Samsung SGH-e315 phone

Quick look

Tiny cell phone

Price: $199 or free with new membership

Phone: 800-726-7864


Samsung SGH-e315 phone

Samsung Electronics Co. has hit a ball out of the park with the new e315 cell phone. This small and sleek clamshell-design phone only weighs 3.17 ounces and measures 3.25 by 1.75 by 0.9 inches. With this size and weight you can forget about having to carry it on your side; this tiny device easily fits in your pocket.

The battery life of the e315 is decent, considering it has a clear 128- by 120-pixel thin-film transistor screen capable of producing more than 65,000 colors. I was able to average three days of moderate use before we had to charge the phone. If you use the built-in 0.3-megapixel digital camera to take either snapshots or mini-MPEG video clips, you can expect your battery life to be cut by half. And even though the quality of the camera isn't very good, it's still worth having because your pictures can be used as wallpaper images on the phone.

I had three minor complaints about the phone. The first is that the headphone jack is a proprietary port as opposed to a standard 2.5mm port. Therefore, finding a good headset for the unit is difficult.

Second, there's a button on the side of the phone that activates the camera. This button is too easy to press inadvertently and, as a result, I have a lot of pictures on my phone of the inside of my pocket.

The last problem is pandemic among modern cell phones'too many disagreeable rings to choose from. The e315 comes with more than 40 polyphonic rings and not one simple and unique tone. How do you think legendary classical composers would feel about their masterpieces being the default ring on most cell phones? With the e315 in particular, the 40 default rings were so horrendous that I actually spent money to buy a ring I liked.

Despite these three drawbacks, it's hard to be mad at this tiny cell phone, especially since it's been offered free with some new nationwide cell-phone memberships. It used to be that the free cell phones that came with new cell plans were the chunkiest and poorest performing models, and it's good to see that change.

But even if you want to pay the $199 for the phone, it's worth it.

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