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 Samsung Acclaim(US Cellular)

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Join date : 2010-07-16
Age : 23
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PostSubject: Samsung Acclaim(US Cellular)   Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:12 am

Pros

Lightweight.
Clear voice quality.
Inexpensive US Cellular plans with free TeleNav GPS navigation.
Good battery life.

Cons

Sluggish.
Stiff, flat keyboard.
Disappointing camera.
Software feels a little unfinished.



The Samsung Acclaim ($79.99) is a fine handset with one main problem: it isn't as powerful as the HTC Desire.Instead, it's in that lower tier of Android smartphones which cost less up front, but are slower and not quite as easy to use. If you want a hardware keyboard and a touch screen in one handset, the Acclaim will get the job done, but it doesn't stand out otherwise.

Design, Call Quality, and Apps

The Acclaim measures 4.5 by 2.3 by 0.6 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces. It's actually a few tenths of an ounce lighter than the HTC Desire, despite the fact that the Acclaim includes a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the Desire doesn't. The plastic body is a combination of glossy and matte plastics, with a metallic slate-colored back panel. The effect is pleasant, if somewhat staid. The 3.2-inch screen has only 320-by-480-pixel resolution, which is another cue that the Acclaim resides at the lower end of the Android-sphere. The LCD screen looks bright enough, but it doesn't come near Samsung's higher-end AMOLED displays in sharpness or color vibrancy.

Below the screen, there's an optical sensor and four touch keys. I always find optical sensors and trackballs superfluous on touch screen devices, but it's there if you need it. The four-row keyboard features flat, recessed, rubber keys that are a little stiff to type on. At least they're mostly silent. Number keys get their own row at the top.

The Acclaim is a dual-band EV-DO Rev 0 (850/1900 MHz) device with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. Note that it's Rev 0, not Rev A, which means it won't get US Cellular's maximum 3G speeds. It's a stellar voice phone; callers sounded clear and full in both directions, with plenty of gain in the earpiece, and a warm tone overall. Reception was good. Calls also sounded clear through an Aliph Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset. Thankfully, this is one Android device with voice dialing that works over Bluetooth. It was a little slow on the uptake, and missed one clearly spoken "yes" response, but it's still better than nothing. The speakerphone sounded clear and reasonably loud. Battery life was excellent at 6 hours and 2 minutes of talk time.

Multimedia, Camera, and Conclusions

The Acclaim has 218MB of internal memory, and the side-mounted microSD card slot accepts 32GB cards. My 16GB SanDisk card worked fine, and Samsung gives you a 4GB card to get you started. The standard-size 3.5mm headphone jack lets you upgrade the stock ear buds fairly easily. The stock music player was easy to use and displayed medium-sized album art thumbnails. MP3 and AAC tracks sounded clear and full over Motorola S9-HD Bluetooth headphones. Google buried the video player nonsensically in the Gallery, just like with some other Android devices. AVI, MP4, and 3GP video looked smooth and sharp in full screen mode, though colors were a little flat, and 720p videos were out.

The 3-megapixel camera includes auto-focus and an LED flash. Outdoor test photos were passable, with flat color and middling contrast. But indoor photos with the flash were a dark, blurry disaster; shutter speeds were too slow to compensate for situations with minimal lighting. Recorded videos were too dark to be usable, and maxed out at just 352 by 288 pixels and 14 frames per second.

Power users will want to head straight for the HTC Desire, which drops the QWERTY keyboard, but adds a larger, sharper display and a much faster CPU. The Acclaim is still good; I'd feel better about its prospects if the Desire wasn't around. The Acclaim is a fine budget choice, but in a world of exciting phones in late 2010, it's tougher to recommend.

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