AT&T Worldwide Coverage and Samsung Blackjack II

One of the perks of having my website has been getting free stuff. Before I left the United States, contacted me asking if I wanted to test out a phone overseas. Sure, I said. International phones are expensive and I had no real desire to spend lots of money on a British SIM card.

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Vagabondish connected me with some lovely people at AT&T and, for three months, I was to try out the new Samsung Blackjack II and the international phone coverage that came with it. After three months with it, here’s my review of the phone and service:


The Samsung Blackjack II is very much like a Blackberry. It has all the same features and functions. You get e-mail, texts, phone calls, internet, games, and a camera that also records video, as well as a host of other features I didn’t bother using. There is even a GPS navigation function I could not figure out. For me, it was all too much. I just need a phone that can text and receive calls, though it was nice to be able to check my mail and browse the web. Since I haven’t used a similar device, I can’t make a good comparison to Blackberrys but, from my time with this phone, I thought it had everything you could need.


Given AT&T’s global presence, I expected excellent coverage while overseas. However, my expectations were not met. While service was generally good, there were too many dropped calls, unloadable webpages, and missed text messages for my liking. Here’s a rundown of what happened:


While in England, I was often on the Orange network. In London, I was unable to connect about 40% of the time. The calls simply did not go through even if I had “service” and I even had a dropped call while talking to my bank! Moreover, many of my friends from the states said they were unable to reach to me. Outside the city, service improved. I had fewer dropped calls and missed messages. Service on the Virgin network was usually much better and there were less problems Overall, I thought the service in England was poor.


I had no major coverage problems while in Holland. However, I was unable to receive texts while there. I had a few sent from my Dutch friends that never got to me. Moreover, occasionally while between cities, the internet and e-mail functions would not work.


Service in France always seemed to be on the Vodafone network. I never had any service problems here. In fact, France was the only country where everything worked the way it should have. As long as I had service “bars”, everything was fine.


I’ve had few service problems here — maybe one or two dropped calls. For awhile, I was on the AIS GSM network but now am on the True network. Since “switching” networks, there’s been no disruption in service but I am no longer able to access the web.


I like the phone itself. It has everything I could ever need and more. In fact, I’m not sure why someone would need so much in a phone but I guess it suits the average business man.

However, the service was average and, in the end, it comes down to one question: would you recommend this product and service to friends? That is what everyone really wants to know. So would I? Yes. If you have AT&T and were wondering if you should get an international package, I would say that if you travel overseas a lot, this service is worth getting. However, I would add that you should not expect flawless coverage. Out of five stars, I give this three and a half.

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