Don't be confused by the change in carrier; the Samsung MyShot II (SCH-R460) is an update of the Samsung MyShot. You'll find it with Cricket Communications rather than MetroPCS, but it offers many of the same features in a slightly modified design. The changes aren't extensive--in fact, "update" may be too strong a word--but the MyShot II is different enough to stand on its own. Overall performance wasn't exceptional, but it's a solid addition to Cricket's lineup. You can get it for $79.99 with an online discount and a $50 mail-in rebate.
The MyShot II shares a flip phone design with its predecessor, but that's where the similarities end. Where the MyShot was dull and minimalist, the MyShot II's maroon color and patterned hinge give it just a bit of style. At 3.7 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.7 inch and 3.4 ounces, the MyShot II is slightly taller and heavier then the MyShot, but it offers a comfortable feeling in the hand. The plastic shell isn't for the klutz, but the hinge has a sturdy construction.
The 1-inch external display is rather small, but it supports 65,000 colors (96x96 pixels). It shows the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and photo caller ID, and it doubles as a viewfinder for the camera lens. You can change the contrast and the clock style. The camera lens sits just above the display minus a flash. On the left spine you'll find the camera shutter and microSD card slot, and the volume rocker, 2.5mm headset jack, and micro-USB charger port sit on the right spine.
The internal display measures 2.1 inches and supports 262,000 colors. Though it's bright with vibrant colors, the relatively low resolution (220x176 pixels) means that graphics and photos won't look fantastic. The menus, on the other hand, are attractive and intuitive. You can alternate between list and icon menu styles and you can change the display's backlighting time and the dialing font size. We also liked the series of shortcut icons that sit at the bottom of the display in standby mode.
The navigation array is flush but the buttons are quite large and tactile. You'll find a circular toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, a speakerphone control, and a shortcut to the music player. The Talk and End/power buttons and clear key just below the array are slightly raised above the surface of the phone; they offer a comfortable, almost rubbery, feel. Same goes for the keypad: we could dial and text quickly, thanks to its spacious design and bright backlighting.
The MyShot II has a 500-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers and an e-mail address. You can save callers to groups and pair them with a photo. You get just eight 72-chord polyphonic ringtones, which is way too small of a selection, but you can use your own voice recordings as ringtones. Other essentials include a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a memo pad, an alarm clock, a world clock, a calculator, a unit and currency converter, a stopwatch, and a tip calculator. But wait...there's more. The MyShot also offers voice dialing and commands, a voice recorder, and stereo Bluetooth.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in six resolutions, from 1,280x960 pixels down to a special size for picture ID. Other options include a night mode, a self-timer, adjustable brightness and ISO, a digital zoom, four white-balance settings, five color effects, three quality settings, spot metering, 10 frames, and four shutter sounds, plus a silent option. The MyShot II doesn't record video, and, as previously mentioned, it doesn't have a flash. Photo quality is about average--most of our shots were blurry and a tad washed out. The MyShot II has about 48MB of user-accessible memory, but you can get more space with a microSD card.
Like on Cricket's Samsung JetSet, the MyShot II's music player is fairly simple, but it offers a fair number of features. You'll find playlists, an equalizer, and repeat and shuffle modes. Adding music to the phone is easy, with either a USB cable or memory card. Tunes over the external speaker were unexceptional--headphones will offer a better experience.
You can personalize the MyShot II with a selection of wallpaper and color themes. You can download more options, and additional ringtones, from Cricket with the WAP Web browser. The MyShot II doesn't come with any games.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Samsung MyShot II in San Francisco. Since the Bay Area isn't part of Cricket's home coverage area, we made calls using the carrier's roaming network. Call quality was satisfactory for the most part. The signal was clear and free of static, and voices sounded mostly natural. Some callers sounded a bit breathy, and the volume could be louder, but those were the only problems that we noticed.
Callers said we sounded fine. They could tell we were using a cell phone, but that's a not a bad thing. Some callers reported an echoed effect, but most of our friends didn't complain. Automated calling systems could understand us, but we had to be in a quiet place. Speakerphone calls were relatively clear as well, but the volume was too low.
The Samsung MyShot II has a rated battery life of 4 hours talk time and 12.5 days standby time. We received a talk time of 3 hours and 25 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the MyShot II has a digital SAR of 1 watt per kilogram.