Samsung Mythic SGH-A897 (AT&T) preview


The Mythic is sleek and weighs around 3.8oz with 4.49in long, 0.5in thick and 2.06in wide. The display of Mythic is 3.3in which supports 262K colors and has a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels. The colors are lively and vivid with sharp graphics. Touch Wiz interface from Samsung is also available which helps in customizing up to 33 shortcuts or widgets. There are 3 home screens which can be tossed by filching the fingers on the screen horizontally. The home screen can be customized by dragging and dropping the widgets from the interface tray to access particular functions quickly.

Shortcuts for main menu, phonebook and phone dialer are present at the foot of each home screen. All of these shortcuts are present even in the main menu with a slight change that the main menu option is replaced by the new text message shortcut. Menu pages are multiple in Mythic where navigation becomes easy as on the home screen. As I told you, menu pages can be customized by dragging or removing the icons from it. Though some apps icons can’t be removed like music player or Web browser but some others like camera, alarm clock can be removed which doesn’t imply that these will be permanently removed from the phone itself.

The digits are big on the keypad of phone dialer and you have an ease to send a message or save that particular number directly from the dialer. For messaging you have many options here like virtual QWERTY keyboard, T9 alphanumeric keypad entry or handwriting recognition. Whenever you want the QWERTY keyboard then only a slight rotation of the mobile to landscape mode is enough. The keys are large, roomy and easy to use with the basic punctuation marks on the virtual keyboard. Texting and dialing are very easy in this because of the very sensitive touch screen. Vibrating feedback intensity can be adjusted, and for better precision you can go to calibration settings and adjust.

Brightness of the display, font type, wallpapers, changeover effects between page pitching, backlight time and greeting messages can be customized for each and every home screen. Back, talk and end / power physical buttons are at the bottom of the display. These call keys are easy to press and back key is slightly inflated for easy access. To the left of the phone is the volume rocker and to the right is the camera and screen lock buttons. There is a shortcut key at the right which opens up the shortcuts for the music player, Web browser, games menu, messaging menu and phone dialer and also you can end all the running apps with the same button. Charger and 3.5mm headset jacks are present at the top of the phone. At the back are the LED flash and camera. Behind the battery flap is the slot for microSD card.

Coming to the features of Samsung Mythic, around 2K entries can be stored in the phonebook where 4 added phone numbers, a note, birth date and one email id can be stored. The photos can be paired with the contacts for caller ids and it can be added to the caller groups by assigning them with particular ring tones from 8 polyphonic ring tones and assign a vibration pattern from 5 types. There is a speaker phone, vibration mode, multimedia and text messaging, calculator, calendar, task list, memo pad, unit converter, alarm clock, timer, tip calculator, sketchpad and a world clock. Some of the advanced features are available too like USB mass storage, mobile emails, voice command support, PC syncing, GPS with AT&T navigator support, stereo Bluetooth and instant messaging.

Main big feature of Mythic is AT&T Mobile TV where you can watch TV on your phone with the help of a network called Qualcomm’s MediaFLO. Wait time due to buffering is not there because the broadcast doesn’t happen through cellular airwaves. For $10 you can avail a monthly package. There is a 3.2MP camera which can take images in six resolutions from 640 x 360 pixels to 2048 x 1536 pixels. Some of the other settings are flash, self timer, auto flash, 5 white balance presets, macro focus, three exposure meters, 5 color effects and 3 quality settings, and a silent option with 3 shutter sounds.

6 modes for shooting and scene presets are also available. The quality of photo is promising. The pictures are rich in color and are also sharp. Videos can also be recorded in two resolutions 176 x 144 and 320 x 240 pixels; hence this phone even becomes a camcorder. Video can be shot in normal mode which doesn’t have a time limit or in MMS mode which lasts long for 1 minute. AT&T Video share service is also supported by the Mythic which lets you to stream in one way live video to a video share compatible phone. Even AT&T Mobile Music can be streamed with Mythic.

You can even load your own songs to the phone via a microSD card. Mythic runs with the HTML browser based on Opera Mobile. Welcome screens are three in number where two of them are for popular and local Web links. Internet bookmarks is in a visual tile assortment where customization can be done by logging into AT&T account and sending shortcuts via ‘Send to Mobile’ option. Toggling between desktop and mobile versions of Web pages can be done and even Web pages can be zoomed in and zoomed out wherever it is necessary. Some of the apps which are included in here are Yellow pages Mobile, My-cast weather, MobiVJ, WikiMobile, MusicID 2, JuiceCaster, Mobile Banking and Where. Some of the games are I-play bowling, Bejeweled etc. Even more games, apps, graphics and ring tones can be downloaded via AT&T mobile application store.

Landing to the performance of the phone, quality of call is good and only a little distortion was there on the rear end. Even calls over speaker phone were decent itself but with some echoes. There are mono speakers which produces tiny and plane sounds. Via headset, sound quality seems to be normal. The 3G performance is very pleasing in the Mythic. The downloading and the buffering time are very quick. The quality of video was not that much impressive but the response time was snappy. The channels were changing very swiftly with no loading time. Though the colors looked haze sometimes, the picture quality was sharp. The battery life has been rated up to 3hrs and with 10.5 days back up time.

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