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Samsung A660/VI660 Review
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The Samsung A660 was released in Canada, late June, 2004.
This handset is a dual band, tri-mode phone (800/1900 CDMA 1X, & 800 AMPS) that is sold for use on the Bell Mobility CDMA network in Canada under the model A660, and on the Verizon CDMA network in the USA, under the model VI660. This handset was tested on Bell Mobility's 1900 MHz CDMA network and roaming on Telus' 800 MHz AMPS network in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The phone is referred throughout this review as a "Samsung A660", but most of the information here also applies to the VI660.

Review written by ejohan.
Original publication date: 6 July 2004.

Samsung A660/VI660Dimensions & Design

The Samsung A660 is similar in size to other clamshell handsets released today. The dimensions of the a660 are: 8.3 x 4.5 x 2.2cm or 3.3 x 1.8 x 0.7" (H x W x D) and it weighs in at only 99g or 3.3oz.

The design is basic, but elegant. The outside is quite appealing. The only thing it lacks is an exterior LCD screen, to tell you the time, and give you caller ID information before you answer the phone.

As I opened the phone, I noticed how sturdy the phone really was. It felt like a phone you could drop down a flight of stairs in the open position without it breaking. Although, I do not recommend trying that, for obvious reasons.

Inside, I noticed how nice everything looked. The 65,000 colour screen was bright and vibrant. The keypad was perfectly arranged. Everything was cemeterial. The keypad was designed well. The buttons were easy to press, and easy to find without looking. And, the menu was easy to use.

The phone was sturdy and didn't creak, or squeak when I squeezed it.

The thing that bugged me is that the screen had faint vertical lines down the middle, that were always present. They were hard to see, but still annoying.

Coverage & RF

This is a dual band, tri-mode phone (800/1900 CDMA 1X, & 800 AMPS) that will work not only within North America, but also in any locations that offer these technologies and frequencies (e.g., 800 CDMA in Australia and New Zealand). As mentioned above I tested this model on the Bell Mobility 1900 MHz CDMA Network, and roaming on Telus' 800 MHz AMPS network. The phone had an option to force AMPS, good if you're in a CDMA fringe area.

The phone had a noticeable tendency to loose signal before other Bell phones. The phone would show "Searching for service" where my LG TM250, Kyocera SE47, and Sanyo 8100, all on Bell, had service.

This was annoying, as I couldn't use my phone in many areas of my neighbourhood, where other Bell phones had no problem.

Sound Quality

Although the earpiece can become very loud in a noisy environment, the sound quality on this phone is very bad. The earpiece sounds harsh and unclear, even in full signal areas on the CDMA network. The phone had a constant faint hissing sound during all calls, on both the CDMA and AMPS network. This is the one of the many reasons I no longer own this phone.

1XRTT Wireless Data & Web Browser

The Samsung A660 is equipped with 1X network access. 1X is the CDMA-based wireless data network that competes directly with the GPRS networks on GSM networks. You can use the 1X data for internet and email by attaching a Samsung data cable to your laptop. 1X promises wireless data speeds up to 144 Kbps with 'always on' service. Similar to GPRS, 1X is always enabled and you are charged for the amount of data transfered, rather than the amount of minutes connected. As on most Bell CDMA 1X phones, a 1X symbol appears if there is a 1X network present.

The web browser, Samsung's own, was excellent on the A660. Fast, and formatting showed up perfectly.


From the fact sheet, this model should get up to 3 hours talk time, and 10 days standby time in CDMA, and up to 1.5 hours talk time, and 17 hours standby time in AMPS, with the included 1000 mAh standard battery, but I did not confirm those times.


I rate this phone below average. The exterior design is very good. However, using this phone for its main purpose, a phone, I was very disappointed with it. The hiss and harshness coming from the earpiece, the way it lost signal quickly, and the faint vertical lines down the middle of the screen, caused me to decide the phone isn't worth it.


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