The SGH-A437 has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for four numbers, an e-mail address, and notes (the SIM card holds an additional 250 names). You can save callers to groups, assign them any of 10 polyphonic ringtones, or pair them with a photo--just remember that the photo won't show up on the external display. Other options are plentiful and include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a voice memo, an alarm lock, a calendar, a stop watch, a calculator, a tip calculator, a timer, and a world clock. Instant messaging and a speakerphone are also on board, and we like that more midrange phones such as the SGH-A437 are offering Bluetooth.
The VGA camera takes pictures in four resolutions (640x480, 320x240, 160x128, and 128x96), and you can choose from three quality settings (superfine, fine, and normal). Other features include a self-timer, a night mode, exposure metering, a digital zoom, five color tones, and brightness and white-balance settings. There's also a fair number of camera sounds including three shutter tones. When finished with your shots, you can save them to the phone's memory (about 3.5MB), upload them to an online album, or send them in a multimedia message. Picture quality was decent for a VGA camera. Some images tended to be blurry, but colors were mostly bright. The SGH-A437 does not support video recording.
You can personalize the SGH-A437 with color themes, wallpaper, and alert sounds. If you want more options, you can download them from AT&T with the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. The handset comes with demo versions of three Java (J2ME) games: Tetris, Midnight Pool and Jamdat Bowling 2; you'll have to buy the full versions for extended play. You'll also find an application called My Cast for searching weather reports by ZIP code.
We tested the quadband Samsung SGH-A437 (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) in San Francisco using AT&T service. Call quality wasn't spectacular, unfortunately. Though voices sounded natural and we had enough volume, there was a fair amount of static on the line. Also, the sound cut in and out a few times. On their end, callers said we sounded fine, but they noticed the static problem, too. Speakerphone calls were somewhat worse. The sound was muffled, and the static problem was exacerbated.
The SGH-A437 has a rated battery life of five hours of talk tiime and 10 days standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Samsung SGH-437 has a digital SAR rating of 1.1 watts per kilogram. Our tests revealed an amazing talk time of 8 hours, 26 minutes.