Samsung SPH-A580 (Sprint) review:

Samsung SPH-A580 (Sprint)

Other features include a vibrate mode, text messaging, a WAP 2.0 wireless browser, a scheduler, a task list, a countdown timer, one-minute voice recordings, a memo pad, an alarm clock, a calculator, a world clock, POP3 e-mail, and instant messaging (AOL, MSN, and Yahoo). As previously mentioned, the SPH-A580 is the first phone to support Sprint's new wireless backup service. Each time you edit and save your phone book, your contacts will be saved to Sprint's Web site. If you ever lose your phone, buy a new handset, or erase your phone book by mistake, you can go to Sprint's site and edit your contacts. It will then send them to your new mobile. This is a nifty feature, but irritatingly, Sprint charges $2 a month to use it. Also, it's not clear how many other Sprint phones will support wireless backup.

You can personalize the SPH-A580 with a variety of screensavers, menu styles, alert sounds, and key tones, as well as a greeting. If you want more options or ring tones, you'll have to buy them from Sprint. For entertainment, there a few trial offerings from Sprint's Power Vision service, including MobiTV and a sale alert from Keep in mind, though, that any Web browsing will be poky on a 1xRTT browser. You also get demo versions of three Java (J2ME) games: Tetris, World Poker, and Midnight Pool. If you want full titles, you'll have to buy them.

We tested the dual-band, trimode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Samsung SPH-A580 in San Francisco using Sprint's service. Audio quality was serviceable; it was obvious to callers we were using a cell phone, but we heard each other clearly most of the time. Volume on our end was loud and more than sufficient, and we encountered little signal interference. We had more trouble in noisy and windy environments, and speakerphone calls weren't exceptional. The sound quality was patchy, with an echoing effect.

The SPH-A580 has a rated talk time battery life of 3.5 hours. In our tests, we fell short of that rating by a half hour. According to FCC radiation tests, the Samsung SPH-A580 has a digital SAR rating of 0.67 watt per kilogram.

Overall, the Samsung APH-A580 is a quality cell phone for those who just want to make calls. The wireless backup is an interesting touch, and though the speakerphone quality isn't the best, we can live with its shortcomings.

What you'll pay

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