Cell phones have changed, I believe, nearly as much as calculators, cameras and computer components. And I dont know when I became exasperated with trying to sort through the vast supply of information available in connection with cell phones and their mysterious, intriguing and sometimes bewildering particulars, but I did eventually decide to disregard the more remarkable (and costly) intricacies, reserving my cell phone dollars for a phone that was free to interested participants in Verizon Wireless most competitive plans.
Recommend this product?
After deciding on a cell phone plan and waiting for the woman at the counter to type my identity into her computer screen, I glanced at the four free phones available. They were basic cell phones in two no nonsense colors, black and blue. While these four phones werent going to garner much attention from the teenage talkers Id seen carrying around their cell phones in bold and brilliant colors, I was certain that most adult talkers would find the selection available suitable in meeting their needs. As I struggled to decide between the four choices available the woman behind the counter informed me that only one of the four free phones was a camera phone. The choice became much easier.
The Samsung SCH-u340 TXT Messaging Camera Phone has been my constant companion for nearly a month now and Im still discovering small details that surprise and enrich my cell phone experience. The outer shell of the phone is a palm-sized, metallic blue-purple with black, chrome and clear surface elements on its exterior. Along with the camera lens, the clear surface square on the cover displays digital time, date, charge and message indicators, meaning you can see all of this without opening the phone. When the phone has been flipped open, the number sequence, send and end, and other cell phone paraphernalia are arranged in the typical order with the various details listed in a familiar layout. The overall design of the Samsung SCH-u340 is both portable and attractive. Its small, convenient and appealing to the eye, and so much more.
Features: In a open view of the phone you will see the Internal LCD, a navigation key in the center, a left and right soft key, send and end keys, voicemail key, special function key, speech recognition key, power/accessory connecter at the bottom, earpiece at the top, central/ok key, clear key, a second special function key and the microphone near the bottom and just above the power/accessory connector. Each of these keys is designed to provide maximum function ability. In the closed position, you will see the headset jack, volume key, speaker, camera lens, camera key, external display and speakerphone key. Any of these features will enhance the overall cell phone experience for anyone choosing the Samsung SCH-o340.
Menu navigation is displayed in a list or with icons according to choice. The menu is divided into nine sections which include the Media Gallery, Recent Calls, Camera, Settings, Contacts, Tools, Phone Info, Messaging and In Case of Emergency. Each of these sections provides their own contents.
The Media Gallery provides three headings. My Pictures, My Ringtones and My Sounds. My Pictures shows icons of photos saved into the phone with options of erasing, viewing, sending, setting as ID or background, sending to Pix Place, taking picture, renaming, locking, erasing all and file info. My Ringtones shows various ringtones that are saved into the phone with a choice of setting the ringtone, playing it, erasing, renaming, locking, erasing all and file info. My Sounds provides a list of sounds saved into the phone with the same options included in My Ringtones with the included options of sending or sending to Pix Place.
Recent Calls provides a list of calls that were missed, received, dialed, all and the ability to view timers which shows the time of each call and the amount of time the call lasted. When choosing to check calls, another screen allows you to save, erase, lock, erase all, and view timers for each call. This feature is convenient for remembering numbers you might have called or checking numbers of call you missed or received. Ive found this feature useful in checking back with callers and as a reminder.
Choosing the Camera Icon will open the camera in preparation for taking a photo and provide options for the photo resolution, self timing, white balance, quality, shutter sound and color effects, all helpful in taking clear, quality photos that can be saved to your phone, sent to Pix Place for downloading or printing, and sending to friends and family inside text messages. The option of checking saved photos is also available at this point under the My Pics heading.
Settings gives the user a list of four headings. Sounds Settings, Display Settings, Phone Settings and Call Settings. Each of these can be opened to bring up menus for various tasks. The Sound Settings allows setting sounds for calls, alerts, dialing, keypad volume, service alerts and power on/off. The Display Settings allows setting of the Banner, Backlight, Contrast, Wallpaper, Menu Style, Display Themes, Dial Fonts and Clock Format. The Phone Settings offers options for Setting Shortcut Keys, Language, Security, System Select, NAM Selection, Time and Date. Call Settings allows setting the Answer Options, Auto Retry, TTY Mode, One Touch Dialing, Voice Privacy, Call Restrictions and DTMF Tones.
Contacts allows the user to Add New Contacts, go through their Contact List, Groups and Set Speed Dial Numbers for frequently used numbers. Each contact has optional information available such as a cell phone number, home phone number, work number, group, email address and more. When choosing a contact the user can also send text messages, picture messages or call directly from the listing in the Contact List. This is helpful with creating a text message since it saves time.
Tools inside the phone include Voice Commands, Calculator, Calendar, Alarm Clock, World Clock and Notepad. Each of these features has proved to be very helpful in various situations Ive encountered during the short time Ive been using the Samsung SCH-u340. I especially like the Alarm Clock, which is much louder than my bedside alarm. I also enjoy the convenience of keeping notes and having the calendar remind me when a specific date needs to be remembered.
