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Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed

Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed

The Gadget:The A747 is also the first AT&T handset to support the newly launched Napster Mobile service (AT&Ts answer to Verizon's V Cast Music and the Sprint Music Store), allowing over the air downloads of MP3s, ringtones and wallpapers on AT&T's 3G network. You can purchase MP3s one at a time for $1.99 or five at a time for $7.49. Fashioned in the likeness of the ever-influential RAZR, the phone has large backlit keys, a camera that rotates from back to front (for the video share service), and a bright screen.

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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
Illustration for article titled Samsung SLM A747, First With Napster Service, Reviewed
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Price: $149.99 after $50 rebate and two-year contract.

The Performance: The phone is solid..as far as non-smartphones go. The keys are well defined and the interface is well organized and responsive, but the screen is a little low-res for my tastes. As for the Napster service, I found the UI to be well organized and the downloads quick. On average, it took each track about 10 seconds to download. You can also have Napster email a link to your inbox so you can have the track on your computer as well. However, the service is limited by the size of the screen and the lack of a full keyboard. Unlike a device like the iPhone, which has plenty of screen space (not to mention resolution), Napster on the SLM takes a few extra screens to find what you want. Hacking out artist and song titles on the keyboard can also be a bit laborious. But for what it is, it worked well.

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The Verdict: The phone itself is nothing to flip out about, boasting a solid, but unspectacular set of features (Bluetooth 2.0, microSD, etc...). The Napster service is also nice, proving to be a worthy competitor to similar offerings from Sprint and Verizon. At $150, it's a good buy if you want a simple phone that can download and play a couple of MP3s. It arrives in stores on Friday, November 23.

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DISCUSSION

@gizmo_dude: BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE THIN PHONES AMIRITE?

@Maark: Definitely a step back in terms of design IMO. Whereas the A717 was an updated SoftBank 706SC from Japan, the A747 harkens back to when SoftBank was Vodefone Japan, the Vodafone 804SS in particular.