The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings. Other settings include a night mode, three color effects, an adjustable brightness tool, four white-balance modes, a self-timer, geo-tagging, 20 fun frames, and modes for multishots, panoramas, and mosaics. The Strive also has a digital zoom, but you can't use it with the largest photo resolution. Photo quality is fine, but nothing special. Colors are a bit muted.
The camcorder shoots clips in just one resolution (176x144 pixels), but it offers a set of editing options similar to the still camera. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at about 30 seconds, but you can shoot for much longer in Normal mode. The Strive also supports AT&T's Video Share feature, but your friend also will need a compatible phone if you want to use this. For storage the Strive has 90MB of user-accessible shared memory. That's rather low, but you can used a microSD card for more storage.
The Strive supports AT&T's 3G network so you can access the carrier's full set of broadband media services. There's Mobile Video for streaming-video content like news recaps and weather reports and AT&T Mobile Music for wireless song downloads through partners. It also has a selection of music-related features including XM Radio Mobile, a Music ID application, an app for creating ringtones, music videos, and a community section with access to fan sites and downloads.
As mentioned, the Strive and Sunburst offer new cloud-based features like AT&T Mobile Share. It lets you share photos and videos with contacts and upload the files to a PC, social networking site, and Web-based storage locker. After storing the files you can access them from your computer or your handset at any time. Though you get 250MB of online storage at no charge (with additional storage available for purchase), file transfers aren't free. You can pay either 35 cents per transfer or $10 per month for 50 transfers. Also, there's a 10MB cap on file size.
The Strive includes direct access to AT&T's AppCenter and offers a number of integrated applications. There's AllSport GPS, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Social Net, Loopt, Mobile Baking, Yellowpages Mobile, MobiTV, MobiVJ, Mobile IMDb, WikiMobile, My-Cast Weather, and Where 2.1. For gaming, the Strive comes with demo versions of five titles: Ms. Pac-Man, Diner Dash 2, Tetris, and Bubble Bash 2.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Samsung Strive in San Francisco using AT&T service. Call quality was relatively good. Some of our callers sounded a tad robotic, but for the most part the signal was clear, the volume was loud, and voices were natural. We also detected the slightest hint of "GSM buzz," but none of the problems was significant.
On their end callers said we sounded fine. They could tell that we were using a cell phone, and some of our friends said the audio cut our briefly on a couple of occasions, but complains were few. Speakerphone calls were more distorted, but not excessively so. Bluetooth headset calls were fine, but quality will vary by headset model.
The Strive's streaming video quality is quite good. Videos loaded quickly and there was little pixelation, though some colors and details are lacking. We're glad, however, that the video frame takes up the full size of the display in landscape mode. Similarly, music tracks loaded in less than a minute and the music quality is passable. Of course, a headset will offer a better experience.
The Strive has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time, which is quite low, and 19.41 days standby time. However, the Strive had a talk time of 5 hours and 47 minutes in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the Strive has a digital SAR of 0.58 watt per kilogram.