Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Samsung Infuse 4G

It has been a lot of fun using the Samsung Infuse 4G for the last few days. It's been anticipated as being the next big "Superphone" at AT&T. The biggest selling point is the screen, both the size and the quality. And it's true, the size is quite stunning. While using it, I did get a couple of comments from people on the sheer size of the screen and at how it still managed to be so skinny. So, is the phone too big for it's own good, or does the big screen have its advantages? Find out by reading more... (you'll even get to see the front of the phone!)

Skinniest 4G smartphone on the market (so far)
4.5", Super AMOLED screen (more sub-pixels per megapixel = better quality)
Front facing camera for video chats
Rob's "Best camera on a phone" award (so far)

Too large for some people

Android 2.2 Froyo
8 MP Camera that captures 720p HD video
1.3 MP front-facing camera
1.2 GHz Processor
4.5" Super AMOLED Plus screen
Rated at 8 hrs talk time (not USE time)
16 GB internal storage with an included 2 GB micro SD card (expandable memory up to 32 GB)
4G HSPA+ network enabled
Optional Swype Keyboard
Optional vehicle or desk docking station
In the box they include a couple extra goodies with this one: An HDMI output cord to hook the phone up to an HDTV and an SD memory card adapter!

The Samsung Infuse next to the iPhone 3GS for comparison
The Samsung Infuse 4G... where to start!? The phone is impressive when you first look at it. At the AT&T store where I work, we affectionately call it the "Pancake Flipper," because it's very large and very flat at the same time. It is the skinniest 4G smartphone at the time of this posting, and the screen is absolutely stunning. The quality of both the video and the pictures viewed on it is amazing and it actually catches people's eyes when they're looking at it. I have noticed that with Samsung's AMOLED screens, both on the Samsung Focus and the Samsung Captivate, the screen is slightly blue tinted when held up to any other manufacturer's phone screen. The white is where this is most noticeable. If you aren't comparing, you really don't notice it, but it is something worth mentioning as the blue tint drives a couple of my friends crazy.

The back on the Samsung Infuse - very thin indeed
The phone is most definitely plastic and you can feel that when you're holding it in your hand. This is becoming pretty standard with all Samsung smartphones. On one hand, it's a positive because it ends up being very slim and light, but on the other hand it also gives a certain cheap feel to it when you compare it to an HTC. I was using the HTC Inspire for quite a while before this phone, and that phone has a more sturdy feel to it. The Inspire was also much heavier and thicker though, so there's a trade-off there that may be worth it to some people. The back has a few problems when you're trying to put it on. You have to press very had in the bottom left corner in order to get it to seal properly. This made me feel like I was going to break it every single time I opened and then closed the back. The back is also a very slim, one-piece plastic back that is extremely bendy. Again, this is becoming standard for Samsung, so I trust they know what they're doing, it just doesn't help to build confidence in the build quality of the phone.

The four Android buttons and the Micro USB charging port
So let's cover the most blatant part about this phone... the screen. The big advertising part of this phone has been how big the screen is, while still remaining a skinny, lightweight phone. The screen is absolutely brilliant too, thanks to the Super AMOLED Plus technology that goes into making it. While viewing pictures taken off the phone or high-quality video online, it is amazing. I watched an HD movie on the phone and it was great quality.

Battery and SIM card in the back of the phone
That brings me to the next thing about the phone... the battery life. It's amazing. I actually changed this article since I originally wrote it because I originally reported that the battery life was horrible. Well, after a week of use, the battery must have become "accustomed to" normal use because it is great. I am able to easily get through one day on a charge with normal use and with heavy use (watching shows and playing video games) I am still able to get through the day while hanging on by a thread with the battery life. Any other phone requires a charge part of the way through the day after what I would consider heavy use. If you need a long-lasting battery, this is (surprisingly because of the large screen) the phone for you.

Back camera, headphone jack, and lock/power button
Moving onto something more positive, the camera. This camera is the best I've ever experienced on a smartphone. It is an 8 MP camera with 720p HD video capture. There are plenty of other smartphones out there that have 8 MP cameras though, so what sets this one apart is the options that you have for taking pictures. There's tons of them. You can take panorama shots that automatically line themselves up flawlessly. You can put different effects on the pictures you take. You can set it to smile mode, so it only takes pictures of you when it recognizes a smile. There's even a timer on it so you can get all the family, including you, in the picture for that once-a-year Christmas picture. There so many options in the camera for this thing that I don't have close to the time required to mention them all. Leave that to while you're playing with the live model in the store... that way it'll speak for itself.

Cover slightly off to show how it goes together
When it comes down to it, the phone worked great for me while I had it. I loved the camera and all the pictures it took. It was great for media and gaming. It was barely noticeable in my pants because of how skinny it is, and that was even with a thin case on it. It made me happy to be able to show off the brilliant screen on it and be able to have my friends see the video I'd taken with it from the phone. To be honest, I do miss the Android layout that HTC has, but the biggest thing about that was that the Weather/Clock widget so it's not something I'd cry about if was "stuck" with the Infuse. Besides, I found one for a couple bucks in the Android market that was just as good. It is an impressive phone with an impressive screen. I won't be keeping it for my regular phone, but there isn't a phone yet that has met that criteria.

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