Samsung SGH-T619 (T-Mobile) review: Samsung SGH-T619 (T-Mobile)

Despite a so-so design and similar performance, the Samsung SGH-T619 is still a decent mid-range cell phone, if you can find it at a good price.

Kent German

Kent German

Senior Managing Editor / Features

Kent is a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and has worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

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If you're looking for thin and sexy, you'll only find the former with the SGH-T619. At 3.9 by 2 by 0.6 inches, it's compact but not necessarily comely. We liked the phone body's rounded edges, but its silvery color and overall exterior is dull. It's easy to hold, and at just 2.8 ounces, it's also easy to carry. The SGH-T619's hinge mechanism felt slightly loose, but this wasn't bothersome.


Samsung SGH-T619 (T-Mobile)

The Good

The Samsung SGH-T619 has a generous selection of features, including Bluetooth capability, a speakerphone, world-phone support and a 1.3 megapixel camera.

The Bad

The phone's looks are dull, and its keypad is flat and slippery. Voice quality is variable, and photo quality could improve.

The Bottom Line

Despite a so-so design and similar performance, the Samsung SGH-T619 is still a decent mid-range cell phone, if you can find it at a good price.
Samsung continues to feed the market's mania for svelte handsets with its new model for T-Mobile, the SGH-T619. While the company's SGH-T629 showcases the trendy slider form, the T619 sticks to a simple flip design. Yet the SGH-T619 is no simple cell phone--it's packed with a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth capability, a speakerphone, and world-phone support. Unfortunately its performance doesn't live up to its specs, as sound and photo quality could be better. Yet the SGH-T619 is still a solid mid-range phone, particularly at $49.

The SGH-T619 is compact, but not very pretty.

The external display measures 1 inch (96x96 pixels) and supports 65,000 colors. It displays the date, time, battery life, signal strength and caller ID (when available). The display can also show photo caller ID, and acts as a viewfinder for self-portraits. While you can change the display contrast, we found it bothersome that we couldn't adjust the amount of time the display remained illuminated. Not only does it turn off completely just a few seconds after you close the phone, you must reopen the SGH-T619 to activate the screen again.

The SGH-T619's camera lens sits just above the display. We were disappointed that there's no flash; granted, while tiny flashes aren't always useful on camera phones, they can still be a nice touch on a megapixel camera. A covered headset jack and a volume rocker sits on the left spine of the phone, while a camera shutter sits on the right. The charger port is located on the bottom of the SGH-T619.

The internal display measures 1.8 inches (176x220 pixels) and shows 262,000 colors. Similar to many other Samsung displays, the SGH-T619's display is very bright with vibrant colors, yet can be difficult to read in direct light. You can customize font size, color and styles, as well as screen brightness and backlighting time. We continue to enjoy Samsung's simple menu design, which typically features colored icons on a black background. The phone's navigation controls and keypad buttons, however, weren't as warmly received. The controls are adequately sized for larger fingers, but they're flush with the surface of the phone and very slippery. While we didn't misdial, we still struggled with the controls. A four-way toggle doubles as shortcut to four user-defined functions, while the OK button sits at its center. The SGH-T619 sports two soft keys, a clear key, and Talk and End/Power buttons. The keypad buttons are also brightly lit for dialing in poor light.

The phone book holds a generous 1,000 contacts with room in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail address, and notes (the SIM card holds an additional 250 names). You can assign callers to groups, as well as pair them with a photo or one of 24, 40-chord polyphonic ring tones. Other basics include: vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, voice recording, instant messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, a unit converter, a timer, a stop watch, and a tip calculator. The SGH-T619 comes with a few extras that should please more demanding users, such as voice dialing, a speakerphone, and full Bluetooth capability. The SGH-T619 is also equipped for T-Mobile's new MyFaves service.

The SGH-T619's camera doesn't come with a flash.

The 1.3-megapixel camera allows you to take pictures in six resolutions (1,280x960, 1,024x768, 800x600, 640x480, 320x240, 176x220, and 176x144). Other camera features include a night mode, brightness control, metering exposure, adjustable ISO, multishot and mosaic shot modes, a self-timer, five color effects, 29 fun frames, and a digital zoom that's usable even at the highest photo resolution. There are also a fair number of shutter and camera function sounds, but you can't silence the shutter completely. The camcorder records clips in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96) with sound. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 1.5 minutes; otherwise you can shoot for as long as the phone's available memory permits. Overall, the SGH-T619's photo quality is much too blurry for a megapixel camera.

The SGH-T619 had average photo quality.

You can personalize the SGH-T619 with a variety of wallpapers, background colors, and alert tones. If you're looking for more options or additional ring tones, you can download them through the phone's Web browser. The SGH-T619 also supports MP3 tones and comes with a generic digital music player (see the SGH-X820 review). Gaming options include four Java (J2ME) titles--Freekick, Midnight Pool, Forgotten Warrior, and ArchAngel--but you can always download more.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) SGH-T619 in San Francisco using T-Mobile's service. Call quality was generally good, yet voice quality was variable. We could hear and be heard just fine, yet voices sounded at times harsh and robotic. On the upside, we had no trouble getting a signal, and experienced little interference from electronic devices. The speakerphone was adequate for shorts calls, but callers often had trouble hearing unless we spoke close to the handset. Calls made using a Bluetooth headset were satisfactory.

The Samsung SGH-T619 has a rated talk time of 4 hours and a tested talk time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. It has a promised standby time of 8 days. According to FCC radiation tests the SGH-T619 has a digital SAR rating of 1.07 watts per kilogram.


Samsung SGH-T619 (T-Mobile)

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 7
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