Samsung Infuse 4G Thorough Review. Huge yet Beautiful Screen! Why Should You Buy It?
Jun 17, 2011 7:45 AM –
Samsung Infuse 4G is AT&T’s big, fast and thin Android powered smartphone with the largest and quite frankly the best display in the market currently; measuring a diagonally wingspan of 4 and one-half inches. Tech pundits can argue 4G in the comments, but this guy is capable of 4G on AT&T’s HSPA+ network; better explanation… it’s blazing mobile Internet speeds. The Infuse 4G is ultra thin and light too, surprisingly thin & light. Lets go through an in-depth practical review of the Samsung Infuse 4G; features, services, value and why you should or should not buy it.
Price: $199.99 w/ 2 yr contract
Carrier: AT&T (Exclusive)
Buy on eBay
Pros & Cons:
- Big and beautiful 4.5 inch Super AMOLED plus technology display!
- Super thin, super light!
- Fast in terms of performance and mobile Internet speeds!
- Superior rear camera for capturing high quality photos and HD video!
- Front facing camera capable of video calling, photos and video!
- Comes pre-installed with AT&T U-verse Live TV app
- Out the box battery life is very poor. We’ve recommended tips & apps to help with this.
- Samsung’s keyboard is bad. We’ve recommended apps to help with this.
Who Should Buy This Phone?
This phone is definitely a plus for those with “big hands”, or love large phone displays for showing off pics & vids, or enjoy the extra screen real estate for general use of the phone. Going to need room in those pockets if stuffing in jeans. Additionally, large form factor Android phones do well with women as they can stick it in their purse.
The Samsung Infuse 4G is based on Android 2.2 Froyo featuring all the bells and whistles you can expect of an Android powered smartphone; Google services and access to hundreds of thousands of Android apps. Speaking of apps, the Infuse 4G is AT&T’s first Android phone that can install apps outside Google’s Market. So you can install Amazon’s app store and grab free apps of the day.
Mobile Internet Speeds (4G HSPA+)
Samsung Infuse 4G Internet Speed Tests
Fast! Period. In my experiences on AT&T’s 3G network I get an average of between 1-2 MB/second download and between half a meg but under one meg upload speeds. On AT&T’s 4G (HSPA+) network I averaged between 6-10 MB/second download and around 1 MB/second upload speeds (more than six times faster). What does all this techno stuff mean- faster web browsing, faster downloading, less time accessing information. For example, I was able to download the 200+ MB asset files needed for Contract Killer game and the Infuse 4G zipped it download in ten minutes!
Cameras & Camcorders
Samsung cameras are simply superior cameras. The photography for the Xperia PLAY review was done with it to give you can idea of the superior quality they pack in a mobile device. I love that they offer advanced settings to get the best camera phone photography quality; modes include Auto Focus, Macro, or Face Detection. Focusing can be as simple as tapping an area on the screen where focus strength should be, when it’s OK to snap you’ll get a beep and swift green box indicator. There is no dedicated camera shutter button, only on-screen, this can become a hassle sometimes when taking photos with one hand. You have to hold it awkwardly with your right-hand finger tips and press the camera button to the right side (even worse experience for lefties snapping shots with one hand).
The rear camera is capable of 8 megapixel 3264×2448 pixel pictures, choose from preset modes like Sports or Portrait, set a timer, set white balance, set ISO, create simple effects like Sepia or Black & White, toggle Anti-shake and even Blink detection. Recording high definition video up to 720p can be done too.
The front camera is reduced to 1.3 megapixels which can record video, take stills and conduct video calls. As you are aware 1.3 mp cannot produce the greatest video quality but gets the job done; sacrificing video quality for glitch-free video calling or conferencing.
The music player app is far superior than Google’s Music app. You can easily drag and drop music when connected to USB or download music via other Android apps. The phone has 5.1 Dolby audio, which phonically make some songs sound deeper and richer; you can hear, feel more of the nuances normally stripped out of down sampled MP3’s. Simply by pressing the volume or sleep/wake you can control the music button without unlocking the phone.
DLNA which stands for Digital Living Network Alliance, basically, if your television or devices have this technology you can stream movies and photos directly to it over Wi-Fi.
