Though the SGH-T519 has a 1.3-megapixel camera instead of the 2.0-megapixel shooter on the SGH-X820, it's chock-full of user-friendly features. You can take pictures in six resolutions (1,280x960, 1,152x864, 800x600, 640x480, 320x240, and 176x144) and choose from three quality settings. Other features include a night mode, brightness controls, multishot and mosaic shot modes, a self-timer, five color effects, 24 fun frames, and a digital zoom that's usable even at the highest photo resolution. There are also a fair number of shutter and camera function sounds, but you can't silence the shutter completely. We like the nice set of camera shortcuts, but there's no flash, and self-portraits are tricky without a mirror. The camcorder takes clips in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96) with sound and a similar set of editing options. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 1 minute, 30 seconds; otherwise you can shoot for as long as the phone's available memory permits. Speaking of which, while the 80MB of integrated shared memory is impressive, the Micro SD card is a welcome improvement over the SGH-X820. Photo quality isn't the best and is much too blurry for a megapixel camera.
You can personalize the SGH-T519 Trace with a variety of wallpapers, colors, skins, background colors, and alert tones. If you want more options or more ring tones, you can download them through the Web browser. The phone also supports MP3 tones, and it comes with a generic digital music player (see the SGH-X820 review for the full rundown). Gaming options include three Java (J2ME) titles, Freekick, Midnight Pool, and Bobby Carrot, but you can always get more if you want them.
We tested the Trace in San Francisco using T-Mobile's service. Call quality was good overall, with clear voices and little interference. Volume, however, was on the low side, and the phone took a few seconds too long to acquire a signal when we turned it on. Callers reported no significant problems but had more trouble hearing us when we were in noisy environments. Speakerphone and Bluetooth headset calls were serviceable, though sound was muffled at higher levels with the speakerphone. Also, be aware that the speaker is on the back of the phone.
The SGH-T19 has a rated talk time of 6 hours and a promised standby time of 8 days. It has a tested talk time of 6 hours and 10 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests the Samsung SGH-T19 Trace has a digital SAR rating of 1.28 watts per kilogram.