The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings. Other settings include a night mode, exposure metering, four color effects, an adjustable brightness tool, four white-balance modes, a self-timer, 20 fun frames, a multishot mode, a smile shot feature (the camera snaps a picture when it detects a smile), panoramic and mosaic shot mode, and three shutter sounds plus a silent option. The camera interface is easy to use with many options surfaced on the viewfinder.
The camcorder shoots clips in two resolutions (320x240 and 176x144), while offering a similar set of editing options. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at about 50 seconds, but you can shoot for much longer in normal mode. The Flight has 80MB of user-accessible shared memory, which is a tad low, but you can use a memory card for more space. The Flight supports cards up to 16GB.
Photo quality is good for a 2-megapixel shooter. Our images were a bit dark, but colors were natural and there was no image noise. Just keep in mind that the lack of a flash will make shots in dark places pretty difficult. Videos are fine, but nothing special. When finished with your shots and clips, you can transfer them off the phone using a variety of methods. The Flight also supports AT&T's Video Share feature.
As a 3G (UMTS) phone, the Flight offers the full set of AT&T's wireless broadband multimedia services. You'll find Cellular Video (streaming-video content) and AT&T Mobile Music (wireless song downloads through partners). The experience with the two applications is similar to that on other AT&T phones: both are minimalist in their designs, but the music player supports a wide variety of file formats (MP3, AAC, eAAC+, WMA, etc.) and it offers useful features, such as album art, playlists, shuffle and repeat modes, and an airplane mode.
The Flight also has a solid selection of music-related features, such as support for XM Radio Mobile, a Music ID application, a Billboard Mobile channel, an app for creating ringtones, music videos, and a community section with access to fan sites and downloads. We especially welcome the application that lets you create your own ringtones, and we enjoy saving music tracks as ringtones.
You also get a number of subscription-based applications, including Mobile Baking, Yellowpages Mobile, MobiTV, AT&T Social Net, MobiVJ, WikiMobile, My-Cast Weather, and Where 2.1. For gaming, the Flight comes with demo versions of five titles: Ms. Pac-Man, Diner Dash 2, Tetris, and Uno. And thanks to the Flight's GPS support. You can access the carrier's AT&T Navigator service.
You can personalize the Flight with a variety of wallpapers, clock styles, and a greeting message. You can buy more options and additional ringtones from AT&T with the Opera Mini browser.
We tested the dual-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Samsung Flight world phone in San Francisco using AT&T service. Call quality was fine, but it had its moments. The signal was strong and the volume was loud, but callers sounded rather breathy. They didn't sound bad or distorted, but the voice pitch was different--it almost sounded as if our friends were whispering, even though the volume was sufficient. We also noticed that the phone picked up some wind noise. The Flight is compatible with M3 and T3 hearing aids.
On their end, callers could tell we were using a cell phone. They said our voice sounded natural, so they didn't hear the breathy effect that we heard, but they also reported that the Flight picked up a fair amount of background noise. Indeed, they had trouble hearing us when we were in a noisy place. We had the same issue when we spoke to automated calling systems--it was best if we were in a quiet room.
Speakerphone calls were decent. The sound was bit distorted at the highest volumes, but the external speaker gets quite loud. Callers said they could understand, but we had to speak pretty close to the phone. On the other hand, we didn't have to be next to the Flight to hear conversations. Bluetooth headset calls were fine, though your experience can vary be headset.
Streaming video quality is actually decent--when it works. There's a bit of pixelation, but we were pleased that the frame size takes up the full display. The audio is also in sync with the video. On the downside, while videos loaded quickly, some clips paused to buffer several times while playing. We're not sure of the problem is related to the 3G signal, as it was consistent otherwise.
Music quality is satisfying given the external speaker's loud output. But like with most music phones, our tunes were rather tinny and lacking in warmth. A headset will offer the best experience.
The Flight performs well on the whole, but it was occasionally sluggish when opening some features and cycling between menu screens. The lag time was 2 seconds at most, but it was noticeable.
The Flight has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time and 15 days standby time. Our tests showed a talk time of 3 hours and 21 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Flight has a digital SAR of 0.5 watt per kilogram.