For the longest time, AT&T was a dog when it came to Android smartphones.
Who could blame the carrier that bet early on Apple's iPhone, offering it exclusively in the United States until the hallowed smartphone landed on Verizon Wireless' network to scrum with the Droids?
I didn't enjoy a Google-flavored phone from AT&T until the Motorola Atrix 4G. I honestly didn't know what to think about the Samsung Infuse 4G, which went on sale May 15 for $199.99 with a two-year contract, until it showed up at my door a week ago.
It's been a joy using the slim, "caviar black" device despite the fact that it's running Android 2.2 "Froyo," which though solid feels dated after using Android 2.3 "Gingerbread."
Indeed, I thought, how could I judge the Infuse 4G only weeks after using the Gingerbread-powered Samsung Nexus S 4G from Sprint?
The Infuse 4G has several attributes that differentiate it from its Samsung Android brethren. Start with the lush, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, which with an 800-by-480 resolution boasts 50 percent more subpixels over Super AMOLED phones for great clarity whether you're in daylight or darkness.
I like the idea of the 4.5-inch screen, but it does make the Infuse 4G feel wide in my average-size hand. Any more screen size and I think a phone ventures into tablet territory, where the Kyocera Echo hovers.
Unlike most Samsung Galaxy S smartphones, which feel slick, the back of this thin handheld is coarsely granulated for a nice, easy grip.
The 1.2GHz processor provides noticeable performance boosts over standard 1GHz-processor Android handsets, proving especially useful for YouTube videos, games and movies via the Samsung Media Hub.