Full interaction, Total entertainment is what Samsung promises with the Samsung Eternity and it pretty much does it with a plethora of features like 240 x 400 pixel touchscreen display, QWERTY keyboard (touchscreen), 3.0 megapixel camera, GPS, Video Share (one way video calling and conferencing), AT&T Navigator, MEdia Mall, Mobile TV (FLO TV), Mobile Radio and then a few more. Simply put a highly addictive multimedia device that is hard to put down. A caveat though, you will need a fast data connection like 3G but you can of course get by with the likes of GPRS and EDGE, but do make sure its an unlimited data plan/connection or else you can (and most likely will) run up a high bill in terms of data usage. With the coming of the iPhone every other mobile manufacturer jumped onto the touchscreen bandwagon and the Samsung’s Eternity (SGH-A867) was their version of it. I will sum up how it compares to the iPhone (and others) at the end.
Samsung Eternity is a world phone meaning it will work anywhere in the world being a quad band GSM phone with 3G but it does lack Wi-Fi in terms of connectivity. The large touchscreen at 240 x 400 pixels means internet browsing is a joy, as is watching media content and with an accelerometer that automatically rotates the display as you turn the phone switching to landscape mode is instant and even more of a joy. This is even more so for internet browsing as it means you can browse entire websites and not just limited to browsing mobile or Wap sites. It also means you can disable Google from reformatting all content to fit your mobile and you can instead browse websites as they are, but of course this will mean more data consumption and also more time for some websites to load if you are running on GPRS or EDGE.
The GPS really works well and even assists with turn-by-turn voice assisted directions and once its locked on pretty much stays connected all through but I did face some issues outside the city limits with Google Maps taking some time to load, but this was more of a network issue with limited network coverage. The Samsung Eternity comes with an internal GPS chip meaning it will work without cellular coverage or cell towers to assist (like in AGPS) and all you will need to do is cache maps instead of depending on Google Maps which only works with a live data connection. I have however not checked this out yet due to lack of time, but I’ve been told it does work.
Communication like email and chat is inbuilt but is only limited to Yahoo, AOL & AIM, Windows Live, and a host of other U.S. providers, but no Google. This meant I had to download 3rd party applications to get a workaround and yes Google Mail, Google Talk and even Google Search do work on my mobile now, but it is still frustrating when non Android mobile manufacturers want to resort to such strategies. As you might guess I’m very much dependent on Google for chat, email and pretty much everything else that is internet related.
How does it compare to the iPhone or other smartphones? Well does anything as of yet even compare to the iPhone, apparently not and never mind every other phone is touted as an iPhone killer these days. The Samsung Eternity is a multimedia phone albeit a high-end one, but not a smartphone. Well to most QWERTY users like CrackBerry addicts even the iPhone would be no smartphone, but let’s leave that aside. The Samsung Eternity is a high-end multimedia and entertainment device. For entertainment you have Mobile TV (with FLO TV), YouTube videos, XM Radio, Pandora, Music ID, and a few more. For information you have WikiMobile, Yellow Pages, My-Cast Weather, and a few more. For being connected on the move you have Mobile Email, Mobile IM, Mobile Banking, and 3G internet browsing. Finally, if you do get lost or are travelling, with the inbuilt GPS you have AT&T Navigator and Where among others. BUT in terms of smartphone territory nothing at all in terms of productivity applications. It does have Microsoft Outlook syncing and a PDF viewer but that’s about it. When you compare to a BlackBerry or a Nokia E71 the productivity applications are missing and though an iPhone is not really up there it does get by in terms of its productivity applications and that’s where the Samsung Eternity lacks. For an entertainment and multimedia device and along with its LBS (Location Based Services) with its inbuilt GPS chip the Samsung Eternity does rate very high though and with its full 240 x 400 pixel touchscreen display it will be hard to beat at its price point as a high-end entertainment device.