Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a memo pad, an alarm clock, a world clock, a calculator, a stopwatch, a unit and currency converter, and a tip calculator. You'll also find a speakerphone, speaker-independent voice commands, and stereo Bluetooth.
The music player is pretty simple, but it offers a fair number of features. You'll find playlists, an equalizer, and repeat and shuffle modes. The player supports album art or you can choose a visualization. Adding music to the phone was easy, either through a USB cable or memory card.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in three resolutions, from 1,280x960 down to 176x144. Other editing options include a self-timer, a night mode, three quality settings, four color tones, multishot and divided shot modes, adjustable brightness and white balance tools, a digital zoom, and three shutter sounds. The TwoStep does not record video.
The TwoStep's photo quality was quite good; in fact, it was some of the best we've seen from a 1.3-megapixel shooter. The TwoStep has 54MB of internal memory, but you can also store photos on a memory card. The microSD slot accommodates cards up to 8GB.
You can personalize the TwoStep with a selection of wallpaper, themes, alert tones, and a personalized banner. You can get more options and more ringtones from U.S. Cellular via the WAP 2.0 Web browser and the carrier's Easyedge service. The TwoStep doesn't include any games, but you can always buy titles.
We tested the dual-band Samsung TwoStep (CDMA 800/1900) in San Francisco. Since we're outside U.S. Cellular's home network we were roaming on Verizon Wireless. Call quality was decent, though short of very good. We noticed a little static on the line and the audio was a tad robotic. We enjoyed plenty of volume, however, and the problems didn't ruin our experience.
On their end, callers noticed some static as well, but they didn't report any additional issues. They could tell that we were using a cell phone, but that's not unusual. We had no problems speaking to automated calling systems as long as we were in a quiet room. Speakerphone calls were fine, but the audio was muffled and the phone picked up some background noise. Bluetooth calls were fine, as well.
Music quality was enjoyable. The external speakers had decent output, and while the sound lacked warmth, it wasn't overly tinny or bass-heavy. Even so, you'll have the best experience with a headset.
The TwoStep has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time and 10.4 standby time. Our test showed a rather impressive talk time of 5 hours and 59 minutes. According to the FCC, the TwoStep has a digital SAR of 1.11 watts per kilogram.