Samsung MM-A920 (Sprint) review: Samsung MM-A920 (Sprint)

The Samsung MM-A920 comes with an impressive 1.3-megapixel camera, with up to 5X zoom and resolutions ranging from 1,280x960 to 320x240. In addition to the LED flash, you get a 5- to 10-second self-timer, a choice of color tones (including monochrome, green, sepia, and blue), brightness and white-balance settings, and six fun frames. While there's no rapid-fire mode for taking multiple pictures in quick succession, the phone does support PictBridge photo printing directly over a USB cable or via Bluetooth. The camera also comes bundled with a camcorder, which takes 30-second clips and includes a self-timer. The snapshots we took with the MM-A920 looked rich and colorful but a bit muddier than the pictures we've taken with other 1.3-megapixel camera phones. The videos we shot were blurry, jittery, and just barely watchable, but that's to be expected with a camera phone camcorder.

The MM-A920 has average photo quality for a megapixel camera phone.

Personalization options on the Samsung MM-A920 are good, with customizable wallpaper for both the internal and external LCDs, as well as ring tones and images for specific contacts. We also liked the Heads-up options on the main screen, which lets you view your calendar, upcoming events or tasks, unopened messages, and speed-dial presets. Unfortunately, there aren't any ringer profiles for quickly setting your phone to Outdoor, Meeting, or Silent modes.

We tested the Samsung MM-A920 (CDMA 800/1900, EV-DO) in New York City, and we had no trouble with our calls; our buddies sounded fine, and they reported that they heard us loud and clear. We also tried the phone in our gadget-heavy apartment--complete with a microwave oven, a 2.4GHz wireless phone, an 802.11g wireless network, and a 32-inch direct-view TV--and didn't encounter any undue interference.

Our review model of the Samsung MM-A920 didn't come with a headset, so we were able to play music over the phone's built-in stereo speakers only. Unsurprisingly, our tunes sounded small and tinny, with little in the way of bass response, but they were still decent enough, considering we were listening over cell phone speakers. Thanks to the phone's speedy EV-DO connection, we had little trouble browsing the music store; the 30-second preview clips began playing almost instantly, and the songs we bought--for a steep $2.50 apiece--flowed on to the phone within a minute or so.

We should also note that the Samsung MM-A920's colorful, animated menus performed admirably in our tests, rarely stuttering or stalling even as we zoomed from one screen to another--a welcome change from the elaborate but sluggish menus we've seen on other handsets.

Samsung and Sprint promise up to 3.5 hours of talk time for the MM-A920. In our tests, we got 3.5 hours of talk time and a solid two weeks of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Samsung MM-A920 has a digital SAR rating of 0.6 watts per kilogram.