For this fall, cell phone manufacturers have gone back to basics to produce handsets that, well, simply make calls. One such cell phone is the Samsung SGH-X497 for Cingular Wireless. With this basic mobile, what you see is pretty much what you get. There's no integrated camera, advanced multimedia features, or Bluetooth hiding behind this compact flip phone. Instead, you get an affordable ($49.99) cell phone that makes quality calls, has a speakerphone, and comes with a host of messaging options.
The Samsung SGH-X497 has an understated design that matches its minimalist functionality. Outfitted in black and silver, the flip phone is compact and light (3.5 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches; 3 ounces) and should slip easily into a bag or a pocket. That said, the antenna stub does add some bulk but not enough to be bothersome. On the front cover, there is a monochrome display that shows the time, the date, battery life, signal strength, and photo ID (where available). And though it's small, we like that all the information is still visible, even when the backlighting goes off. Flip open the SGH-X497, and you're greeted with a 1.7-inch-diagonal screen that displays 65,000 colors and a 128x160-pixel resolution. Text and images aren't the sharpest, but you can adjust the brightness of both displays. And while you can change the dialing font color (Black or Rainbow), you can't change the font size.