This is part 2 in the series of Samsung s390g phone review articles courtesy of Otis 226. For links to the other segments of this review, check out the s390g index page here.
General Phone Functions
I would say that reception on this phone is fair to good, with reception being about 7 out of 10 in general. Signal strength from my home is fair; between 1 and 3 bars, but is usually somewhat better when I’m around town. (My LG800g typically carries 3-4 bars from my home, and an old LG600g I use occasionally will always give me 4-5 bars, in way of comparison). I have never had a problem completing a call since working with this handset, though.
Call quality is mostly pretty good. It can vary somewhat, depending on the quality of the handset of the person I’m talking to. As usual, you’ll notice a drop in quality if you switch to speaker phone mode.
The volume of the ring tones, as well as the speakerphone and regular phone mode all seem adequate to my hearing. At the highest level, (#7), it can be heard as well as any landline phone I’ve used. I find that for me different ring tones are better for hearing in somewhat noisy situations than others, so some experimentation may be in order here.
Contacts may be assigned specific ring tones, and there is room for at least two phone numbers, an email address and photo ID, plus space for a short memo for each contact.
Battery life seems to be excellent, with standby times for me of up to 9-10 days. Using the WiFi, email, and browser, as well as mp3 player and regular calls, will of course shorten this time considerably, but I’d still say when considered against comparable feature phones, battery life is very good.
The screen display seems bright and crisp. You can choose between 3 different themes for the background of the menu screen. You may also choose between small, medium or large fonts for the numeric dialing display as well as several different font and background colors. I would have liked a larger screen size, but I understand the limitations with a full QWERTY keyboard on this design.
The display is about as good in full sun as any I’ve ever used. Which is to say, not very good at all. For ease of viewing in full mid day sunshine, I suggest you look to a building, tree or your hand for some shade to ease the strain a bit.
The menu is typical of recent Samsung offerings. I generally find the menu on LG handsets more user-friendly/intuitive. Samsung menus tend to have some options ‘hidden’ in sub-menus. But I suppose it’s a matter of preference and what you get used to first. In general, the menu works fairly well for me.
One thing I would really have liked is a way to reject certain calls, either by name or group. As far as I can tell, I find no way to do this other then rejecting a call as it comes in. Of course, an alternative is to change assign a “silent” tone to the caller or group you are trying to ignore, but this is not as decisive as simply blocking calls from that party or group.
I did find a way to reject MMS messages only, (not text messages). Here is where Samsung sub-menus can get tricky, at least for me. You need to go into ‘Settings’, then ‘Application Settings’ then ‘Message Settings’. Under ‘Multimedia Message’, ‘Receiving Options’ will finally bring up a checklist to reject anonymous and or advertisement MMS messages.
Not being a very avid texter, I find the full QWERTY keyboard adequate for the job. However, I have spoken to some people who do text heavily and find that this handset can very often not keep up with them, so that’s certainly something to consider. I do like the feel and positive click of the keystrokes, and although small, the keyboard works well, even with my oversized fingers.
The feel of the phone in hand is quite comfortable, and now that I’ve equipped it with a rubber ‘skin’, I have no problem with hanging onto it. I find no short cut keys except the main ‘trackball’, which if pressed when on the main screen, will bring up the Prepaid menu, and I find no way to change that feature.
The handset easily connects to a computer or other bluetooth capable phone. Bluetooth seems to be fully functional with the Samsung 390G, so I suspect that there would be no problem pairing this phone to most vehicle blue tooth systems.
I do not own a mini usb to usb cable, but that should allow communication between a computer and this handset as well, using it as a removable hard drive. The phone is WiFi capable and I’ll speak about that more in the “extras” section.
This concludes part 2 of the Samsung 390g review. You can check out more on this phone here, or by checking out the specs from the provider of your choice: