The navigation and keypad buttons are intuitive, though the arrangement is rather cramped and the plastic buttons feel a tad cheap. The main toggle doubles as a shortcut to four user-defined shortcuts, while the right soft key opens a secondary shortcut menu. The central OK button opens the Web browser when the phone is in standby mode; to access the main menu you must press the left soft key. Below you'll find the Talk and End/power controls and a back/clear button. The numbers on the keypad aren't big, but they're lit by a bright backlighting.
The SGH-A227 has room for 500 contacts with space in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail address, and notes (the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts). You can save contacts to groups and pair them with one of 10 (64-chord) polyphonic ringtones. Other features include a vibrate mode, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, a currency and unit converter, a timer, a stopwatch, a world clock, and a tip calculator. You'll also find an audio recorder, instant messaging, and browser-based POP3 e-mail.
You can personalize the SGH-A227 with a variety of background colors and wallpaper. The handset comes with demo versions of two games--Tetris and Platinum Sudoku. You also get trial versions of My-cast 5 Weather and a mobile banking application.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/90/1800/1900) SamsungSGH-A227 in San Francisco using AT&T service. Call quality was serviceable, though short of excellent. Voices sounded natural and we had enough volume, but the audio had a bit of static at times. The sound also cut-out occasionally, but it wasn't a significant problem. On their end, callers could tell we were using a cell phone but they didn't have any major complaints. As we said before, this is a phone for occasional callers. Speakerphone calls were about the same, though the call quality is diminished slightly.
The SGH-A227 has a rated battery life of four hours talk time and up to 15.8 days standby time. The Samsung SGH-A227 has a tested talk time of 10 hours and 54 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the SGH-A227 has a digital SAR rating of 1.13 watts per kilogram.