Telecom New Zealand Samsung A900

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 28-Jun-2006 09:15

Alright, im a gadget snob.

Telecom gets their best looking phone ever, so I have managed to obtain one for myself.

The Samsung A900 looks great in person, and on paper:

thin, like the Motorola Razr
1.3MP Camera
Bluetooth 1.2
MP3/aac player with front mounted controls
262k Colour screen
Video clips play on inside or outside screen
USB Mass storage
USB cable supplied
FTP over bluetooth

and heaps more...

There are lots of people in the USA and here (including Telecom staff) moaning about the battery life of this phone. I quick search of several online forums reveals that turning the location setting off, makes a HUGE difference, but seeing as I got the phone today, I couldnt say yet how much difference it makes. I got the phone fully charged, its on 1 bar now after 10 hours, some USB transfers, playing with Bluetooth, watching some video clips, taking some photos, making some calls, lots of texting, and lots of playing with the menu structure, looking and learning.

Once i am done "playing", I will fully charge, and see how long i get.

Note that the location setting is useless in NZ, but is turned on by default. You can also turn the screen backlight down by several steps or off altogether. Its perfectly usable off, though not quite as stunningly good looking for the big clear 262K screen.

Seems like several voice activation features missing compared to the Sprint version, and no MSN messenger client like the Sprint users get from the factory. Anyone with MSN running on this phone in NZ? Please let me know what your solution is.

Despite the missing features, and the fact that the firmware is locked down so you cant add your own mp3 ringtones without hacking the phone (complicated but doable), the phone still gets the thumbs up from me.

Its really stylish, and turns heads. More on the battery life over the next few days...

Edit # 1: Tuesday 8.30am: Removed from charger. All power saving features enabled, location and bluetooth off.

Edit # 2: How to convert / create AAC ringtones for the Samsung A900 not tested from NZ yet...

Edit # 3: Downloaded a couple of the 5 free tracks from the music store, listened to both in their entirety, previewed 4 others, and watched the TV1 weather video clip.

(What songs did I get? Pearl Jam - Life Wasted, even though I have the new CD in the car! And RHCP - Dani California.)

Edit # 4: Downloaded 2 more free tracks, listened to both. Previewed four others. Sent and recieved around 2 dozen texts, had 2 or 3 1 or 2 minute calls, checked email via WAP twice.

Battery was dead by midnight - thats about 17 hours, with light usage and NO backlights.

I really really like this phone, but guess i will be off to get something else today :( What a pity.

Considered the A920 with better battery life, and a microSD/Transflash card slot, but its a really ugly phone with no WOW factor for me. The Sanyo 9000 is nice, but very long for a flip, and getting a bit old now. I think I might come away from the store with a Nokia 6265 - 2MP camera, bluetooth, huge screen, mini-SD slot, MP3 ringtones and a really cool design (though nearly 10mm thicker than the A900).

P.S. the A900 charger is fiddly, it plugs in the side and you have to remove a plastic cover from the charge slot every time. The PC USB cable supplied does not charge the phone either. T9 is a bit wierd and doesnt have fast alpha switching like Sanyo/Nokia and doesnt learn words. The question mark is hard to find in T9 mode too.

Still a really nice phone, it would be a hell of a lot more usable with a memory card slot, and bigger battery (yes I know that adds weight and bulk, but they could ditch the plastic battery cover and extend that part of the battery phone by about 3 or 4 mm from current, which would bring it into line with the thickest part of the phone, add significant battery life, and not increase the actual thickness of the phone.

:-( I still want one....

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Comment by bradstewart, on 28-Jun-2006 12:15

The 6265 is the first phone in a long time that i havent had break down or need to send back for repair or threaten legal action over.

Trust me, that speaks a lot about the phone, not to mention its packed with features.

The only downside i discovered is unlike the 6255 you cannot select a file in gallery and send to > bluetooth or infrared. Files have to be retreived using a memory card reader or browsing the phone with your PC. So that rules out phone to phone files transfers which were handy.

Other than that i can say with utter certainty that this is the BEST phone on Telecom

Comment by paradoxsm, on 29-Jun-2006 19:52

i'm getting a 6255 shortly, It's open with file transfers and the like and not a locked down paperwight like most of the phones on Telecom are and has a big keypad for my clunky fingers.

Bradley, I might have a play with some tomorrow, I thought they did allow the OBEX push?

Comment by adam hause, on 9-Jul-2006 15:25

i was told that sprint has a better battery for the a900. I have not purchased one yet.

But i hope you might be able to help me with 2 questions.

First, How can you hack the phone to allow it to have mp3s as ringtones.

Second, I cant seem to get mine to recignize any files i put on it, not mp3, not any video, and not even the song i downloaded from the music store.

I get the unsuported file message. Any help you can give me will be great.


Comment by Melidy, on 11-Jul-2006 22:53

hi, ive just been considering purchasing a Sanyo 900. Glad i came a across this site, it tells me everything and anything I would want to know about the phone. Can you tell me what the difference between a 900 and a 5600i.??

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 12-Jul-2006 15:13

The Sanyo 9000 is capable of buying Telecoms overpriced music store songs. Thats about it really. They can both play mp3s from your PC that you copy over yourself.

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 12-Jul-2006 15:14

adam hause: as per my post, i got a new phone because I wasnt happy with the A900... sorry, I dont have the answers to your questions.

Comment by vince, on 25-Jul-2006 16:16

Hi, i just purchased this fone a couple of days ago, and loved it, but as soon as i figured out the battery life was so short it got very depressing because i cant even make it through a full day without it shutting it self down because of the battery life. I was just wondering if there is an extended battery for the A900, or if there was any other way to extend the battery life to last me a couple more hours. please respond, thanks

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Comment by Laptop Battery, on 29-Sep-2009 16:27

Great post,thanks for sharing.I prefer a Nokia one to other brands.

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