Samsung Solstice II SGH-A817 (AT&T)

The Good The compact Samsung Solstice II has well-rounded features, a responsive touch screen, and good photo quality from its 2-megapixel camera.

The Bad Samsung's Solstice II has a cheap-feeling chassis, the microSD card slot is located inconveniently behind the back cover, and there's no dedicated headphone jack.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Solstice II is a solid midrange touch-screen feature phone that offers good value if you can look past a few inconveniences and variable call quality.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
6.3 Overall

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Samsung Solstice II SGH-A817 (AT&T)
Samsung Solstice II SGH-A817 (AT&T)
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Design
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Review

Samsung Solstice II SGH-A817 (AT&T)

We'd like to think that cell phone sequels only improve upon the first hit, but the Samsung Solstice II (SGH-A817) for AT&T mostly rehashes the original Samsung Solstice with a few visual differences--not all of them welcome. The original had much to offer in its prime, like a responsive display and quite good photos. However, the Solstice II feels cheap and it bypasses the opportunity to correct past faults. For instance, it loses the self-portrait mirror, there's still no dedicated headphone jack, and the microSD slot remains inconveniently placed behind the back cover. Still, the 3G Solstice II is fine for new users looking for a touch-screen messaging phone, and it's a solid pick for previous Solstice owners seeking more of the same on a newer handset. It costs only $29.99 with a new two-year service agreement.

Editors' note: Due to some identical features, portions of this review are taken from the review of the Samsung Solstice.

Design
The Solstice II varies from its namesake very little. It's black and silver with rounded corners and measures 4.3 inches tall by 2.1 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. The Solstice feels solid at 3.4 ounces, yet it's fairly slim and compact, so it's easy to tote around. As with the previous model, we weren't wowed by the Solstice II's looks, but it isn't ugly. We take no issue with the handset's curved lines, although the dimpled, matte silver bezel lacks a premium feel. The Solstice II's soft-touch finish keeps the back cover from getting smudged, but we still prefer the classier look and feel of the original model's leatherette backing.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $30
  • Brand Samsung
  • Service Provider AT&T
  • Diagonal Size 3 in
  • Weight 3.35 oz
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Additional Features Speech-to-Text (speech recognition), TTY compatible, multitasking, software updates FOTA (Firmware Over The Air)
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