The Reclaim supports POP3 e-mail syncing for services like Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail. You also can access IMPAP4 e-mail using Outlook Web Access and sync Outlook contacts and calendar. For what it is, the service performs well. We had no trouble setting it up and accessing the mail that we needed. Sure, it has a few quirks, but we much prefer it over a clunky Web-based application.
As an EV-DO phone, the Reclaim supports Sprint Radio, Sprint Movie, and Sprint TV. The TV interface is similar to that on other Sprint TV phones. The music player (MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA formats) also is standard--you get album art, but features are limited to repeat and shuffle modes, and you can't use MP3 files as ringtones. You can access the Sprint Music Store for simultaneous downloads both to your PC and wirelessly to your phone. The airplane mode turns off the phone's calling functions for listening to music while in the air.
The Reclaim's 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in five resolutions and three quality settings. Other editing features include a self-timer, 10 frames, a digital zoom, five color tones, adjustable brightness, a night mode, center and spot metering, five white-balance settings, and four shutter sounds, plus a silent option. You also can use the series, mosaic, and panoramic shot options. The camcorder offers a similar set of editing options. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 25 seconds, but you can shoot for longer in standard mode. The interface for both features offers a number of easy-to-use shortcuts. Photo quality acceptable. Colors looked natural, but there was some image noise.
When you're finished with your work, you can save your shots and clips to the phone, upload them to an online Sprint album, send them to a friend via Bluetooth or a multimedia message, transfer them to a printer using Sprint's PictBridge application, and send them to a participating retail outlet for printing. You even can upload shots directly to MySpace, Photobucket, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr. The Exclaim has about 105MB of shared memory so we suggest using a microSD card for even more room; our review phone came with a 512MB card, but the slot will accommodate cards up to 16GB.
You can personalize the Reclaim with a selection of screensavers and alert sounds. You can download more options and additional ringtones from Sprint using the WAP 2.0 Web browser. The handset comes with demo versions of two games: My Happy Planet and Sudoku Deluxe Green Edition. You'll have download the full versions for extended play.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1,900) Samsung Reclaim in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was acceptable. The volume level was quite loud; we could hear our callers clearly even when we were in a noisy place. We also didn't encounter any static or interference from other electronic devices. On the downside, voice quality sounded a bit harsh at times, particularly at the higher volume levels. Our friends sounded like themselves, but their voices had a slight metallic tinge. The Reclaim is compatible with M4 and T4 hearing aids.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine. They could tell we were using a cell phone, but most had no trouble hearing us. A few of our friends mentioned a slight echo feedback, but that could be unrelated to the Reclaim. Speakerphone calls were about the same as regular voice calls. The audio was loud on our end, though we heard the same voice distortion. Callers had more trouble hearing us if we weren't speaking right next to the phone. Bluetooth headset calls offered a similar experience.
The Sprint signal remains strong for voice calls, though the EV-DO Rev. 0 3G signal was somewhat shaky. We had trouble getting reception in buildings and the browser was slower than we expected. Also, video downloads took about 30 seconds, which is a bit long.
Streaming video quality was average. There was some pixel distortion and the audio wasn't always in sync, though we liked that we could expand the frame size to the full display. As with many streaming video phones, the quality is fine for short clips, but we wouldn't want to watch anything beyond a few minutes. Music quality was average, as well. As with voice calls, the external speaker gets loud, but the audio is tinny. We suggest using a headset.
The Reclaim has a rated battery life of 6 hours talk time. When we tested the phone, we found it had a talk time of 7 hours and 29 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Reclaim has a digital SAR of 1.16 watts per kilogram.