Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed

sammyslm2.jpgThe Gadget:The A747 is also the first AT&T handset to support the newly-launched Napster Mobile service (AT&Ts answer to Verizon's V Cast Music and the Sprint Music Store), allowing over the air downloads of MP3's, ringtones, and wallpapers on AT&T's 3G network. You can purchase MP3s one at a time for $1.99 or five at a time for $7.49. Fashioned in the likeness of the ever-influential RAZR, the phone has large backlit keys, a camera that rotates from back to front (for the video share service), and a bright screen.

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Price: $149.99 after $50 rebate and two-year contract.

The Performance: The phone is solid..as far as non smartphones go. The keys are well defined the interface is well organized and responsive, but the screen is a little low-res for my tastes. As for the Napster service, I found the UI to be well organized and the downloads quick. On average, it took each track about 10 seconds to download. You can also have Napster email a link to your inbox so you can have the track on your computer as well. However, the service is limited by the size of the screen and the lack of a full keyboard. Unlike a device like the iPhone, which has plenty of screen space (not to mention resolution), Napster on the SLM takes a few extra screens to find what you want. Hacking out artist and song titles on the keyboard can also be a bit laborious. But for what it is, it worked well.

The Verdict: The phone itself is nothing to flip out about, boasting a solid, but unspectacular set of features (Bluetooth 2.0, microSD, etc...). The Napster service is also nice, proving to be a worthy competitor to similar offerings from Sprint and Verizon. At $150, it's a good buy if you want a simple phone that can download and play a couple of MP3s. It arrives in stores on Friday, November 23.

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