The Good The Samsung SGH-A177 offers a simple design with a comfortable keyboard. Its practical feature set centers on texting.
The Bad The Samsung SGH-A177's call volume is low. Speakerphone quality is unimpressive.
The Bottom Line If you can live with its variable call quality, the Samsung SGH-A177 is a functional and easy-to-use texting phone. It's affordable and it doesn't require a contract.
Samsung SGH-A177 (AT&T)
In case you haven't noticed, messaging phones are in. Once the domain of high-end smartphones, full alphabetic keyboards have trickled down over the past year into a broad variety of basic, midrange handsets. These messaging phones are built primarily for texting--POP3 e-mail is offered as an afterthought only and Outlook syncing is unavailable. But as communication devices, they let you tap out long messages relatively quickly.
In the past year, messaging phones have arrived at all carriers and have come down in price. And with the new Samsung SGH-A177 for AT&T's Go Phone service, they're now available for prepaid customers. The A177 isn't anything special, and call quality is variable, but it offers functional features, a simple design, and a comfortable keyboard. The camera is unimpressive. The A177 is $99.99, but keep in mind that you don't need a contract.
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