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Samsung A680

Developer: | Publisher:
Players: | Release Date: 05/12/17 | Genre: Hardware

Sprint users are known to have the best technology in their phones. This tradition continues in the Samsung A680 phone that includes a Digital Camera, now standard on most Sprint phones, a flash, a video recorder, and a light to take videos in the dark. All of these features come packed into a tiny phone that retails for $309.00. However, with the promotions and rebates you can receive, the phone can cost anywhere from $149.99 and under.

Sprint and Samsung have teamed together to bring one of the smallest Camera Video phones I have ever seen. Just as Sprint pioneered the cellular industry to Camera Phones, they are beginning to do the same with Video Phones. The actual dimensions of the phone are 3.3 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches! It only weighs 3.4 ounces but still feels extremely solid and reliable. Because I have pretty big hands, I found some of the buttons to be a bit uncomfortable during games like Puzzle Bobble on the keypad. There is a new game pad from Samsung that can resolve that problem though.

The LCD on the front of the Samsung A680 is very big for the small size of the phone. This LCD boasts up to 65,000 colors and displays the time, date, signal strength, battery left, and will be your caller ID.

Also on the front of the phone is the Camera Video lens along with the light/flash. The quality of the pictures and camera taken with the phone are pretty good. However, compared with the Sanyo VM-4500, this phone has much less quality with the images and video. The biggest problem the Samsung A680 has is when moving the phone around while taking video. The screen will be very jerky and the framerate will drop down. So be still when taking those videos. This problem does not exist on the Sany VM-4500 though.

Still, even with the camera and video being a bit average, the quality of the images, when still, are really good. The colors are bright and while you still can't come close to replacing your digital camera, sometimes the camera phone is all you need. Sine these videos and pictures can be uploaded to a variety of websites and even archived on Sprint's Picture//Video site, you can easily keep your camera memories intact.

The Samsung A680 also supports over 65,000 colors on its 1.75 Inch (diagonal) display. This screen is very easy to see unless you are in the sunlight. At that point, you can almost forget about making out anything on the screen. However, this is a complaint with most cellular phones.

The navigation on the Samsung A680 is also great. There are several short-cut keys built in and you can change them to what you want. One thing that has been changed on this model is that the Camera/Video button that sits in the middle of the keypad can be used as the OK button. Past Samsung phones did not allow this. Instead, they forced you to click on the actual OK button that resides on the left. This OK button is still just as hard to reach and just as small.

Since consumers seem to enjoy the blue backlighting, Samsung has included it on their A680 model. The only buttons not lit up as Blue are the Talk Button, which is green, and the End button, which is Red. To help conserve power, if you aren't using any buttons and have the screen opened for a few minutes, it will go into a black screensaver mode. By hitting a button, you can awaken it out of this.

The standard 300 name phone book is here with room for up to six numbers and two e-mail address per contact. You can also add callers to a specified calling group and assign your own picture/ringtone for them. This way you can tell who is calling by the ringtone or picture. Users can also set the phone to a vibrating mode for those times when they can't have the volume on. I wish more people would use this feature... I was just at a movie the other night when a cel phone went off. Go ahead and turn it to vibrate or just turn it off during a movie... Please--do it for me!

Users will be able to download almost all of the games Sprint has available. This phone appears to be 100% compatible with all titles in the very near future. Also, a new feature for this phone is Sprint's two-way SMS feature. This will ensure that you won't have to use that stupid ShortMail for your text messaging needs.

Battery life is pretty good unless you are playing a lot of games. I was given this phone to compete in a contest with other media. We played Puzzle Bobble for prizes and I had the screen on all the time. This sucked the battery life fast. However, during normal use, this phone will last for a couple of days before needing a recharge. I find that I like to charge my phones every night just to make sure I have enough juice.

Overall, I highly recommend the Samsung A680. Although I don't like it quite as well as my Sanyo VM-4500 (the phone I am personally using now), this is a very good phone. Samsung has answered one of my biggest gripes with their phones by allowing users to use the camera button as the OK button. I just wish they would move the camera button to the side and put the OK button in the middle of the keypad. But I guess that will be something they add for the next model.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/02/04

Screenshots for Samsung A680

Sanyo VM 4500

E3 2004 Best of Show