Phone Info includes the headings My Number, Software Version, Icon Gallery and Software Update. Although I havent needed to access this information for any reason thus far I can see where this might prove useful at times. The Icon Glossary simply shows a definition for each Icon displayed in the phones settings. There are Icons for the phones Signal Strength, Roaming, Digital, Analog, 1X, SSL, Voice Privacy, No Service, Voice Call, Data Call, E911, Battery Level, TTY, All Sounds Off, Alarm Only, Vibrate On, Speakerphone, Missed Calls, Message, Calendar Appointment, Voicemail, Alarm On and Auto Answer.
Messaging includes the options for creating a New Message, Inbox with number of messages indicated, Sent Folder with number of messages indicated, Drafts folder with number of messages indicated, IM folder, Voicemail with number of messages indicated. There are options for settings that will be used in your messages including Auto Save, Auto Erase, Quick Text, Voicemail #, Entry Mode, Callback #, Signature, Erasing and Auto Receiving of Pictures.
The In Case of Emergency Heading provides a list of your choice (three names, contacts and their data) with Personal Information for allergies, prescription medications, name, address, date of birth or any frequently asked for information that might be helpful in an emergency situation. You might consider keeping drivers license or insurance information available in this section or whatever other information you feel might be pertinent in such an emergency.
Durability: In comparison to other cell phones Ive utilized, I believe the Samsung SCH-u340 to be above average yet not unbreakable. Im someone who can break anything, so it would be hard for me to describe any cell phones durability as indestructible. This phone has a hard, resilient outer surface that shows no scratches and it has survived one month with me without incident. Personally, I believe this in itself is enough reason to express my appreciation of its durability.
Clarity: When the sound quality is clear, it is very clear. When the sound quality is not clear, it is time to move around the room where I might begin to hear more clearly. Sometimes, this doesnt work. Overall, this phones sound qualilty has been good. It has not been excellent or exceptional. There are moments when it simply refuses to allow me to reach out and touch someone. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. There are places here where NO cell phone will pick up a signal. That is one of the regional downfalls that residents accept without complaint. Mountains and ridges, trees and limbs, forests and rocky overhangs have the tendency to block signals that are required for various electronic paraphenelia. Thats just the way it is.
Portability: Ive already stated in my review that I appreciate the Samgung SCH-u340s convenient size and portability. The phone is easy to carry inside a purse or pocket and fits nicely into its safety pouch located on my sun visor. I can carry the phone with me without incident or accident.
Battery Life: The Samsung SCH-u340s Standard Lithium Ion Battery hasnt failed to impress me with its staying power. If I talk quite a lot (over an hour) on the cell phone, the batterys indicator might drop off a notch, but the clarity and sound quality do not. I believe the battery life is average considering the fact that Im not particularly fond of long cell phone conversations, but have put the battery life to work a couple of times during my use. If and when this battery lifes indicator drops off a notch during usage, I can restore the life with only a quick hook up to its charger. Quick meaning that the charge has usually been restored in a few short moments.
Ive heard that same adage youve heard. You only get what you pay for. In this case, though, Im not sure I can agree with the old proverbial warning. For a FREE phone, the Samsung SCH-u340 TXT Messaging Camera Phone has shown me that Free can sometimes be better than my expectations or past experiences might have led me to believe possible. FREE, in this case, has been an exceptional experience.
Ive always heard, A Picture is worth a thousand words
too. Well, I LOVE
taking photos, which I am still in awe of. These pictures are awesome. Theyre clear, focused and fulfill all my hopes for excellent photography within the convenience of my cell phone. I LOVE
sending these same pictures to my mom or cousin or friend, listening to their enthusiastic replies and saving those I like into my camera for future sharing. And, if Im especially captivated by a specific photo, I can send it to Verizons Pix Place for future downloading and/or printing.
And, as you might have assumed, Im addicted to texting my favorite contacts. Texting is simple, sensible and sometimes the best way to keep in touch with someone. Especially when in public places and in need of privacy for conversation, text messaging is a great solution. I like to text and I love that the Samsung SCH-u340 provides the advantage of signatures, quick text, symbols, colors and more. I like the texting tool. Its only one more addition to the many conveniences Ive come to love with this cell phone.
When I received my phone at Verizons Wireless Office, the phone was partially charged and included a battery charger. The instruction manual, which was also included, provides every possible answer to those who have questions about using the Samsung SCH-u340. Since I havent found a need for the instruction manual, Im almost certain this is one of the simplest phones available for those who hope to find an easy to learn and use cell phone. If youve been shopping for cell phones you already know that this is a huge advantage over many others.
Cell phones have changed but that doesnt necessarily mean you need to be under the age of twenty to find photo and messaging features a wonderful enhancement. This is one phone that I believe most anyone will be delighted to listen to or read a message on.
~Thanks for Reading ~
© 2008 faithforever
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Recommended for: Adventurous Technophiles - Tough and Durable