Phone, Smartphone, Notebook and Gadget Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Forum


Home > Android Phone Reviews > Samsung Infuse 4G


Samsung Infuse 4G

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: Samsung
Discuss this product
Where to Buy

What's hot: Class-leading and immense display, slim and light, good HSPA+ speeds where available.

What's not: Reception is average.


Reviewed May 11, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

Samsung expects the Infuse 4G to be a summer hit, and we think they're right. This is one really lovely phone with a huge 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display, 4G HSPA+ and a 1.2GHz Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 CPU. The display isn't easy to describe-- sure you've seen and grown accustomed to Samsung's Super AMOLED display as seen on the Samsung Captivate; it's super colorful and bright. But the Super AMOLED Plus display is even sharper while cranking those colors and brightness to retina-burning bliss. And at 4.5", watching movies is a blast.

Samsung Infuse 4G

The phone runs Froyo Android OS 2.2 with Samsung TouchWiz 3.0. Hold onto your chairs: AT&T has allowed installation of non-Market apps (side loading), and this actually has honest to goodness real 21Mbps HSPA+ 4G with HSUPA uploads. We've been getting 5-9 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps uploads according to Ookla's app. AT&T, color us pleased. We're sure that Amazon, with their separate app store, is pleased too.

It has a front 1.3MP video chat camera, rear 8 megapixel camera that takes very nice shots and 720p video, and it has the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. It has an unusual HDMI setup that uses a dongle adapter that plugs directly into a standard HDMI cable (the dongle is included in the box). The phone has 16 gigs of internal storage and AT&T includes a 2 gig microSD card. The 1750 mAh battery provides solid stamina for this big screen beast.

Samsung Infuse 4G

Livin' Large, but it's no Hummer

This is a large phone, no doubt about it. Though it's still small next to the Dell Streak and is certainly no more imposing than the 4.3" HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon. It's absurdly light at 4.9 ounces, so you won't feel like you're carrying a brick in your pocket. It's also extremely thin, unlike its chunky cousin the Droid Charge by Samsung. The drawback? You know Samsung; they adore plastics, and the phone's light weight and super-slimness are courtesy of cagey plastics engineering. The Infuse 4G doesn't look cheap though thanks to a matte textured back cover that saves Samsung from their usual unending plastic gloss, and gunmetal edges that look like metal at first glance. The removable back cover does feel cheap once you literally peel off that wafer thin piece of plastic. But it weighs nothing and saves the Infuse from weighty brickdom. In an odd reversal of common industrial design, you can remove the SIM card slot without pulling the battery, but you must pull the battery to access the microSD card slot (the microSD card slot is under the SIM card slot and it opens toward the battery).

Samsung Infuse 4G

The Dell Streak , Samsung Infuse, Samsung Droid Charge and T-Mobile LG G2x.



Deals and Shopping:



As per usual for Samsung, the power button is on the upper right side and the volume controls are on the upper left. This guarantees that I accidentally hit the power or both power and volume when pulling it out of my purse. Upside: the power button location does make it easier to press one-handed vs. the usual top edge location. The capacitive Android buttons on the bottom are small but easy enough to use, and they're backlit, though the backlighting is ever so brief. The headphone jack is up top (good) and the micro USB port is on the bottom so you won't have a wire coming out of the top of your phone when talking while charging.

Video Review

Here's our 18 minute Samsung Infuse 4G video review:



Voice and Data

AT&T's 4G network is part moving target and part vaporware. The company hasn't done well by down-defining 4G, a standard that lately refers to full HSPA+, LTE and WiMAX, to cover even the little HP Veer, a phone that really only has HSDPA 3G. That said, the Infuse 4G is the first AT&T phone to have full 21 Mpbs HSPA+ 4G with HSUPA uploads. That's right; upload data speeds aren't capped to a pitiful 384k as they were on the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G at launch (now remedied with an update). Just a few months ago, AT&T didn't have HSPA+ backhaul in our area (Dallas), and we saw only 3G speeds with the Atrix and Inspire. Now the backhaul upgrade is here, and with the Infuse 4G and a moderate 3-4 bar signal we saw download speeds ranging from 6 to 8.8Mbps down and 800k to 1.5Mpbs up according to Ookla's app. That might not be as fast as Verizon's 4G LTE network (averaging 19-13Mbps down on the Droid Charge), but it's more than double the speed of 3G and a bit faster than we get on T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G phones (keep in mind that many more folks have 4G phones on T-Mobile and are fractionating available bandwidth).

