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Review of Samsung's 8 megapixel T929 Memoir for T-Mobile USA


Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday February 25, 2009.

samsung sgh-t929 memoir · t-mobile · cell phone reviews · samsung news · cell phone news · michael oryl

Sponsored links, if any, appear in green.

The Samsung Memoir, officially known as the SGH-T929, is the company's latest high-end camera phone for T-Mobile USA. Sporting an 8 megapixel shooter with features like a real xenon flash and smile detection mode, the Memoir has all the right specs for the budding mobile photographer. A full sized touchscreen and Samsung's TouchWiz user interface give the Memoir user some eye candy to enjoy at the same time.

Physical Design

Physically, the Memoir is based on a fairly simple touchscreen slab design. Its 400x240 pixel resistive touchscreen(INFO) dominates the front of the phone, which is bare but for the face sensor that sits above it and the call send, call end, and back keys that sit beneath it. The back of the phone, however, shows much more personality, looking for all the world like a dedicated point and shoot camera.

The Memoir is made from sturdy feeling materials and seems to be very solidly made. The Memoir weights a solid 126.9g (4.5oz), and measures 110mm x 53.5mm x 14.5mm (4.3in x 2.1in x .6in) in size. The entire device has a reassuring feel to it, and the metal work is particularly nice. The attached metal covers for the power/USB/headset (not 3.5mm) and microSD(INFO) ports are a luxurious touch, and the camera's shutter button is among the best we've seen recently. The nicest design element, however, is likely the lens cover that opens and closes automatically as needed. It helps give the Memoir a very real camera feel.

Core Functions

Reception on the Memoir, which supports T-Mobile's GSM and UMTS networks, is not as good as one might hope for, coming in a bit below average based on our impressions. Audio quality seems good, though, and the speakerphone is more than adequate. Battery life is rated at 5.5 hours of talk time or 12.5 days of standby time, but in our experience users will be recharging the phone sooner rather than later, probably due to the large display and bright backlight.

The contacts system in the Memoir is fully featured, and the quick access buttons for messaging and calling in the contact list are very handy. Profile support is rather limited, but at least the active profile can be quickly changed by using the volume control. Speed dialing is supported, and the Memoir also offers Nuance's speaker independent voice dialing application. Due to a bug involving Samsung's PC Studio 3, which I used for contact synchronization, and how I have my contacts in Microsoft Outlook displayed, I originally had much trouble getting the voice dialing to work. Most users, though, should find that the voice dialing function on the Memoir works perfectly.

The T929 Memoir supports text, MMS, IM, and email messaging right out of the box. Email support is limited to offerings from the major players, like Hotmail and Gmail, and was a bit slow to use. Text and MMS messaging, including audio postcards, worked quite well, though. The phone offers a virtual 12 key T9 predictive keypad for text input when held normally, and a full QWERTY layout when held in landscape mode. The T9 keypad works quite well, but the QWERTY version seemed difficult to use quickly and accurately, in spite of the haptic feedback felt when keys are pressed.

Design, UI, Calling, Contacts

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charles @ 3:27:07PM EST on Wednesday February 25, 2009

excellent review M!!! you've struck my interest in this phone emmensely. thank you. i'm off to t-mobile to see their plan offerings.

Gandalf @ 9:15:16PM EST on Wednesday February 25, 2009

Are you missing something in the review?
Does it have Wifi?
Does it support standard headphones?
Does it have optical or digital zoom?
Typical size of a photo file?
How long does the battery last with the Xenon flash?
How good is the camera against the Nokia N82?

Michael Oryl @ 6:59:37AM EST on Thursday February 26, 2009

The lack of WiFi is mentioned in the pros and cons, and since I didn't say it was there, it would be safe to assume it wasn't. I also didn't mention that the Memoir lacks 4 wheel drive. It doesn't have that, either.
The video mentions the Samsung power port, but probably should have more clearly addressed the 3.5mm issue - it lacks one.
No optical zoom. Again, I don't have to mention everything it doesn't have.
Typical photo size is around 2MB. No idea what impact the flash has on battery life - no way to test that.
As to the N82, I never reviewed one....

Charlie @ 1:55:34AM EDT on Friday March 13, 2009

Great review & video!!!!. The absence of WIFI, poor reception, proprietary audio connection AND the "sluggish" internet connectivity are downsides for me. From a business perspective, I wonder why companies produce products that force clients to consider tradeoffs when the technology is there to give potential buyers what they want. I'm interested but I may take a pass because of the above reasons. Thanks for the article.

rj @ 6:17:04AM EDT on Saturday March 21, 2009

looks like viewty,,

ashley @ 2:47:49AM EDT on Thursday August 13, 2009

I GOT THE MEMOIR THE DAY THAT IT CAME OUT, I LOVE IT! OTHER THAT TYPICAL GENERATION 1 PHONE ISSUES IT IS FLAWLESS!

ahmed @ 7:41:31AM EDT on Monday August 31, 2009

can u pls. let me know how to change the gprs settings for this phone

Daisy @ 11:45:09PM EST on Saturday February 20, 2010

I am already falling in love with this phone i can't wait to see me start using it love it,love it,can't wait thank you for the offer God bless

emmy @ 2:31:31PM EST on Tuesday March 2, 2010

i was searching throu t-mobile phone for this particular phone and i could'nt find it. are t-mobile selling this phone? it looks like my type of cell i love the huge camera

fyciu @ 5:57:42AM EST on Tuesday November 29, 2011

please can one use smg t929 to browse in other place like Nigeria?

fyciu @ 6:09:03AM EST on Tuesday November 29, 2011

i can't browse with my smg t929 or even confirgure it, because the browsing setting doesnt even have or provide one with option to do so. please help me out here i really need to start browsing. what is the need having such a beatiful that doesnt browse?

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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