As Cingular's first 3G handset, the Samsung SGH-ZX10 comes equipped for the carrier's new multimedia service: Cingular Video, which allows users to customize a home page with streaming content in categories such as comedy, news, weather, and entertainment. Programming includes CNN; Fox Sports and Fox News; HBO Mobile; Access Hollywood; Adult Swim, which is billed as Cartoon Network's adult programming; TV Guide Channel; ESPN; Speed Channel; NBC; the Weather Channel; and the Disney Channel. You can also get movie previews through iFilm and TV show clips from such programs as Lost, The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. And don't think kids are left out, as you can watch clips from the Cartoon Network and the especially enjoyable Muppets Mobile. Cingular Video requires a $19.99 Cingular Media Net Unlimited data package, while HBO is an additional $4.99 per month. Music Choice is also $4.99 per month, and music videos are 99 cents for one 24-hour period.
If you'd rather just listen to some tunes, the Samsung SGH-ZX10 has a music player with support for MP3, AAC, and RealOne files, which you can store on the TransFlash card.
The Samsung SGH-ZX10 has a 1.3-megapixel digital camera. You can take pictures in four resolutions (1,280x1,024, 640x480, 320x240, and 176x144) and use such features as a 4X zoom; multishot and mosaic-shot options; four quality settings; white-balance effects; spot metering; three lighting effects; 50 fun frames; and a self-timer. Take note, however, that zoom is not an option at the largest resolutions. Once taken, a picture can be sent via a multimedia message, e-mail, Bluetooth, and infrared, or it can be set as wallpaper or a caller-ID photo. Video capabilities on the phone are decent, including a full hour of recording time. Video can be recorded with a Sepia, Black and White, or Night effect, with or without a flash, and in four different quality settings.
The preloaded Java (J2ME) games--Powerline X, The Last Age, Asphalt 3D, and Bowling 3D--are engaging, and gameplay is intuitive and enjoyable. Cingular offers its MediaNet service on this handset, although content for downloadable ring tones, games, wallpaper, and screensavers currently is very limited.We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS) Samsung SGH-ZX10 world phone in San Francisco on Cingular's network. The phone received a decent signal, better than that of other phones we have tested on the Cingular network, which tends to be spotty in some areas of San Francisco. The handset itself has solid sound quality, and while callers did know we were on a cell phone, they commented on the clarity of the call. Interference from other electronics was minimal, but the phone did tend to get warm when in use for an extended period. The speakerphone quality is very good, although the streamed content on the video player does not use the full capability of the speakers, even when set at the maximum level.
The data speeds on the Samsung SGH-ZX10 are impressive. We were able to download games and stream media with little wait time--less than 5 seconds. The menus load quickly, and the content streams with relative ease and much faster than that of most previously tested phones. Some of the longer clips, however, needed to buffer again toward the end of the clip.
In our tests, we coaxed 5 hours of talk time from the Samsung SGH-ZX10 and six days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the SGH-ZX10 has a digital SAR rating of 1.38 watts per kilogram.