My new phone came to life Tuesday morning and has worked so far. I’ve shut my old Alltel phone down and have been getting to know my new AT&T phone.
So far, the service has worked OK, but I haven’t made any phone calls long enough to test AT&T’s reputation for dropping alls. The sound quality has been good, and I have no complaints so far.
I have been getting tons of texts from AT&T over the past few days. First were the warning texts and the instructional texts, and now I’m getting confirmation texts from registering my account online. It’s starting to get a little annoying, but that’s compounded by the phone I got.
The phone I chose, a Samsung Eternity II, has the steepest learning curve of any wireless phone I’ve ever used. The menu layout takesÂ a lot of getting used to, and I’d like to punch whoever designed the user interface.Â It is really poorly set out and it takes more work than you’d expect to do anything with this phone.Â It takes four or five clicks just to make a call through my contacts list, and turning off the ringer takes far more many menu clicks than it should.
One of my biggest gripes is the menu, which sets up several panels of options to choose, like messaging, camera or a slew of pay-to-use items. You have to be very careful when browsing through the items, because this phone likes to get confused when you wipe your finger across the screen. That motion is supposed to scroll through pages of applications (like on an iPhone/iPod Touch) but the phone often opens one of those applications instead. For example, I wanted to look at the second page of the menu, and instead it opened the Web browser, which charges for data usage. That irked me.
Things got better when I learned how to edit the menu. I moved all the applications/menu optionsÂ I actually want (Contacts, Messaging, Camera, Settings, and such) to the first page and all the pay-to-use apps to the other pages, which I simply no longer use. Just be warned that moving all those items around was really complicated thanks to the touchscreen and editing system.
Also, the screen is almost unreadable in bright sunlight, so texting in daylight will be tough.
Now that I’ve ripped on this phone enough, here are some good items:
I really like the camera, and one of the ringtones is the sound of an old-fashioned phone. It’s also thin and fits really well into any pocket, and the audio quality is notably improved compared to how it sounded with Alltel.
It was also really smart of the designers to include a dedicated physical “back” button on the front of the phone for backing out of things, because it’s very easy to open something on this phone when you meant to do something else.
I’m still deciding whether to keep this phone, but I’m leaning toward keep. I’ve finally figured out how to make it work for me, and now it’s not too bad.
If you’re going through the AT&T switchover, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments box. There were some interesting comments on my last post on the matter, and I wonder how everyone is doing now.