The Hue II offers a few extra features beyond the basics. Inside you'll find Bluetooth, voice commands, instant messaging, Web-based POP3 e-mail, and GPS with support for turn-by-turn directions from Alltel Navigation and Telenav. Support for XM radio is included as well, but you'll need to download the app to the phone.
The MP3 player is fairly basic; features are limited to playlists and repeat and shuffle modes. Yet, it supports album art, an equalizer-style graphic, and it can even display lyrics for certain songs. Transferring songs to the phone is pretty easy with a microSD card; just keep in mind that you must insert a card to use the player. You also can use Alltel's Music Connect to purchase tunes from eMusic and transfer them from your PC to the Hue II.
The 2-megapixel camera on the Hue II takes pictures in five resolutions, from 1,600x1,200 pixels down to a special size for photo caller ID. Features are plentiful otherwise. The shooter offers a night mode, a self-timer, an adjustable brightness setting, five white balance modes, spot- and center-weighted metering, six color tones, and three quality settings. You'll also find a digital zoom (though it is unusable at the highest resolution), five shutter sounds, and a silent option. Photo quality was fairly sharp, with bright colors and some image noise.
The Hue II's camcorder offers a similar, if somewhat smaller, set of editing options to the original Hue. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 15 seconds, but you can shoot for much longer in normal mode. Internal memory is capped at about 45MB of shared space, but you can use the memory card slot for more storage. It will accommodate cards up to 8GB.
You can personalize the Hue II with a variety of wallpaper, clock formats, themes, and banners. You can always download more options from Alltel using the WAP 2.0 Web browser. What's more, you can purchase additional ringtones from the carrier or from the Real Tone Jukebox and you can use MP3 tracks as ringtones. The Hue II doesn't come with any games.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Samsung Hue II in San Francisco using Alltel's roaming service. Call quality was quite good, with a clear signal, loud volume, and natural-sounding voices. We could hear well both in a quiet room and on a noisy street. Occasionally, some of the audio was a tad flat, but that was the exception rather than the rule.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine. They could understand us in almost any environment and they didn't report any outstanding issues. They could tell we were using a cell phone, but that's hardly unusual. Automated calling systems could understand us in most situations. Speakerphone calls were quite good, thanks to the oversize speaker on the Hue II's rear face.
The Hue II has a rated battery life of 5 hours talk time and 8.54 days standby time. It has a tested talk time of 5 hours and 10 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Hue II has a digital SAR rating of 1.07 watts per kilogram.