AT&T says that they've got approximately one third of their network's backhaul upgraded to HSPA+ as of this writing, and by the end of 2011, two thirds should be covered. There's no coverage map to help you figure things out though, and AT&T isn't making specific announcements about new coverage areas. Why? They say they're upgrading the busiest cell sites first, and that means patchwork coverage upgrades rather than blanket upgrades for a given city. That said, we like what we're seeing with the Samsung Infuse on HSPA+, and it's doubly pleasant since the phone has the mobile hotspot feature that allows you to turn the Infuse into a mini WiFi network that serves up 3G/4G speed connections to your WiFi notebook, tablet or other device. AT&T does charge an extra $20/month for this feature. Also note that your data account settings will need a change (free) to allow your phone onto the 4G network if this is your first AT&T 4G phone.

Voice quality and volume are good overall, though we did note an occasional loss of clarity where both we and our call recipient sounded slightly underwater. It wasn't so bad as to interfere with the conversation, but was distracting. Reception is average, if a little twitchy, and it managed better bars vs. the iPhone 4 (for what that's worth), but averaged 5 to 8 -db weaker signal than our reception monster Dell Streak and 3 to 5 -db weaker than the Motorola Atrix 4G.

Display and Multimedia

Among smartphones, there's simply nothing more impressive than Samsung's 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display. Color purists might find the intense and vivid colors a tad Disney, but they're bold, beautiful and make movies and photos look better than they are. Blacks are inky and the display is bright enough for outdoor viewing. Our only wish? That Samsung had increased resolution from the standard 800 x 480 used on smaller screen phones. But we can live with the large, easily readable text as a consolation.

The display and fast CPU mean this phone is a perfect mobile video player. You've got the usual YouTube Player plus Adobe Flash 10.2, dLNA for streaming content over your home WiFi network, Samsung's MediaHub (TV and movie rentals and purchases), AT&T U-verse Live TV (a $10/month streaming TV show service powered by MobiTV that's quite sweet) and you can play locally stored videos on the phone's 16 gigs of internal storage or on a microSD card. There's plenty of ways to waste the day away in style. Speaker volume is loud and fairly clear except at the highest volume settings, and audio quality through HDMI and headphones is good.

Rather than a standard micro HDMI port, the Infuse 4G uses a small dongle adapter that plugs into the micro USB port. You'll plug the charger into the adapter, plug in your standard HDMI cable and you're ready to watch content on an HD TV, monitor or projector. The phone's display is mirrored on the TV, and movie content from YouTube and MediaHub play through HDMI but not from AT&T Live TV (we assume due to a licensing agreement).

The 8 megapixel rear camera takes excellent photos and sharp 720p video. If you own a Samsung Captivate, you'll notice the improvement, and the Captivate took pretty decent shots. There are plenty of settings and the camera even handles dark shots well thanks to good imaging technology and a single LED flash. The camera focuses quickly, even in poorly lit locations (much faster than the T-Mobile LG G2x which hunts in the dark).

The front 1.3 megapixel camera is handy for video chatting. Alas, unless this phone gets a Gingerbread update, we won't see Gtalk video chat, but we did test Qik video chat which worked fine other than local echo of our voice when we chatted sans headset.

Performance and Software

The Infuse 4G runs on a 1.2GHz Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 family CPU with PowerVR SGX 540 graphics. It scores 1145 on the Quadrant benchmark, but experientially feels quite fast. The phone handled both 720p and 1080p playback fine, and we didn't suffer any odd lags or slowdowns as we did with earlier TouchWiz Android phones like the Captivate. Adobe Flash 10.2 playback was par for the course among single core Android phones, and that means occasional lag on webpages loaded with Flash banner ads and YouTube embedded content. YouTube videos played well over HSPA+ on the Infuse, despite the occasional page scroll and pinch zoom lag on heavy Flash pages.

