Samsung Vitality review: An Android phone worthy of Muve Music

The first Muve Music phone for Cricket was a clunker. Not so with the Android-powered Samsung Vitality, a smartphone with a deep appreciation for tunes.

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Cricket's Muve Music service may still be largely unknown, but the release of the Samsung Vitality could help turn the tide in favor of the service, which offers unlimited access to music downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones in addition to Cricket's rate for all-inclusive talk, text, and Web.

The candy apple red Vitality, a repurposed Samsung Admire, runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has a 3.5-inch touch screen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Compared with the thick, clumsy, and unremarkable Samsung Suede that headed up Muve Music's launch, the Vitality--which will be available online and in stores for $199.99 by the end of the month--practically bursts with technology.

Cricket's unique Muve Music plan is the phone's biggest selling point, but Cricket has wisely chosen a sequel phone that can sell some units on its own, even without Muve built in. There are, however, some drawbacks to the midtier device, including weaker audio and a shorter battery life than we'd like. Read the full review of the Samsung Vitality .

Although Muve Music got off to a rocky start in January, Cricket is already declaring victory. Cricket says half of its more than 200,000 Muve Music customers are new to the prepaid carrier. According to Cricket's numbers, people use the service, too: 99 percent of the customers use it at least once per month, with customers downloading an average of 400 songs per month, and playing tracks 2 to 3 hours a day.

Cricket has deals with EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, in addition to others. We've always been fans of the bold, clever Muve Music concept, and to see it grow in the hands of a small prepaid carrier gets us thinking that it's only a matter of time before others follow suit.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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