The Samsung Infuse 4G has HDMI-out using the same port for USB charging/data transfer via HDMI mini cable called MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link). This means you can display HD movies or photos onto the big screen, even cooler, you can mirror exactly what you see on your phone to your HD TV; so you can read email, browse the web or play games on your TV!
When I first tried this feature I knew something was missing as it didn’t work just by connecting only the MHL- mini HDMI to large HDMI dongle that comes with the phone. In order to mirror the Infuse 4G you must also plug in a USB charger to the side of the MHL dongle and presto! Your phone on your TV. Just note the display quality is noticeably of standard definition quality up-scaled, you only truly see the HD benefits when you play HD content from your phone to the TV.
The Infuse 4G comes with Samsung’s Touchwiz interface, which includes seven panels for the home screen, ability to pinch gesture the screen to load all seven to easily navigate screens, an app drawer that flows horizontal versus vertical, and access to Samsung apps like the Media Hub for movie and TV show rentals. There are other pre-installed AT&T Android apps that may be useful to some; myAT&T and AT&T U-verse Live TV to name a few.
AT&T U-verse Live TV
AT&T U-verse Live TV is a cool app, especially if you have their television cable service you can watch TV on the go. You can get a seven day trial of the service. In general, I’m surprised at the poor video quality over 4G. I would assume it would function like YouTube, when a higher speed connection is detected, higher quality video is streamed. Good news is that it does automatically increase when connected to Wi-Fi. When on Wi-Fi you can download shows to the device for offline viewing.
The Samsung virtual keyboard is terrible so you will immediately want to download one of many cooler more accurate virtual keyboards. One, there is no predictive text options to automatically complete or correct words as you type. Two, erroneous key presses are notorious making for a frustrating typing experience. Three, it tries to auto-fill the next word it thinks you’ll type, but worse it puts it in by default… you’re then left perplexed as you see words you clearly didn’t type. Read our Android app reviews for recommendations for some of the best virtual keyboards to swap this one for:
Performance and Battery Life:
Out the box battery life is very poor, understandable factors such as large display and 4G Internet capabilities can drain any devices’ battery… but the average consumer doesn’t care about that. They just want their phone to last the whole day without having to learn why and tweak things. However, here are some tips you can follow to increase battery life on the Infuse 4G.
- Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS when not needed.
- Dig into any apps that need connection to the Internet and manage how often it connects.
- Turn down screen brightness… even better, use the Power Control widget and toggle the last brightness button to (looks like circled ‘A’) as the phone will manage screen brightness automatically.
- On that same widget, turn off automatic syncing (looks like circling arrows) when not in use.
- Use apps to automatically manage battery life like JuiceDefender and Screebl. Read our reviews to know their caveats and how to use them.
Samsung Infuse 4G Quandrant Benchmark Test Results
Although my benchmark testing with Quadrant rated it rather low, it actually felt super-smooth and zippy-fast. I had to refer back to the specs to ensure it wasn’t a dual-core processor phone… it felt like performance that fast.
In Chicago, AT&T’s cellular network gave me no problems or dropped calls. Since this is a GSM phone, it is possible to travel abroad by popping in a SIM card from your destination country. It also has the convenient capability of voice and data simultaneously, so you can look up information on the Internet while on a call.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Samsung Infuse 4G is how light it is (it almost feels like a toy), followed by how thin it is (one of the thinnest on the market currently). My wife had the best summary of the Infuse 4G, she calls it ‘the calculator’! And admittedly it does look like a pocket calculator than a smartphone. Exhibiting the iPhone 4-ish rounded corners and flat sides, it differentiates on the back with a ‘chin’ and paper-thin plastic mesh styled battery cover.
Photos of Samsung Infuse 4G:
Samsung Infuse 4G Internet Speed Tests
Samsung Infuse 4G Quandrant Benchmark Test Results
Samsung Infuse 4G Angle View 1
Samsung Infuse 4G Angle View 2
Samsung Infuse 4G 2
Samsung Infuse 4G Side Back
Samsung Infuse 4G Back Angle View 1
Samsung Infuse 4G Back Angle View 2
Samsung Infuse 4G Side View 1
Samsung Infuse 4G Side View 2
, Android 2.2
, Digital Living Network Alliance
, HDMI Mirroring
, Mini-HDMI cable
, Mobile High-Definition Link
, Samsung Infuse 4G
, Samsung Infuse 4G Android Apps
, Samsung Infuse 4G Apps
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