Samsung Impression: The Impression is a globetrotting phone, as it is a GSM phone that supports the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 range of frequencies. High speed connectivity is handled on a 3G connection via HSDPA 850 and 1900, local connectivity is catered for with Bluetooth 2.0 and microUSB 2.0, no WI-FI, sorry. The phone's internal memory is limited to a 190 MB, but you can bump it up to a maximum of 16 GB with a microSD card.
The phone's 3.2 MP camera with a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, shoots amazingly clean, bright and fuzz free pictures. It easily rivals the Samsung Monte's excellent 3 MP snapper. You also have a few options to play around with, such as ISO balance, smile shot, panorama view, multi-shot, geo-tagging, face detection and many others. The camera also automatically edits a picture on its own, by adjusting the brightness, and unfortunately you can't turn off the feature. There is no auto-focus or flash but, nevertheless in bright lighting, details turn out very sharp and detailed, while in low light, pictures tend to take on an orange-like tinge, but picture quality remains satisfactory nonetheless.
Music is a pleasure to listen to on the Impression, the sound quality is amazing. The interface is not however; you get a large thumbnail to view album art in, and the back/skip, play, forward/skip buttons. You can choose from preset equalizer settings and search and organize your library via the normal selections of Genre, Album, Playlist etc. The sound quality remains stellar even at the loudest setting, and there are no screeches or warbles at all. The player supports the following formats--MP3,WAV,e-AAC+,WMA and AMR.
Videos on the other hand, are a bit of a letdown. You can only play a maximum resolution of 320x136, in MP4 (H.264) and 3GP, and there is no portrait viewing option. But the AMOLED screen more than makes up for any faults -- videos play clear and smooth with a consistent frame-rate, so you won't regret watching videos on the Impression at all, plus you can stream YouTube videos as well.
The Impression has a host of pretty useful features, such a bare bones photo and video editor, voice memo, AT&T Navigator, XM Radio, MusicID, Make-UR-Tones, JAVA, GPS, calculator, stopwatch, notepad, timer and calendar.
Samsung Solstice: The Solstice has the same exact set of connectivity options as the Impression, with the only difference being the internal memory is a single MB less at 189 MB.
The Solstice's 2 MP camera with a maximum resolution of 1600x1200, is nowhere near as good as the Impression's. Apart from the lower resolution, pictures turn out with a lack of detail on intricate objects, like a spider's web, and a complete nightmare in low light conditions. In strong light, pictures tend to look painted rather than shuttered, and overall the picture quality is just plain bad. You don't even get the automatic edit -- of course there is no auto-focus and Smile shot is the only noteworthy option.
Music capabilities on the Solstice match the impression in terms of features and functions, but sound quality takes a pretty bad beating, particularly on the loudspeaker, as sounds are screechy on the loudest setting and sound tiny and hollow on the medium volume setting. Playing videos is also pretty much the same, with picture quality being slightly less impressive then the Impression's. As for features, formats and modes, they are all the same as the Impression's.
Included features are pretty much a clone of the Impression as well, with the only difference being the lack of a video and picture editor.
Winner: Samsung Impression