Friday, November 9, 2007

Samsung SCH-A990 Review

Being designed around camera functionality, the A990 offers vertical (phone) and horizontal (camera) viewing conventions. Encased in a silver-lined sleek black exterior, the A990 measures 97 x 48 x 21 mm and weighs 125 g; average in size, but heavier and thicker than most devices on the market. Fairly traditional in style, right angles and straight lines are highlighted by an external display for convenient view of essential information.

The sides of the A990 offer a dizzying number of buttons and ports. Offering Rewind, Play / Pause, and Fast Forward Keys to let music listeners control the integrated MP3 Player, the left side also includes a microSD slot for extra memory. Dual external speaker ports are positioned on both sides, blasting a loud open-air listening experience. Meanwhile a Headset / Audio Video Jack provides handsfree access, also doubling as a connection port to view audio and video files on a television monitor (using a data cable).

The right side has a Speakerphone and Volume Keys, along with various buttons used during Camera Mode (when turned sideways) for Zoom and Options. The top has a loop to attach a Hand Strap, while the bottom contains the Charger Port.

Opened, a brilliant internal display reveals 262K-colors at a large 240 x 320 px resolution. Able to rotate the screen 180-degrees, the clamshell can close with the internal screen facing outwards; turning the screen into the viewfinder in Camera Mode. Suddenly the Camera Keys on the right edge become apparent, now positioned on the top when holding the A990 horizontally. Intuitively placed for familiar Zoom and Setting controls, users will forget they're using a camera phone and think the A990 is a standalone digital camera.

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