3.0 star rating

AT&T Video Share Review

Pros: Good video quality with minimal latency; Easy to use
Cons: Allows for only one-way video streaming; Available on only four phones; Only the sender can record footage and access controls; Both parties must subscribe
The Verdict: AT&T serves up video smooth enough for chats on the go. But getting your friends to pay for it may pose a challenge.



In an age when we can watch live TV on our phones, video calling is the obvious next step. AT&T takes us one step closer to that with Video Share, its one-way video-streaming service. Video Share delivers good quality and has plenty of potential uses, but with expensive per-minute pricing and compatibility with only four phones, this service is for early adopters only (view our photo gallery).
Article Continued Below

For many customers, the price will be an immediate deal breaker. AT&T offers two plans: $4.99 for 25 minutes and $9.99 for 60. You can also opt for a pay-as-you-go plan and shell out 35 cents per minute. Those unfazed by the cost must be within AT&T's 3G network and own one of four Video Share-capable phones: the LG Trax, the Samsung SGH-a717, the Samsung SGH-a727, or the Samsung Sync. (The phased-out LG CU500v is also Video Share-compatible.)
The service is easy to use. While on a voice call, just press a soft key and then select the Video Share option. The Video Share option appeared in three seconds, and our invitation showed up on our caller's screen in another three seconds. Once our caller accepted, he saw live video in about two seconds. Switching the direction of the video can be cumbersome, however, and requires ending the call.
On paper, Video Share's quality is fairly low--just 15 frames per second--but our tests showed decent color and minimal latency. Even in low light, our video remained bright. To give your friend a fuller picture, you can zoom with the push of a button. In addition, the SGH-a717 and the CU500v have rotating cameras that let you film with the display facing you.
Once a connection is established, the phone automatically switches to speakerphone, so you can talk and watch at the same time. The voice quality on our Samsung SGH-a717 was only average to begin with, but on speakerphone it took on an irritating echo. To avoid driving your neighbors--and yourself--crazy, we recommend using a Bluetooth headset.
The service also lets you save footage after ending a video call. Because of the video's low quality, our two-minute clip took up only 853K out of 50MB of space. Being able to watch old footage might help justify the service's high cost, but unfortunately, only the sender has the option of recording.
Using a Video Share-enabled phone poses other logistical conundrums as well. By default, images appear upside down, and oddly, only the sender can rotate it or adjust its brightness. Recipients, meanwhile, can choose to view the video in landscape mode, which takes up the whole screen, or portrait mode, which shows the controls at the bottom of the screen. If and when AT&T upgrades to two-way video calling, we hope it will introduce the ability for both callers to control their images.
Video Share's applications are plentiful, thanks to its clear video quality and ease of use. But until AT&T offers two-way video, lowers its prices, and widens availability, we don't expect too many takers. 

Suggested Stories:
Follow Live Football Anywhere
Can't live without live football? Here are five easy ways to keep tabs on the game when you're on the go.

Get Online Video Anywhere
Proof that you don't have to be tied to your computer to get your YouTube fix.

Top 10 Free Downloads
These applications and utilities are must-haves for any new (or old) laptop.

Tags: AT&T Video Share, LG Electronics, multimedia phones, cell phones, reviews

Technical Specifications
AT&T Video Share

Form FactorFlip
FM RadioNo
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options