Obviously, the main feature of this phone is the 3.2-megapixel camera it packs. Not only can it do high-quality images, but it can export them via TV Out (cables are included) or via PictBridge technology. That’s right, you can plug this phone into a photo printer and print away. It also has a microSD slot included for extra storage and easy transfer options. Even if none of these transfer options appeal to you, you can always use the built-in Bluetooth and e-mail capabilities the A990 offers.
Don’t even think about using the camera on this phone like other cell phones. The big 240 x 320 pixel, 262k color screen flips around to fold over on top of the keypad transforming the phone into a full-fledged camera. Shutter controls and settings, including zoom, can be found on the right side of the phone, while music player controls are on the left side. The flash for this camera is still LED-based, which is a shame considering how nice the pictures in daylight are, so don’t expect this phone to take stunning pictures at nighttime. The maximum resolution for pictures is 2,048 x 1,536—a whopping size of a picture for a cell phone to produce.
Image Courtesy of Samsung
So we know this phone can be used as a music player, digital camera, and more, but how does the Samsung A990 fare when making phone calls? Thanks to Verizon, your calls are very clear and only get dropped occasionally (a problem when in certain indoor areas like malls), but the voice on the other end is not always crisp. Imagine not hearing enough highs but having a decent amount of lows and mids—that’s what you’ll be listening to during a conversation on the A990. But don’t go dismissing this phone yet, because the calls are extremely clear. You’ll be able to understand your party perfectly and calls do not seem to break up often.
If you plan on listening to music, go ahead, but don’t expect anything phenomenal from this phone either. As I stated, you have to use the over-priced Verizon VCAST service for downloads or you’ll be converting your MP3 collection to WMA files and then transferring them over.
What really makes this phone stand out above all other phones is the camera. Pictures taken with this device are of stunning quality. It truly can become a digital camera replacement for you if you still are using a low-end 3.2 (or lower) megapixel camera. Unfortunately, the flash on this phone isn’t too hot and is still LED-based, making it weak in dark photos. The interface is very similar to that of a professional-grade digital camera and is easy to navigate and sort through.
The Samsung A990’s 3.2 Megapixel Camera
One really annoying feature, though, that must be pointed out to consumers considering buying this phone is the camera’s shutter button. If you hold the button down for more than a second or two rather than just tapping it, it switches over to camcorder mode for shooting video. This is a horrible problem that—until you get used to the flaw—will have you going nuts wondering why your pictures keep coming out as video clips.
Image Courtesy of Samsung
If you haven’t upgraded your phone with Verizon in some time, this could be the time to do it. Photo freaks will enjoy the great camera the Samsung A990 offers as well as the VCAST service and music player. However the phone has some issues with call quality and the camera UI – specifically holding down the shutter button too long. The average consumer will most likely enjoy this phone and will get plenty of use out of it in the long run. Worth the buy if you haven’t upgraded in awhile and you use Verizon.
- Retro design
- Excellent digital camera
- VCAST content service
- Mediocre call quality at times
- Weak LED-based flash