The Good The Samsung SGH-A717 has decent call quality and a speedy Web connection. It also offers a diverse range of features, including world phone support, 3G compatibility, a 2-megapixel camera, and Bluetooth.
The Bad The Samsung SGH-A717 has a tiny external display, a flat keypad, and average streaming-video quality. Also, it lacks a camera flash and it doesn't come with the necessary USB cable for PC syncing.
The Bottom Line The Samsung SGH-A717 offers an admirable feature set and good call quality. We'd just like to clear up a couple of design issues.
Samsung SGH-A717 (AT&T)
AT&T's new Samsung SGH-A717 has a lot in common with another AT&T cell phone, the Samsung SGH-A727. Not only did the two devices land at the carrier on the same day, but they also didn't strike any new ground in the design department. While the SGH-A727 bears a striking resemblance to three Samsung phones, including Alltel's SCH-R510, the SGH-A717 takes its style cues from Sprint's Samsung SPH-M610. The SGH-A717 sports the same thin flip phone shape and rotating camera lens and also inherits the tiny external display. Features are about the same too and the performance was reliable. At $349, it will put a serious crimp in your wallet if you pay full price, but service rebates should knock it down to a more affordable $149.
Though cell phone enthusiasts will notice immediately that the SGH-A717's slim profile closely resembles its Sprint cousin, they'll note some subtle design changes as well. While the SPH-M610 was almost tapered at its bottom end, the SGH-A717 is slightly more angular and has a protruding lip similar to the Motorola Razr. Also, the SGH-A717's external memory slot is conveniently located on the right spine rather then being stashed behind the battery.
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