Samsung Beat (Music Phone for Under $50) Review

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Editors' rating:

Even without over-the-air downloads and a 3G data connection, for 50 bucks, the Samsung Beat will serve you well.

Out-of-the-Box Features

T-Mobile's major weakness in the music phone category is the carrier's lack of an over-the-air download service. Still, the Beat will only set you back $49.99, and it comes with a 1GB microSD Card, a stereo hands-free headset, and headphone adapter, making it a tempting buy.

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The Test Drive

We love the soft touch of the Beat's dialpad, but the flat keys made text messaging difficult. The Beat's external controls were easy to use, and its stylish neon-green outer speaker was sufficient for listening to music in a quiet room.


The handset also supports stereo Bluetooth, which worked smoothly on our tests. However, we wish you could adjust the volume with the handset as well as the headset while wearing one. When listening to music, the Samsung Beat had acceptable lows and highs without too much popping, and it even a had a decent amount of bass.

With a full signal on T-Mobile, loaded in a sluggish 29 seconds. This clamshell can snap 1.3-MP photos and record video, but the camera's image quality was subpar.

Voice quality on the Beat was okay outdoors. Indoors, the phone didn't hold a strong signal. The Beat's 6-hour talk time is good, but we noticed that music playback drained the battery quickly. Expect to charge the phone at least every other day during casual use.

The Verdict

If you can live without on-demand downloads and other 3G media services, the Beat will satisfy your urge to converge music player and cell phone.

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Carrier T-Mobile
Form Factor Flip
Internal Memory 28MB
Memory Expansion Type microSD Card
Display (main) 1.9 inches (160 x 128 pixels/65,000 colors)
Display (secondary) 1.1 inches (96 x 96 pixels/65,000 colors)
Bluetooth Type Bluetooth Stereo
Wi-Fi N/A
FM Radio No
Camera Resolution 1.3 MP
Talk / Standby Time 6 hours/15 days
Size 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight 2.7 ounces
Company Website
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