when it’s broadcast, and it means content is always changing, unlike stale video clips. The schedule doesn’t match regular local TV broadcasts.

Design and Ergonomics

The Samsung u620 is a slider phone that feels extremely comfortable in hand thanks to its curved, nearly egg-like shape. The Samsung u620 has a bright display that can play TV shows in landscape mode, a compact form that fits your hand, easy to use
keypad, d-pad and menu controls and much smaller antenna compared to the one on the LG VX9400. You have easy access to the microSD card and the 2.5mm standard headset jack located on the left side of the phone.

On the back of the Samsung, you will find the 1.3 megapixel camera with flash and self-portrait mirror.

Quick-launch hardware buttons include loudspeaker button, camera/camcorder, mobile TV and volume rocker. The charging/syncing port is Samsung’s proprietary connector located on the bottom of the phone.

Phone Features and Reception

Reception –

The Samsung u620 is digital dual band (800/1900 MHz) CDMA phone with EVDO for data. The signal quality is godd enough for reception in area with lower network strength.

Music –

Music playback sounds much better than the in-call voice quality on the Samsung. The DSP is a bit weak and as result your call recipients will hear wind noise and road noise more. The dual-side stereo speakers work great for conference calls.

Calling features –

The Samsung u620 support most common phone features including 3-way conference call, call waiting, call mute/unmute, speakerphone and speed dialing. The Samsung u620 offers an uncommonly high number of speed dials and you can assign 999 speed dials to the phone. When in Contacts, you can select a number and press the Option button to assign speed dial slot. The Samsung also offer multi-tasking when in a call. You can take notes, record calls, send SMS messages and more while talking on the phone.

Browser –

The WAP browser has good speed when accessing WAP sites.The browser can also display non-WAP sites that have full HTML formats and content. It will display all content on a full HTML page in a single column and images and links work well. Unlike
the superb mobile web browser on Nokia S60 devices such as the Nokia E62, the WAP browser on the Samsung doesn’t work with most Javascript and dHTML.

Display and Mobile TV

The Samsung u620 has a 2” TFT LCD that’s capable of displaying 262K colors. But images look sharp and colorful on the Samsung, and games look very color saturated. You can change the screen brightness and contrast using the Settings & Tools menu
Watching digital mobile TV is a joy on the Samsung. You can launch the mobile TV program grid by pressing the menu button on lower right side of the u620. TV shows look amazingly sharp and don’t have the blockiness and frame drops you see in V CAST videos. When in good digital mobile TV coverage areas, the picture is so sharp that you can clearly see the actor’s hair strands and even eye lashes. Picture quality will degrade in marginal coverage areas such as in large buildings, and you will see blockiness in the pictures and frame drops.

Multimedia

The Samsung u620 comes with a basic media player that supports MP3 and WMA format songs.he download speed for songs isn’t the fastest. You can also play your own MP3s by syncing them to the phone via desktop PC (using Windows Media Player) or by putting the tunes on microSD card in the “my_music” folder.

The package doesn’t include a USB cable to sync with PC, you will need to buy it separately. Before copying songs to the card, use the phone to format the card so it creates the proper directories, including the “my_music” folder. The audio quality is excellent through either the built-in stereo speakers on the Samsung, through Samsung’s own wired stereo headset (not included) or via Bluetooth stereo headset. The sound is clear and full with great bass. If you’re into playing MP3s on your phone, the Samsung u620 will not disappoint in terms of sound quality.

Gaming –

Gaming is a pleasure on the Samsung u620. The D-pad and numbers are easy to use as game controls.

Camera

Camera seems to be a down side of the Samsung u620. It sports just a 1.3mpx camera whereas these days even entry level phones are striving for atleast 2mpx cameras.

Bluetooth –

The Samsung u620 has Bluetooth v1.2 and supports Headset Profile, Hands-Free Profile, A2DP, Dial-Up Network (DUN) Profile, Object Push Profile (for vCard and vCal) and Serial Port Profile. Voice dialing and voice command via Bluetooth headset work like a charm. But the Bluetooth doesnt seem to be as strong as on other phones.

Battery Life –

The Samsung u620 comes with a standard Lithium-Ion battery that’s user replaceable. The included 3.7v rechargeable battery is 1000 mAh in capacity (model: AB553446GZ) and that’s a respectable amount of juice for a phone that has mobile TV in addition to a full set of features that are comparable to other high-end V CAST feature phones. The claimed talk time is 3.5 hours and standby time is 250 hours (both estimates exclude any digital mobile TV time).

Software –

The Samsung u620 has a Flash user interface and the same menu interface found on most recent V CAST phones. The Samsung comes with PIM applications including Contacts, Calendar, Notepad, File Viewer, alarm clock, World Time, stopwatch and calculator. The contacts database can store up to 500 entries and each entry can have up to 5 phone numbers and 2 email addresses. You can assign groups, ringtones, caller IDs, speed dials and add notes to contacts entries. The calendar program offers monthly view, weekly and day view and supports recurrences and alerts. You can have up to 8 events per day. For messaging, the Samsung offers SMS, MMS and web-based email

Pros:

1. More pocket-able than the LG TV phone
2. Very good ergonomics
3. Speedy in most tasks
4. Excellent mobile TV performance
5. Good display that can go landscape when in TV programs and in some games.
6. Great music playback quality.

Con:

1. Reception isn’t the strongest
2. EVDO services can be spotty in not-well covered areas.
3. Camera has surprisingly poor performance.
4. Battery life is just so-so.

Conclusion

If you want to jump on the cell-evision wagon and you are in one of the digital mobile TV coverage areas, the Samsung u620 is one of the two choices at the moment. The small size and comfy form means you don’t have to get a bigger device just because you want an added feature. The performance for mobile TV is excellent and the device feels zippy in gaming and application launches. The audio quality for music playback is outstanding. For mobile multimedia buffs, the Samsung u620 has a lot to offer.

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