The camcorder shoots clips in a 176x144 resolution with sound. Editing options are similar to the still camera, if slightly less extensive. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at about 25 seconds; otherwise you can shoot for as long the available memory permits. The front camera shoots standard VGA (640x480) still photos and 320x240 pixel videos. Editing options for either mode are decent.
Photo quality was quite good with bright, natural colors and distinct lines. Some objects weren't quite as sharp as they could be--white hues in particular looked a little fuzzy--but we were quite pleased for the most part. We give a slight edge to the Nokia N95, mostly due to the SGH-G800's relatively weak flash. On the other hand, we appreciated the antishake functionality. Videos remained pretty grainy, but the camcorder was quite efficient at capturing quick movements.
Despite our camera quibbles, we enjoyed the SGH-G800's image and video editors. The former lets you alter your shots with a variety of tools while the latter lets you hack together video clips and photos. What's more, you can even overlay your work with music. Though neither application can match what find on a computer, they certainly can match the best we've seen on a camera phone. The SGH-G800 offers an acceptable 155MB of internal memory, but we recommend using a memory card.
The music player looks the same as other comparable Samsung phones. The interface is pretty generic, but the player is user-friendly and serviceable. You can organize playlists and use the shuffle and repeat modes. What's more, you can send the music player to the background if you would like to use other phone functions while listening to your tunes. When a track is playing you'll see its name, artist album and rating, the latter of which you can set on the SGH-G800. The handset supports album art as well, but we would have enjoyed a choice of visualizations. However, it's disappointing that, on such a media-centric phone, Samsung didn't install a standard 3.5-millimeter headset jack. You have to use the SGH-G800's propriety headset connection instead. The FM radio is a nice addition, particularly on such a high-end device.
The Nokia N95's wireless Web browser and integrated Wi-Fi were two of its better features, unfortunately we can't say the same about the SGH-G800. Though you can take advantage of 3G networks, it has a clunky interface and doesn't render pages well. It's passable if you keep surfing to a minimum, but it's just not on par with competing devices. The omission of Wi-Fi is yet another disadvantage. Still, not all is lost in the Internet department. The RSS reader is a nice feature, and the SGH-G800 works well as a modem. It also comes with integrated access to Gmail and Google's mobile search.
You can personalize the SGH-G800 with a variety of wallpaper, clock styles, and background colors. Alternatively, you can type your own personalized greeting as well. No games are included, but you can download them (for a fee) along with additional wallpapers and ringtones with the Web browser.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Samsung SGH-G800 world phone in San Francisco with AT&T service. Call quality was reliable on the whole. The volume level was solid, and we enjoyed decent voice clarity even when we were in noisy environments. At times we noticed that the audio became a little muffled for a few seconds, but it didn't detract from our overall experience. Speakerphone calls, on the other hand, weren't quite as satisfactory. The sound level on our end was scratchy, and we had to sit close to the phone in order to be heard. On their end, callers said we sounded fine, but a few people reported a slight echo. We didn't have any issues with automated answering systems, but it is best if you place your call from a quiet location.
Music quality was decent, but not spectacular. The audio was a bit tinny, and the external speakers have rather low output. As with most music phones, you'll have the best experience if you use a headset. As an HSDPA phone, the SGH-G800 will support 3.5G networks, but our test model supported only the 2100 band, which is not used in North America. As such, we couldn't test that feature.
The SGH-G800 has a rated battery life of 3.5 hours talk time and 10.4 days standby time. According to FCC radiation tests the SGH-G800 has a digital