The phone has 16 gigs of internal storage and a microSD card slot (AT&T includes a 2 gig card). Froyo (Android OS 2.2.1) powers the phone and Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 UI jazzes things up. We like TouchWiz but don't love it. It no longer slows down the phone or causes compatibility problems with third party apps, but the large and overly colorful icons are a bit cartoonish, and Samsung enlarges menu fonts which is absurd on a 4.5" display. For example, when looking at the Android settings menu, we see only 4 items vs. 6.5 on the Dell Streak in landscape mode. We do like Samsung's added widgets and apps, including social networking that integrates with contacts (Twitter, Facebook and mySpace), Write and Go (a notepad app that can send text as social networking status updates), a Diary with scrapbooking elements and Media Hub for TV show and movie rentals and purchase.

AT&T has controlled their bloatware a bit, and finally allowed installation of non-Market apps. That means you can install Amazon's app market, beta apps and apps that are available directly from developers' web sites. AT&T pre-installed apps include AT&T Live TV, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Family Map, YP Mobile and a bar code scanner. Surprisingly, there are no 3D games pre-installed, a rarity on a high end, fast smartphone.

Despite the demands of a fast CPU, big display and 4G, the Infuse 4G's beefy 1750 mAh Lithium Ion battery had no trouble making it through the work day and into the next morning with moderate use. Nice.


There's a lot to like in Samsung's summer blockbuster for AT&T. The Infuse 4G is like having a mobile cinema in your pocket, and despite the huge 4.5" display, the phone is incredibly light and slimly pocketable. Indeed, nothing quite compares to the Super AMOLED Plus display (except the slightly smaller 4.3" Droid Charge's Super AMOLED Plus display). Colors jump out at you, blacks are deep and brightness levels and evenness are superb.

The phone is no slouch on performance with a 1.2GHz Hummingbird CPU with hardware graphics acceleration and 4G HSPA+ that delivered very good downloads in our area. The trio of a fast CPU, huge display and any form of 4G usually signal poor battery life, but thanks to the unusually high capacity standard 1750 mAh battery, the Infuse had no trouble lasting the day and then some. Our only complaints are middling reception and occasional watery voice in calls.

Pro: Huge and glorious 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display. Fast, slim and lightweight. 4G speeds are actually pretty good. Attractive phone. Plenty of internal storage. Very good camera.

Con: Reception isn't among the best, voice can sometimes sound a bit underwater.

Price: $199 with a 2 year contract.


Samsung Infuse 4G

The Dell Streak and Samsung Infuse 4G.


Samsung Infuse 4G


Samsung Infuse 4G





blog comments powered by Disqus



Display: Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touch screen. Screen size diagonally: 4.5". Resolution: 800 x 480, supports both portrait and landscape modes. Has an ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1750 mAh.

Performance: 1.2 GHz Hummingbird CPU (ARM Cortex-A8 family single core). 16 gigs internal storage.

Size: 4.47 x 2.78 x 0.53 inches. Weight: 4.67 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band world phone with 3G and HSPA+ 4G on AT&T's 850/1900MHz bands and 2100MHz for Europe. Has WiFi Mobile Hotspot feature.

Camera: 1.3MP front camera and rear 8 megapixel camera with autofocus lens and LED flash, can shoot 720p video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

Software: Android OS 2.2.1 with Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 software (Adobe Flash 10.2 is a free download from the Android Market). Full suite of Google apps including Gmail, email, web browser, Google Search, Google Maps and Navigation and YouTube player. Samsung apps: Mini Diary, social network widgets and integration, Media Hub, Video Player (MPEG4 and DivX), Voice Recorder, Task Manager, AllShare dLNa and Write and Go. AT&T and third party software: Quickoffice, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Family Map, AT&T Bar Code Scanner, AT&T U-verse Live TV and Yellow Pages Mobile.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot. 2 gig card included.


All Phone Reviews
Smartphone Reviews
Android Phone Reviews
Windows Phone Reviews
HTC Phone Reviews
LG Phone Reviews
Motorola Phone Reviews
Nokia Phone Reviews
Samsung Phone Reviews
Sony Phone Reviews
AT&T Phone Reviews
Sprint Phone Reviews
T-Mobile Phone Reviews
Verizon Phone Reviews
Unlocked GSM Phone Reviews


All Tablet Reviews
Android Tablet Reviews
Tablet Comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons



Laptop Reviews
Ultrabook Reviews
Laptop Comparisons
Best Ultrabooks



Bluetooth Headsets
iPhone and iPad Accessories
eBook Readers

iPhone Game Reviews
iPad Game Reviews

iPhone Case Reviews
iPad Case Reviews


RSS News Feed

About Us

Contact Us


Site Map