The A790's VGA camera boasts a flash and takes pictures in three resolutions: 160x120, 320x240, and 640x480. You can zoom in up to 4X in the 160x120-pixel mode, choose from a variety of color effects (including Black And White, Sepia, and Negative), use one of three quality settings, and adjust the brightness. And if you want to be even more creative, you can opt for one of four shutter sounds, as well as a silent option; alter the picture's rotation; or add one of three--somewhat cheesy--frames to your pictures, such as a white-picket fence, Christmas lights, cookies, and apples. About 3MB of RAM is set aside for photos, with the highest-resolution photos taking up about 80K of memory. Once you've snapped some photos, you can add them to the camera's gallery, use them as wallpaper for the external or internal LCD, or send them to your buddies via multimedia messaging. The photos we took looked fine for a camera phone, although the images were a tad fuzzy and washed-out for our taste.
The phone's customization features are relatively robust. In addition to being able to change the external and internal LCD wallpaper, you can choose from four different ringer profiles: Normal, Meeting, Drive, and Outdoor. You can't, however, alter the color themes of the phone's menus. More personalization options are available from Get It Now, along with ring tones and applications. No games were included in our review model, but you can always download BREW 1.0-enabled titles via Get It Now.We tested the quad-band (CDMA 800/1900; GSM 900/1800) Samsung SCH-A790 world phone in New York City. We had no trouble hearing our friends, who reported that we sounded loud and clear. Calls also were satisfactory using the included headset.
Samsung promises 2.9 hours of talk time in CDMA mode and 3.5 hours when using GSM. We beat Samsung's CDMA talk time estimates by a wide margin, coming in at about 4.5 hours in our tests. GSM talk time was not tested. For standby time, we met the promised time of five days. For such a traveler-friendly phone, however, the A790 disappointingly comes with only a bulky desktop charger. According to the FCC, the A790 has a digital CDMA SAR rating of 1.47 watts per kilogram.