The ol’ Samsung A500‘s hinge has been loosening up the past few months, and finally in January the LCD backlight broke. It was $80 to repair, and $99 to get a brand new phone, and my contract was nearing an end, so it was a no-brainer.
I picked up the Samsung a920, aka the Jive. I spent a Saturday squinting and angling the darkened screen of my old phone at the sun to copy down my phonebook. This is the fourth Samsung I’ve had the pleasure of purchasing, and I find it fascinating to trace the design lineage. With every phone that is released, features are added, removed, honed and improved.
It’s called the Jive for a good reason. There’s the unlimited EV-DO Internet access (once you had a taste of its ~1Mbps speeds you’ll never go back), the intelligent voice-dialling, an MP3 player with exterior stereo speakers, mobile TV, uncrippled Bluetooth, a megapixel camera/camcorder with flash and an expandable memory slot.
There’s also a few fine adjustments that make it a pleasure to use. For example, you can now toggle vibrate and ringer volume separately. The phone contains both the flat and pinhole power outlets, so you can charge the phone with any Samsung charger. The grey rubber outlet plugs that graced the older Samsungs which eventually got grubby, rotted away, and finally fell off has been replaced with flush mounted, colour-matching, hard plastic plugs on hinges.
There are a few beefs, though. For example, the a920 now remembers multiple missed calls vs. the a500’s one, but then the phone doesn’t remember the __times__ the calls were received. The phone is relatively big – it’s actually slightly bigger than my last phone.
There’s another complaint other users have had – low battery life – but I suspect it’s because everyone’s been spending every uneventful moment surfing the web or playing __Doom RPG__ and __Zuma__, like me!
Bonus: My favourite Bell Mobility “pixel” ad, featuring the a920.