Samsung Eternity Full Review

A while ago (in August) I got a Samsung Eternity. I also blogged about this phone not too long after I got it but I haven’t done a full review yet. Here is my review of the Samsung Eternity:

The first thing, if you want to completely customize your phone with themes and change every sound that plays through the speaker, then this is not the phone for you. This phone really only allows you to change the wallpaper behind your widgets (not the lock screen wallpaper) and change your ringtone/text tone. You can also choose from a few default vibration patterns for incoming calls and texts but other than that there isn’t a whole lot you can change. There is no way to get themes, not even by hacks. The OS on this phone is very locked down (although a LOT has been discovered over at http://samsung-eternity.com/)
Also, this phone is discontinued at AT&T. Good news however, there are a few devices, such as the Solstice and Mythic, that are very similar to the Eternity (although they have basically the same limitations). Since this phone is discontinued, your best bet at getting one would be E-Bay, but I would only recommend choosing the Eternity over other devices from AT&T if your contract isn’t up but you still want a decent phone.

I’m just going to list the pros and cons of the device to make things easier.

PROS:
Very good resistive screen – You won’t get the same responsiveness as the iPhone (or any capacitive touch screen for that matter) but if you don’t care if you have to push a little, the screen is very good.
Pretty decent camera – The Eternity comes with a 3.0 mpx camera (although megapixels don’t really matter too much). The camera takes very good pictures for a phone but I would not sell your point and shoot digital camera and depend of the camera on this device.
An OK set of widgets – There are some useful widgets that come with the TouchWiz OS. I really don’t use too many other than the Clock and Date widgets but the media player widget is pretty useful.
Not too laggy – When using the phone I hardly notice much lag. There is some when loading large lists or the “Games & Apps” menu but overall it’s not that bad.
SD Card Slot – Most phones have Micro SD card slots but others *ahem* iPhone *ahem* don’t, which makes it harder to transfer over music and pictures.
Good community – This isn’t really with the device itself but the community (samsung-eternity.com) is awesome!

CONS:
Lack of customization – I mentioned this above but I find this a major con of the device.
Many small bugs that are very annoying – Some I don’t notice too much but others are VERY annoying. One example is the increasing ringtone bug. This is a bug (or as Samsung calls it, a feature) where even if the sound setting is “Normal” and not on “Increasing” the ringtone will start off soft and get louder. This even applies to text messages, so my current text tone has a few seconds of nothing (silence) before the actual tone chimes.
No flash on camera – I’ve never owned a phone with a camera flash but it would be very helpful when outside (or even inside) at night when there isn’t much light.
No physical keyboard – If you want a physical keyboard, get the Impression. The Eternity relies solely on a virtual keyboard, which is somewhat hard to use because of the resistive touch screen.
No proper email support – The phone is classified as a feature phone (or a dumbphone) and so there isn’t proper POP/IMAP email support. There are a few 3rd party applications that allow this but none are as good as a built in client (although there IS a mail client, but its limited to predetermined mail services)
Boring UI – This sort of goes along with the lack of customization but after a while, the little effects between menus and the overall user interface gets boring (and there’s no way to change it!)
Old and discontinued – If you are just now buying this phone, you may be disappointed. It does not have all the features a newer phone has and doesn’t have the specs of a newer phone. It is also NOT a smartphone so don’t expect smartphone functionality from it (although its pretty close without having to pay the $30 extra a month for data).
No addition of widgets – The newer TouchWiz OS phones have the ability to add widgets. This phone is not able to have added widgets and no hacks have been found (yet) to allow them.

If you don’t want a smartphone or don’t want to pay for data, this is a pretty decent phone. It is old and can probably be only bought online (i.e E-Bay, Craigslist) but has an excellent community behind it who is willing to help you through any problems or questions you may have (as long as you search first. If the question’s been asked before, the mods may get mad..)

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