As a basic phone, the A711 works much like the older A701. The inbuilt camera is solid but not terribly exciting, and the display screen has good light and contrast for video playback. Samsung rates the A711 as being capable of up to 220 hours standby time and 170 minutes of talk time, which jibes with our test results. We managed seven and a half days of moderate usage between recharges, although it was predictably much less if we did a lot of streaming video watching.
The A711's display is still good for watching streaming video, and the added speed did help us in avoiding buffering delays. You're still somewhat stymied by the quality of videos on offer; we couldn't help but notice how pixellated some of the Next G video offerings were, no matter how fast they managed to fly onto the phone.
As with the A701, the use of a custom port pretty much ties you into using the supplied (and very ordinary) headphones, and in similar fashion, the inbuilt speakers are quite loud if annoying people on the train is your thing.
Samsung refers to the A711 as using the A701's "reliable design". We can't help but think that that's lazy marketing talk; there's nothing wrong with a phone that's a basic speed evolution of an existing model, but it might be nice if they honestly identified it as such. The A711 is a good Next G phone, especially if you've got nearby access to a Next G tower, as you'll get the best possible speeds. A701 owners who don't live in such locales probably don't need to upgrade, however.