You will be able to send and receive POP3 e-mail with the Restore. It supports Web e-mail services like Yahoo and Gmail, but you can also use other POP or IMAP e-mail servers. In fact, you can also sync your work e-mail on here, provided you use Outlook Web Access. The service works quite well, and we like that we can sync our Outlook calendar as well.
The Restore has EV-DO, and so it supports Sprint's broadband services like Sprint Radio, Sprint Movie, and Sprint TV. You also get the Sprint Music Store, where you can purchase and download music directly to the phone. The music player is pretty generic--you get album art, and you're able to create and edit playlists on the fly. You can also set songs on repeat and shuffle modes, and send the music player to the background while you're on other parts of the phone.
We were hoping for a slightly better camera than on the Reclaim, but unfortunately, the Restore still has the same old 2.0-megapixel camera. Still, it's not that bad. You can take pictures in five resolutions and three quality settings, plus there's a self-timer, 10 fun frames, a digital zoom, five color effects, brightness adjustment, a night mode, center and spot metering, five white balance presets, and four shutter sounds with a silent option. There are even panorama and mosaic shot options. The Restore's photo quality was not as good as we hoped it would be. It's image colors looked decent enough, but there was a little too much noise for our liking. There's also a camcorder, which can record video for either MMS or standard mode.
After you're done with your photos, you're free to upload them to several venues. You can send them to an online Sprint album, MySpace, Photobucket, YouTube, Facebook, or Flickr. You can also send them to someone via Bluetooth or MMS. The Restore only has 61MB of internal memory, so we would recommend using a microSD card for more storage. The phone supports up to 16GB cards.
You can personalize the Restore with graphics and sounds for screensavers, wallpaper, and ringtones. It comes with a few games--demo versions of Bejeweled and Texas HoldEm Poker, plus Diner Dash Flo on the Go-- and you can always get more via the Sprint store.
We tested the Samsung Restore in San Francisco using Sprint's service. Its call quality was decent. We heard our callers clearly with plenty of volume. We also didn't get any interference or distortion. Their voices sounded natural, which is a plus.
On their side, callers said that while they heard us loud and clear, they said our voice sounded quite harsh and machine-like. They also detected a bit of distortion at times. It was worse when we were on speakerphone - they reported more of an echo and a hollow quality to our voice. Similarly, they sounded quite tinny over the speakers.
We enjoyed good EV-DO Rev. 0 speeds for the most part. We didn't manage to get full signal sometimes, but when we did, it worked well. We loaded the CNET mobile page in just 10 seconds, and we didn't get a lot of buffering issues with streaming video. Its audio quality when playing music is average--we would use a headset for better audio quality, especially since the Restore has a 3.5mm headset jack.
The Restore has a rated battery life of 6 hours talk time. It has a tested talk time of 6 hours and 29 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Reclaim has a digital SAR of 0.72 watts per kilogram.