Samsung Rugby: The Rugby is a GSM phone, unlike the Convoy which is a CDMA phone, so for international roaming the Rugby is the better option. The Rugby supports the following range of frequencies -- 850, 900, 1800 and 1900, while 3G is supported via HSDPA 850 and 1900. Local connectivity is supported via Bluetooth 2.0 with AD2P and microUSB 2.0. You can use an 8 GB card problem free, the internal memory is limited to 130 MB.
The phone's camera shoots very good pictures considering it's just a 1.3 MP effort. Pictures generally turn out clear and bright but there is a bit of over-exposure on bright colors. As a result, some colors look stronger than they are, while textured surfaces are rendered out a bit too smooth and bland, but there is nothing overly disappointing . You also have access to a good number of options -- a self-timer, brightness, white-balance, mosaic shot, panorama view, multi-shot and night modes. 4x digital zoom is present, though it is useless at the highest resolution (1,280 x 960).
Multimedia is not the point of this phone. It will play your music files as long as they are encoded in the MP3, WAV and AAC+ formats. Video formats are restricted to the MP4 and 3GP formats. Videos will play at a maximum resolution of 320 x 240, which is thankfully higher than the phone's native resolution.
The Rugby is also chock full of AT&T apps, as it comes with-- My Cast 5 Weather, Mobile banking, Yellowpages, MobiTV and other services. The phone does also come with a voice recorder, organizer, voice memo, predictive text input, alarm, calculator, calendar, JAVA and GPS.
Samsung Convoy: The Convoy is a CDMA region phone running on the 800 and 1900 frequencies for calling, while high speed connectivity and PTT calls are handled via EVDO rev.A, local connectivity is handled via Bluetooth 2.1 with AD2P, and USB 2.0, internal memory is capped at 90 MB, which is smaller than the Rugby's. External memory capacity is the same as the Rugby's at 8 GB, though there have been reports of a 16 GB card running smoothly; I was not able to verify these reports, but an 8 GB card does work problem free.
The 2 MP camera shoots on a par with the Rugby's 1.3 MP snapper, pictures turn out the same, with the only difference being a barely perceptible purple/pink hue in the background, so overall, despite the higher resolution, you basically end up with the same picture quality with either phone, but you do get a much more capable zoom function at 10x. Videos taken from the camcorder are only worth viewing on the phone, and even that's being generous.
The Convoy, unlike the Rugby, is designed to be music friendly, with direct controls on the external screen and an option to play, shuffle, create play lists, and select songs by artist, genre and album. Sound quality is good enough, nothing stellar, and it manages to maintain sound integrity even at the higher echelons of volume. Supported music files are MP3, AAC, AAC+ and WMA (no WMA on the Rugby), video playback is supported on MP4 and 3GP files only, but the playback quality leaves a lot to be desired. This gadget is more oriented towards music than anything else.
Features wise, the Convoy comes with a lot of Verizon apps, but some of them don't feel like bloatware -- there's actually some pretty useful stuff. You get-- Vcast for video streaming, VZnavigator to use the GPS with and finally Vcast Music with Rhapsody if you want to stream music. Non Verizon features include--JAVA, GPS, a calculator, calendar, speakerphone, an alarm clock, a stop watch, world clock, notepad, tip calculator and finally a currency converter.
Winner: Samsung Convoy