I am now using the incredible Samsung a900 “Blade” cellphone on the new high speed Sprint EV-DO network. The huge 1.8″x1.4″ QVGA screen is bright and readable in direct sunlight.
For the past year I used the ultimately disappointing Palm Treo 650 on the “old” and slower non-EV-DO Sprint network. The Treo 650 had terrible sound and its ability to pull in a signal to make and receive calls was completely pathetic. Enter the Samsung a900 Blade! People call this tiny phone “The Blade” because it is Samsung’s answer to the Motorola Razr.
The a900 is a tiny phone and it is encased in metal. It is luscious to hold in your hand, but don’t be surprised by its tiny size by thinking it isn’t a communications powerhouse. This phone is a bully on your side. The a900 can make and receive calls and provide incredible clarity unlike any phone I have ever used before.
Over the last 10 years I have religiously used 12 phones all day every day and the a900 beats all of them. The best thing about the a900 is its ability to make and receive calls and that is the prime directive for any cellphone. If you can’t hear the other person you are calling or if your calls always transfer to Voice Mail, your phone isn’t a phone — it is merely a message taking service.
The a900 phone can make and take calls — and even do high speed EV-DO online work — from my basement office in Jersey City. I have lived here for five years and used five cellphones over that time here and the a900 is the only phone that I can use in the basement just like a landline phone. Jersey City is built on bedrock. To dig into the ground in Jersey City is to hit boulders, not soil.
The basements in Jersey City have three feet thick walls of bedrock. Through a tiny window crafted as an emergency exit I can get three bars of service on the a900 in my basement where my Treo 650 would barely get a single bar. Having a cellphone that now works as I work means I can have my phone on me at all times while working. With the Treo, and other cellphones, I would have to station the phone upstairs near a window to get a signal and, if the phone rang, I’d have to race upstairs to answer the phone. If I wanted to make a call I had to go upstairs.
If I needed information in the basement would have to hang up the phone and call back later because the phone would die the second I began to descend the stairs for retrieval. The a900 works everywhere and at all times. I am thrilled such a tiny phone is packed with such great receptive power with the Sprint cell towers.
Bluetooth Wireless Technology Bluetooth 1.2 allows me to wirelessly transfer contacts between Outlook 2003 and my a900. I can also use a wireless headset to make and receive calls.
High Speed Connection EV-DO means you no longer crawl around the web on your phone. You can speedily get updates and read news and pull weather in instants instead of prolonged moments. As a modem, the a900 rivals my hardwire DSL 3MB line from Verizon. I can hook up my a900 to my computer using the included USB cable and pull down information at a blazing 1MB! The difference between using the web with my EV-DO enabled a900 and my landline 3MB DSL connection is there is no difference!
I can also surf that fast in my Jersey City basement. I am now also truly untethered as I roam about the EV-DO Sprint areas. I am no longer disconnected from this blog or my email while on the road. I am seconds away from a high speed internet connection just by pulling my a900 from my pocket and hooking it up to my computer. I can also watch live streaming TV on my cellphone and the speed and sound are fine. I can listen to live streaming music from Sirius and Real. I can download songs from the Music Store and listen to them on my phone later. You get five free song downloads when you sign up for a Sprint Power Vision package.
1.3 Megapixel Camera I can take digital images and videos and email them to friends or upload them for storage in my online album. The camera lens rotates so you can take a self-portrait or use your phone as a “live” mirror.
I can listen to stereo music via the speakerphone or by plugging in the included stereo ear buds headset and microphone.
Advanced Voice Recognition
By training your phone to recognize your voice you can dial names, write text messages or ignite applications into serving you.
OTA Programming “Over the Air” Programming means you can update the software inside your phone via the internet! It works really well. You no longer have to go into a Sprint store to update the software that makes your phone operate. You can do it all yourself just by choosing the update option. That is slick!
You can also connect your a900 to your computer in “non-data” mode and your phone will be seen as a storage device so you can back up your information or drag-and-drop songs or images or anything else you might want on your phone. The connection is simple and speedy.
You can also download ringtones and screensavers for use on your phone. I created my own screensaver by cropping my infamous “David W. Boles Plays the Pillars” image/logo/avatar/brand down to the necessary 240×320 size and I provide it for you here in case you want to save and download it to your a900 for later continued complete immersion and admiration:
The a900 has 47 MB available for storage and 11 MB of storage dedicated to applications/ringers/games. SMS Voice messaging allows me to send 10 friends a recorded voice message via “text” instead of having to type my note. I use Yahoo! chat on my a900 to hold real time text conversations on my phone.
The small touches Samsung adds to the phone add to the delight. Choosing your “dialing font” is just plain fun. I prefer the “feather” font over both the “Rainbow” and “Post-It Note” fonts but all the font choices are smile gathering. Sprint is a great company and their new EV-DO high speed network is astonishing and real-world tomorrow today and the a900 is your necessary access point to exploit the speed.