Samsung Flight: A Good Budget Phone from AT&T
The Samsung Flight is a sturdy introduction in today’s ever changing cell phone market. The phone is rather unique and bears an easy-to-use design loaded with a full set of functional features. However, due to some performance gaps such as poor call quality and inconsistent video streaming, it is still not the best.
Design (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Flight is relatively big compared to most cell phones, measuring 4.17x2.2x0.5 inches and weighing around 4.8 ounces. Despite the slightly bigger size and heavy weight, the phone is still relatively portable and has a sturdy construction with a durable sliding mechanism. The Flight is currently available in two attractive colors, red and gray with features identical on both sets.
The touchscreen of the phone measures around 2.8 inches, which is far too small compared to any other standard touchscreen phone. The Flight comes with physical keys instead of any virtual keyboard, Opera Mini browser instead of full HTML, and it lacks the TouchWiz interface of Samsung.
The Samsung Flight’s vibrant and bright display supports 320x240 pixels and 262,000 colors. The font type, brightness and the backlight time in the phone can be adjusted as well and the touch interface seems to be quite responsive for selecting icons and traveling down a list. The display settings and the vibrating feedback intensity can also be adjusted according to your requirements. Even though the Flight is lacking in Samsung’s TouchWiz shortcut bar, the handset comes with three touch icons for accessing the messaging folder, your favorite list of contacts and the user programmable shortcut menu. Other features being the phone’s touch control main menu, recent calls list and the main list of contacts.
Just below the phone’s display sits the Talk and End/Power buttons along with the Back key. The Flight also features a volume rocker, the microUSB/Charger port and a secondary on-screen shortcut menu on the left spine. On the right sits a camera shutter and a display locking switch, while the camera-lens and a small speaker is placed on the back side of the phone along with the microSD card behind the battery cover.
The physical QWERTY keyboard of the Samsung Flight is spacious and simple to use featuring four-rows of keys. Letters in the keypad have a space between the numbers and symbols and the numbers are indicated by red circles for easy identification. Additional features of the keypad are directional arrow keys, a dedicated ‘.com’ button, a shortcut control for messaging and a series of other standard keyboard controls such as Delete, Function, Shift etc. The spacebar key is a bit small and placed in the middle of the last row conveniently. Beyond the Flight’s standard keyboard functions, you can also use the handwriting recognition attribute that works well, but the display is too small to support it fully.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Flight features an icon-based user interface, which is easy to understand and use. The phone lets you access all your menus and favorite apps with just a touch with the help of One-Touch Quick-Access. The advanced interface of Samsung Flight’s touchscreen also offers customizable widgets.
Features (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Flight has a 2,000 contact phone book that has room in each of the entries for five phone numbers, a nickname, a birthday, an email address, a company with job title, notes and a URL. You can further categorize callers into groups and combine them with alert tones, photos and individual ringtones. The SIM-card can hold an additional 250 names. The basic features of the phone include text messaging, multimedia messaging, a memo pad, an alarm clock, a world clock, a task list, a calendar, a calculator, a tip calculator, a currency converter, a unit converter and a stopwatch. Additional features of the Flight mobile phone are standard with a voice recorder, file manager, a sketchpad, stereo Bluetooth, voice dialing, USB mass storage and PC syncing. The email feature of the Flight is limited to only AT&T’s Mobile Email app offering a gateway to POP3 services such as Windows Live, Yahoo, AIM, Gmail and AOL.
The 2 megapixel built-in camera of the Samsung Flight mobile phone can take pictures in a choice of three quality settings and four resolutions. Additional settings of the camera include four color effects, four white balance modes, a night mode, an adjustable tool for brightness, a self timer, a multishot option, exposure metering, a smile-shot option, 20 fun frames, mosaic and panoramic shot mode and three shutter sounds along with a silent mode. Moreover, the camera comes with an easy-to-operate interface with many attributes placed on the viewfinder. The camcorder can shoot videos in dual resolutions, 176x144 and 320x240 with very few options for editing. The multimedia clips on the Flight can be recorded for approximately 50 seconds, but for much longer duration in normal mode. The phone has a shared memory of 80MB that is user accessible, however, it can support up to 16GB using a memory card.
Photo quality and videos with the Samsung Flight are reasonable, but nothing special. The phone further supports the Video Share functionality of AT&T along with AT&T’s wireless broadband multimedia services, Mobile Music and Cellular Video. The music player supports a huge range of file formats, offering special features like album art, playlists, airplane mode, repeat and shuffle modes. The Samsung Flight cell phone also has a wide selection of music-based features and a number of apps that require a subscription. The Samsung Flight can be personalized with loads of greeting messages, wallpapers and clock types and additional options can be purchased from AT&T.
Performance (4 out of 5)
The call quality was fine, in dual-band the Samsung Flight, though not perfect, when tested using AT&T’s services had a strong signal and loud volume. However, the phone does have some kind of wind noise with a little bit of a pitching problem. Moreover, there can be some issues when speaking to automated calling systems. The speakerphone and Bluetooth headset quality was decent. The Flight’s video streaming is on the average side with slight pixelation and music quality is pleasing.
The Flight’s rated battery has 3 hours of talk time life and standby time of 15 days, while the tested talk time is 3 hours and 21 minutes. The FCC radiation test result of the phone shows 0.5 watt per kilogram of digital SAR.
The Verdict (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Flight mobile phone from AT&T performs well on-the-whole in spite of occasional sluggishness in opening some of the features or switching between menu screens. Overall, it is a good budget phone at $99 with two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate.