Confessions of the Knife: Samsung Revisits the Blade

I was locked in an unforgiving contract through the RAZR-fad so thankfully, unlike Gavin, I was never swept in the fray. Despite never owning one, it was impossible not to notice the now-ubiquitous-phone. Even in New Orleans, it’s everywhere. I don’t think I can leave the house without laying eyes on one.

The funny thing that was always apparent to me, was that the RAZR was an inferior product to Samsung’s A900—the Blade. Sure the RAZR came first, trailblazing the field of slim and sexy in cell phones, but who cares? Samsung did it better.

The beauty was that Samsung managed to sample the style and feeling of the RAZR yet still make its phone feel different enough to be a compelling alternative. This month Samsung quietly launched the slightly updated A900M on Sprint.

There are few updates to this model, but the phone continues to be a clear winner in the slim class. The main variation is an updated case. Samsung has exchanged some of the metal casing for high impact plastic. I’m always worried when I hear metal is being exchanged for plastic, but there really isn’t an issue here. The phone feels completely solid—more so than any phone I’ve ever owned. The reason plastic was swapped in is that many users were complaining about case dents. The plastic additions seem to have remedied that problem.

Another change is that the A900M features customizable themes. Users can change menus amongst several presets or personalize them further. Not really that big of a deal, but perhaps this will appeal to the high school cheerleader in you.

Functionality-wise, the phone remains the same, but for those of you unfamiliar with the A900, here are a few details. The Blade has the best call quality I’ve tested from any phone in this class. Furthermore, the camera is easily the best of any phone I’ve ever used, period. The picture of me you see there was taken with the A900M and it’s good enough that it’s become my official profile picture.

It also features an MP3 player that I can’t say I ever really put to much use. It sounds OK, but with the lack of microSD, it’s essentially useless. To be honest, I’ve had trouble finding many people who use their phones for MP3s anyway, so I can’t see this being much of an issue for anyone.

Finally, like its older brother, the A900M supports EV-DO, so you can expect nice and fast mobile broadband wherever you’re at. I could never get DUN to work, but I think there is some sort of hack you can use to enable it.

Anyway, I’m disappointed that this revision features so little revising, but still feel confident that the Blade is superior to the RAZR. It’s available now on Sprint for $99.99 with a two year contract and a mail in rebate.