The Rant has a roomy 600-contact phone book with space in each entry for six phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, an instant-messaging username, a Web address, and notes. You can save callers to groups, and you can pair them with a photo and one of 20 polyphonic ringtones for caller ID. Other basic features include text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calculator, a calendar, a memo pad, a world clock, a voice-memo recorder, and a tip calculator. More advanced users will like the PC syncing, voice dialing, instant messaging, e-mail, stereo Bluetooth, and mobile Web browser. The Rant also comes with A-GPS, and along with that is support for Sprint Navigation and Sprint Family Locator.
One of the Rant's biggest feature improvements over the Rumor is that it has EV-DO. This allows it access to Sprint's Power Vision, for Sprint TV for live on-demand television shows, and the Sprint Music Store, for wireless music downloads. You also get Sprint Movies, for access to premium movie channels and more than 150 channels from Sprint Radio.
The music player is similar to that on other Sprint music phones, and you can get songs on the phone either via PC transfer or buying the songs from the Sprint Music Store. There aren't too many player options, but you do get the basics, like repeat, shuffle, and the capability to create and edit playlists. You can also send the music player to the background and multiyeptask with other applications. The Rant comes with some built-in memory, but the microSD-card slot lets you have additional storage.
The Rant also comes with a fairly decent 2-megapixel camera. It can take pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings, and you can adjust the brightness and white balance. Other settings include spot metering, a night mode, five color tones, a self-timer, multishot, fun frames, a 4x zoom, four shutter sounds, and a silent option. There's also a built-in camcorder with editing options similar to that of a still camera. Photo quality is decent, with good colors and not a lot of blurriness, but we did notice it's a bit overcast at times.
You can personalize the Rant with a selection of wallpaper and alert tones. You can download more options and additional ringtones, with the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. The Rant doesn't offer much in the way of games--just demo versions of Puzzle Quest, Warlords and Street Fighter II--but you can get the full versions from Sprint. You also get trial versions of three applications: Pandora, Sprint Social Zone, and Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile.
We tested the Samsung Rant in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was very impressive, with natural-sounding voices and plenty of volume. Callers reported the same thing and heard very little static in the background. Speakerphone quality wasn't as good on our end, though callers didn't seem to hear much of a difference. Automated-calling systems had no trouble understanding us.
EV-DO speeds were more than satisfactory. There was hardly any buffering, and streaming-audio and video quality was acceptable as well.
The Rant has a rated battery life of 5.6 hours talk time. We had a talk time of 6 hours and 2 minutes in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the Rant has a digital SAR rating of 1.01 watts per kilogram.