Thought I'll post it here since I was not able to locate any reviews of A717 myself... I had this phone for almost a week now, so it seems to be sufficient time to get an opinion on it. Please bear in mind that I'm a business-oriented user, and that would dictate my list of priorities. Also, I will compare A717 to Nokia 6230 which I'm using for last three years. Will try to be short, so here it goes...
Seems to be pretty good. No issues so far. Hindge looks solid. Plastic seemed to be of good quality and color is very neutral. No interchangeble face plates exist, but this phone doesn't need it.
Once you learnt how to hold it correctly (not covering the antenna in the bottom part) reception is good. On par with Nokia 6230.
It;s a flip phone, It's a little bit too wide to my taste (not very convenient to hold in hand, but the same goes for most flip phones nowadays. With some exceptions, like Nokia 6555 that has much better form-factor IMHO). Flip cannot be opened by one hand. To me it's a big disadvantage, since sometime I have to operate the phone with one hand only.
It's my first Samsung phone, and I'm very dissapointed with the lame menu system it has. Coming from Nokia and old Ericsson handsets, the menu system on Samsung A717 feels very un-natural and illogical. Colors are plain ugly. On top of that, the interface is slow too.
Never used it nor I think it's important for business users.
Complete flat keyboard gives no tactile feeling. It's not possible to type without looking at it. Very bad design comparing to 6230.
Large size, 240x320 resolution. Nothing really to talk about.
That's where one of my big dissapointments comes from. It's OLED with backlight always ON, so it looks very nice in the dark. But it's completely invisible in direct sun light. Also, (in some brain fart) Samsung decided to turn off the second line which shows current time/date after few seconds in stand-by mode, and there's no option to keep it always on. Very BAD idea. It basically kills the advantage on having always lit on screen. What;s the point if you can't see the time? Also, the screen is way too SMALL. It doesn't have enought space to display full caller id information, so it makes it difficult to see who is calling... Conclusion: good technology got killed by lousy implementation of Samsung.
Have you heard that A717 has better battery life than most of other 3G-capable phones, right? That's why I bought it in the first place... Ha-ha...
To tell you the truth, the battery lasts only one day in stand-by mode (no phone calls, no browsing). It's pathetic. My Nokia 6230 last three-four days depending on usage. I have to re-charge A717 every night even if I don't use it, otherwise it will be dead by the next morning. Also, the battery indicator is very lame - it has only 3 positions and it's not linear too. Once it drops from 3 to 2, it goes from 2 to dead in less than two hours.
It uses the same little ear speaker, but with the volume cranked up alittle bit. So it's pretty useless as such. Another blow for business users.
This phone is not meant for business users. I'm getting rid of it and go back to my old Nokia 6230. The only reason I was looking to upgrade is to be able to use high data transfer speeds of 3G service, but shortcomings of A717 (especially battery life) make this phone useless to me. Guess I'll have to wait for better 3G phones coming from Nokia and/or Sony/Ericsson. No more Samsung for me.
Forgot to mention that battery takes three hours to charge using included wall charger. It;s just to long to be useful during lunch/meeting breaks. By contrast, Nokia 6230 gets fully charged in one hour.