second generation iPhone made by Apple
Samsung continues its trend of imitating instead of innovating when it comes to cell phones. That's not necessarily a bad thing with the Eternity sold through AT&T.
The look and feel of the phone is very high quality. I will even venture to say that the quality is on par if not maybe a little better than that whatchamacallit device from the fruit company that Lt. Dan bought stock in and gave to Forrest Gump. The Eternity looks like a chrome sandwich with the business slice of bread being made of a high quality ebony black plastic and the back side being a contemporary raw cobalt feeling textured plastic. I've been using this phone for months now and it has held up very well despite sharing the same pocket that my keys go into.
The phone functions are very easy to get used to. The menu screen is very simple...so simple in fact that Samsung doesn't even bother to provide a user manual. Instead, it comes with an animated tutorial on a CD. You can add widgets to your wallpaper screen for easy access to commonly used features, but as of now, you cannot download new live apps like you can on the iPhone. Samsung is exploring this ability on feature models though and since new phones are launched every quarter, don't be surprised to see a real iPhone competitor before the end of the year. Samsung has always gone to Microsoft for their smart phones so we may be seeing a whole new Mac vs. PC battle in the cell phone world with Samsung leading the charge for PC.
Back to the Eternity...The main feature of the Eternity is it's touchscreen. Sometimes, it takes a couple of taps before the touch registers, but that may be due to the screen guard I installed so I'm hesitant to blame this one the phone itself. On certain applications like texting and picture viewing/taking, the phone can be rotated both horizontally or vertically. If texting and you rotate the phone horizontally, you have a full QWERTY keyboard pop-up which is very cool. The keyboard is easy to use and you can tab through quickly to find emoticons and symbols. It's so easy that it has converted to someone like me who absolutely hated texting to finding it somewhat bearable. There is also a feedback on the taps so you know when it's registering.
The other real plusses are the 3.0 megapixel camera, availability of mobile TV, and an actual headphone jack. The LCD does an excellent job of displaying mobile TV video. This is of course an extra service you have to buy through AT&T, but there is a demo channel that allows you to watch some random programming for free (not bad when you are really bored at the airport). The camera feature works very well. When taking pictures, it mimics your normal digital camera when you hold it horizontally. It can zoom, lighten and darken, adjust the lighting...the basic digicam stuff. The trigger button is on the top right corner just like your digicam. LG's Vu is very similar to the Eternity but the Eternity's camera has it beat. A little puzzling that there is no self portrait mirror though. The headphone jack is a great plus as most other Samsung phones require an adapter cable that plugs into the charging port.
Some of the cons I found are the touch feature (which I discussed earlier as possibly being contributed to the screen protector), the delay in adjusting from portrait to landscape when turning the phone horizontally sometimes, and the fact that I have to remove the back cover and pop out the battery in order to insert a microSD card. The first two are understandable issues, but the SD card thing is absolutely stupid and inexcusable. This phone functions very well as a digital camera and as a music player...so why make it a pain to get to the SD card? Almost every phone has a side port for the SD card. I consider this to be a gross oversight. My final quip is that I can't remove the preloaded AT&T wallpapers from the memory...at least not that I know of yet. These gripes are relatively minor in an otherwise good product.
You can't access Outlook e-mail, but you can access some web based e-mail like Yahoo and web chat like AIM. It also has pretty good internet accessing ability despite not being a Wi-Fi capable device. You just have to remember that this phone is mainly for play and not for work. With this in mind, you will probably want to spring for a data plan. The battery holds up pretty well when accessing the web too.
For the money, the Eternity is a good pic. I believe AT&T is offering a buy one get one free offer for the Eternity. Samsung knows this phone is not going to take away iPhone sales, but it does offer a nice alternative to those who don't care for or want to pay for all the iPhone features and still get a nice looking and easy to use touchscreen phone. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...in this case, I don't think Samsung is trying to flatter Apple...more like practicing before releasing a real iPhone competitor. The Eternity is more of a tracer round.
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