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Editor's rating (1-5):
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What's hot: Fun touchscreen phone with lower data plan cost than the iPhone.
What's not: On the slow side.
Reviewed January 13, 2010 by Lisa Gade, Editor
When the Samsung Eternity came out for AT&T in November 2008 it sold like hotcakes. Samsung's TouchWiz UI was shiny and fun, the phone was responsive and its data plan cost half the iPhone's. After all, the cost of a phone isn't just the up-front purchase price but the ongoing plan price over a 2 year contract. It was one of the first touch screen phones to have Mobile TV, which is $10/month subscription digital TV that's broadcast over the air rather than via the phone's data connection. If you were lucky enough to live in a FLO TV service area, you saw better video quality than YouTube or AT&T's streaming video could offer at the time.
Since then, we've had the lower end Samsung Solstice which couldn't dethrone the Eternity and now the Samsung Mythic which we'd say is up to the job of replacing the iconic Eternity. Like the Eternity it runs Samsung's TouchWiz user interface; it's still intuitive but after more than a year it's looking a little old. Still, it's one of the better touch interfaces on a feature phone and there's little to no learning curve if you're upgrading from an older model.
The display resolution has increased to 360 x 640 pixels and measures 3.3"; a distinct improvement over the Eternity and the Solstice. It's not a super-vivid AMOLED display like the Samsung Impression TouchWiz phone with QWERTY keyboard though. Nor is it capacitive like the iPhone 3GS. That means it's not as sensitive or responsive, but among resistive screens it's quite good. And better yet, it works with fingernails and gloves.
The iPhone 3GS and the Samsung Mythic.
New phones always cost more, and so the Mythic costs more than the older Impression which arguably beats the Mythic if you don't want Mobile TV, and it costs the same as the 16 gig iPhone 3GS. We expect the price will come down, and as always 3rd party dealers will offer the phone for less, making it more compelling. Our only niggle with the Mythic is that it's not as peppy as the Eternity, something that's hard to forgive in a feature phone.
The Mythic has very good call quality on AT&T's 3G network and the earpiece is louder than average. Likewise the rear-facing mono speaker is loud and clear. The Mythic is a quad band GSM world phone and it's a 3G world phone too, with HSDPA on AT&T's bands and 2100MHz for Europe and Asia. The phone has speed dial and Nuance voice command.