Summer isn't just for movie sequels anymore, it could also be known as the season of cell phone sequels. On Monday, less than two weeks after it announced the Intensity II, Samsung stepped up and unveiled the Eternity II and Flight II for AT&T. As with most sequels, the new handsets attempt to expand on the story of the original installment, but whether they will succeed remains to be seen.
The Eternity II follows the release of the original Eternity by almost two years. Like its predecessor, the Eternity II has a touch screen and doesn't have a physical keyboard. The blue color scheme is unique, but it largely resembles its parent in other respects.
The Eternity II's midrange feature set doesn't break much new ground, though it makes a strong case for multimedia. On the upside, you'll find the usual messaging and AT&T Mobile Music, a digital music player, a full HTML Web browser, Bluetooth 2.1, AT&T Mobile TV, a personal organizer, and GPS with support for AT&T Navigator. Also, as a 3G quad-band world phone, the Eternity II supports the carrier's music download and streaming video services. However, we're disappointed that Samsung lowered the Eternity II's camera resolution from 3 megapixels to 2 megapixels. That's not what you want from a sequel.
The Flight II follows the likable Flight, which debuted late last year. The new device has a slider design, but it tips the QWERTY keyboard on its side for a wider, landscape orientation. We didn't mind the previous arrangement, but we suppose the new handset will offer a more spacious place for typing, even if it is a bit common. In another design change, the Flight II only offers a single gray model rather than a choice of gray or red versions.
The Flight II's feature set is about the same as its predecessor, though with a few tweaks. Inside the 3G world phone you'll find messaging and AT&T Mobile E-mail, a full HTML Web browser, GPS with support for AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth 2.1, AT&T Video Share and AT&T Mobile video, a digital music player with AT&T Music, and a personal organizer. Fortunately, Samsung did not downgrade its 2.0-megapixel camera. The phone's extra features include additional social media apps, access to the growing AT&T AppCenter, and a touch screen that supports one finger zooming.
The Flight II is available now only at Radio Shack stores for $49 with service, while the Eternity II will be available on August 15 at AT&T stores and on the carrier's Web site.