Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning Log 4: 9/15 " Samsung A930- Another Fine Product from Wishful Thinking Incorporated"

The image above is the Samsung SCH-A930, distributed by Samsung under Verizon Wireless. This phone is special to me because it marked the beginning of my adulthood. I used to have a fairly dinky phone that came with the family plan my parents setup. I had the phone for six months and it looked like a phone that had been to a death camp. So I researched phones and asked my mother for new one. After finding out how unwilling she and my dad were to replace my phone with a new one, I shelled 300 dollars for this phone. Aesthetically, the phone looks amazing. The black color allows for a subtle appearance, the cyan LCD on the outside is extremely bright, and the text on the phone was legible. The problems with this phone are numerous. The major issues I had were call quality and the mp3 function. The Call quality was often horrible. I could barely hear what people were saying and I often used the external speakers to hold conversations on speaker phone, which isn't always an acceptable method, especially in a crowded place i.e a rush hour packed subway car (Long Story). The reason for the phone's horrible signal was that the signal band was an older more ground based system, while all the other phones were using a hybrid ground/satellite system. After that discovery, I thought for 300 hundred bucks I'd at least get a decent mp3 player, especially since I got an extra memory card for the phone just for that purpose. Wrong.
The player was not a great addition to the phone and honestly was used more often to fake phone calls. The problem was that the external buttons on the phone (Right side of the image, closed phone) would trigger in my pocket when I sat down. Verizon thought it would be smart to put a 3 second delay on the play button to prevent accidental activations. The delay just made it seem like I was getting a phone call, which isn't such a great thing when all my teachers thrived on confiscating cell phones in class. I had to silence both the phone and the mp3 player, meant I had to activate the mp3 player only to mute it. My mp3 started to play during a job interview where I was just embarrassed to death. The first song on my playlist was called Illegal Life, right after I said I didn't have an arrest record or any criminal associations. Looking like a liar or loser aside, the phone's design is purely wishful. I blamed myself for not keeping the phone from going off the first few times but after a while I just blamed the phone. I ended up never using the mp3 function at all just because the work wasn't worth it when I had a CD player that worked fine. Like Norman said, taught helplessness set in right around the time I realized the mp3 volume was independent of the phone volume.
The major thing I would change about this phone would be to move the mp3 controls from the front to the side and make them smaller to avoid the accidental activations. Also, I would put the hybrid transmitter in the phone to improve call quality. I think the company behind it, Samsung, has a habit of half baked merchandise, as several devices of theirs have failed me. Just as the next few logs will come to demonstrate.

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