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Overview of AT&T Qwerty Gophone Samsung A177

AT&T introduced the product Samsung a177 in May of this year. The phone is a qwerty-style messaging phone and is part of AT&T’s GoPhone service. The GoPhone service is a prepaid mobile phone service that does not require a contract. You simply buy the phone and the minutes that you plan to use and do not have to pay a monthly bill.?The a177 is an impressive phone, considering GoPhones are usually lower-end and of poor quality. After a first hands on with the device, it felt as though it was of a high quality build.


The Keyboard


The Samsung a177 has a typical qwerty keyboard with shortcuts to various applications, including the games, the camera and instant messaging functions. There is also a shortcut button for the messaging application (SMS and MMS). The keyboard on the a177 is very impressive. It is quite easy to use for anyone with normal sized fingers. The buttons are not too close together and there is adequate feedback while pressing them.


The Screen


The display on the a177 is a 2.2-inch screen with 64,000 colors and a resolution of 220×176. It is bright enough for use in full sunlight and does the job well. However, the display is not on par with higher-end phones (i.e. iPhone or G1) in terms of resolution or colors. This is to be expected from the a177 as it is not a smartphone.


The Style


The style of the a177 is definitely noteworthy considering it is a prepaid device. A comparable prepaid phone in terms of price is the Motorola RAZR. It is quite obvious that the a177 beats the RAZR in the looks arena, not to mention functionality, as the RAZR is not a qwerty phone. The a177 is a black phone with blue accents on the number keys. The back of the phone is textured (sort of like a tire, but it looks quite fashionable) and will not slide around easily when laid on it. The phone is very slim compared to other qwerty phones such as the Blackberry Curve.


The Connection


The a177 is a standard GSM quadband phone (no 3G radio). However it does have Internet capabilities with a WAP browser and push notifications for instant messaging services, including AIM, Yahoo! and Windows Live messengers. The Samsung a177 also has a Bluetooth 2.0 radio, but it can only be used to add a bluetooh headset (no transferring of files).


The Call Performance


The Samsung a177 is on par with other phones in its price range when it comes to call performance. In testing, there were no dropped calls and the other caller could be heard loud and clear. There were no complaints from callers about quality coming from the a177’s end. The phone is rated at 300 minutes of talk time and 10.5 days of standby time.


Other features of the Samsung a177 include:


• Games, such as Guitar Hero and Bejeweled

• VGA camera with 640×480, 320×240 and 220×165 pixels, no flash or video

• 500-contact phone book, with the ability to assign a picture and ringtone to contacts

• Calendar, holds 100 events

• Calculator

• Unit Converter

• Alarm (5 alarms, can power phone on to go off)


The Samsung a177 is a great choice for those of you that want a messaging phone and no monthly bill for you wireless service. It is a high-quality device great for IM and text messaging.


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