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Samsung Infuse 4G (AT&T) review: Samsung Infuse 4G (AT&T)

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The smartphone comes loaded with a number of apps and services, including the Quickoffice suite, Samsung's Write And Go (with which you can compose messages to send via SMS, e-mail, or Facebook) and Mini Diary apps, AT&T FamilyMap, and AT&T U-verse Live TV. A special edition of Angry Birds is also preloaded on the device. The version has a special level that, once completed, will unlock a "Golden Egg" Easter egg that will lead you to a Web site where you can register to win free prizes from Samsung.

Though you can't uninstall the AT&T services, the carrier at least now allows you to install non-Market apps on the device. To enable this, simply go to Settings > Applications and check the "Unknown sources" box. The Infuse 4G has 16GB of internal memory and an expansion slot that supports up to 32GB cards, so you should have more than enough space for apps and other files.

In low-light situations, photos often had a pinkish tint to them.

The Infuse 4G comes with an 8-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus, and 720p HD video recording. You get a myriad of editing options and tools, including antishake, blink detection, exposure settings, and various effects. Typically, we've seen good results from Samsung's cameras, but there were some issues this time around. Though picture quality was sharp, photos taken in indoor environments had a pinkish hue to them. Outdoor shots were much better, however, and recorded HD video clips also came out looking great.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Samsung Infuse 4G in San Francisco using AT&T service and call quality was slightly muffled. Though there wasn't any distracting background noise, voices sounded a bit garbled at times, both on our end and on the other side of the phone, so we had to listen very closely to understand our callers. We had a similar experience with speakerphone quality, and at the highest volume level, the audio at times sounded blown out.

Samsung Infuse 4G call quality sample Listen now:

We didn't have any dropped calls during our review periods. We also paired the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones and had no problems making calls or listening to music.

Using Ookla's app on the phone, we averaged download speeds of 3.99Mbps and upload speeds of 0.69Mbps. On the positive side, the results were better than what we got on the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G, but they're still slow compared with other providers' 4G networks. At such speeds, CNET's full site loaded in 20 seconds, while the mobile sites for CNN and ESPN came up in 8 seconds and 10 seconds respectively. High-quality YouTube clips loaded in several seconds and played back without interruption, but the Infuse's browser had some difficulty handling Flash sites and content.

The Infuse 4G is powered by a 1.2GHz single-core processor. We understand that many people are hungry for dual-core phones, but the Infuse 4G is still a pretty snappy device. Apps launched quickly, and we were able to navigate through the various screens and menus without trouble. Occasionally, there was some slight sluggishness when opening certain apps, but overall we found the Infuse to be a solid performer.

The Samsung Infuse 4G ships with a 1,750mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 8 hours and up to 16 days of standby time. The smartphone fell an hour short of the rated talk time in our battery drain tests but 7 hours is still impressive. Plus, we experienced good day-to-day battery life; with moderate usage, we can usually go a full day or a little more on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the Infuse 4G has a digital SAR rating of 0.20W/kg and a Hearing Aid Compatibility rating of M3.

AT&T has slowly but surely been beefing up its selection of Android phones, and the Samsung Infuse 4G is another good addition to its lineup. There are certainly some aspects of the phone that were disappointing, including the unimpressive 4G data speeds and the lack of some of the latest features (such as Gingerbread and a dual-core processor), but in the end, the Infuse 4G is very much a solid Android smartphone. Obviously, its large size will mean it won't appeal to everybody, but if you're OK with that, you'll get a beautiful screen for browsing the Web and watching video, good performance, and decent battery life.

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