Yes this phone has a two megapixel camera – you can take some really nice pictures and even share them on Facebook or Myspace. The side camera button is a little too sensitive, it goes into camera mode with a single click rather than from a press and hold action.
You can also take 320 x 240 resolution video with the camera in Camcorder mode. These videos can be sent as attachments in emails and (if they’re small enough) in MMS messages.
Once you insert a memory card (up to 32 GB) you can go into the camera settings and, under storage, change that from "phone" to "memory card". Now you'll be able to store tons of photos.
The memory card is also important to make use of the . . .
You can hear upload and hear your favorite songs, audiobook (mp3 format) using the mp3 music player on the Straight Talk Samsung T528g. There is a widget so that you can play and pause the music from your home screen.
Songs can be organized into playlists and sorted by genre and artist.
There are actually two dedicated email clients on this Straight Talk phone. There's a regular email client you can set up to receive your email using the POP or IMAP protocol, and there’s a separate Exchange Client presumably for retrieving email from Microsoft Exchange servers.
The regular email client works great. I tested it on a Gmail account and it first retrieve the subject of two unread email. Then I had the option to retrieve the emails with or without attachments. So this can save your bandwidth, especially if you know you don’t need the attachment. Also, if it is an HTML email, which means the images are loaded from the web, they are no loaded by default, but when you press the “More” button, you have the option to load those “remoteimages”.
So this email app is really well designed so that you get the most out of your data package especially if you have the $30 plan instead of the unlimited plan. Once you have downloaded your email, you also have the option to print it out via Bluetooth if you have access to a Bluetooth-enabled printer in your vicinity. You can scroll up and down the email quickly using the side buttons.
Checking email counts against your data allowance, not your airtime. You can save even further on that if you are connected to a WiFi network, in which case it costs you nothing (unless the WiFi isn’t free). In the phone application settings you can set whether you want to automatically check for email and how often that is, with the default being once every hour. You can also set a data download limit of 100 KB, 300 KB (the default setting), 500 KB, and 5 MB.
There is an Exchange email client as well. You have to enter the Server URL and Domain in addition to your username and password. (I don’t have access to an Exchange server to test this.)
Okay, so let’s go back to some of the basic features.
You can of course make calls and send text and picture messages. The pictures or other attachments sent with your message count agains your data allowance.
The phone can store up to 2000 contacts in the internal memory. Probably you can store even more if you use the memory card, but, for me, 2000 is enough.
There is a standard voice recognition utility from Nuance to help you dial numbers by speaking the contact name.
The Samsung T528g is 4 and 7/16 inches long, 2 inches wide and 7/16 inch thick. It's look a little slimmer than most touchscreen phones probably because there's not a lot of extra space around the actual 3 inch touchscreen.
With a battery and external memory card inserted, the phone weigh 3 lbs. 2 oz. on a WeighMax postal scale.
The battery talk time is rated at 6 hours with a standby time of up to 10 days. In real life, battery life seems pretty good even when I've set it to check email every hour.
There is a Services Guide included with the phone which basically tells you how to set up the phone and do the basic things with it.
For more info on how to use the phone there is an online interactive Straight Talk Samsung T528g tutorial.
The Straight Talk Samsung T528g is a phone with great features and some unexpected goodies. You can run it on the unlimited $45 plan or on the $30 plan - which is not an option with the Android and Nokia smartphones.
You can get it direct with free shipping here.
As the T528g stops just short of being a smart phone, here are a few more that share that quality. Their advantage is that they don't require the more expensive unlimited plans.
The LG 840g also has WiFi access but no YouTube player.
The Motorola EX124g has a 3 MP camera, but operating its touchscreen requires a stylus.
The Samsung S390G was one of the few if not the only QWERTY phones with WiFi access available as a prepaid phone. It also had a YouTube player app.
Tracfone has finally come out with a couple of prepaid Android handsets that are compatible with their low-cost plans by offering data access through a separate set of refill cards.