It's far from the prettiest touchscreen candybar around, but the Samsung Vitality is a solid release from Cricket Wireless. While the mid-range Android smartphone doesn't set itself all that differently from the growing field of mobile devices, Cricket's offerings and add-ons handily play the value-added part.
Physically, it's a rather standard smartphone design. I, personally, don't like the button arrangement or the overall shape, but I can imagine some people appreciating the aesthetics. Body is almost entirely plastic, so it doesn't feel all that sturdy. Display is a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, although resolution is low at only 480 x 320 pixels. While not the sharpest, it is ample bright and colorful, with good touch response to boot.
As a phone, the Samsung Vitality makes for decent calls with little distortion, although it's notably lacking in volume, making for a tough time holding a conversation while in a noisy environment. Speakerphone is almost unusable anywhere but in a closed room. The battery is rated at 6.5 hours of talk time.
The main selling point here is the inclusion of Muve Music, which even gets a dedicated button on the right spine (well, it uses the same one as the shutter control). The Muve Music offerings are the same as when Cricket first offered them via the Samsung Suede, coming with plenty of tools, playback options and a solid library. Do note that you don't buy any music with the service -- you pay to use it via an included monthly subscription. A Muve-formatted microSD card needs to be inserted in order to use the service.
Actual phone features are standard Android 2.3 smartphone fare: robust messaging, wireless connectivity (3G, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS) and a host of preloaded software. A modest 800MHz processor muscles the thing, but its speedy enough to not be an issue (no lags when launching apps or switching to Muve Music). The 3.2 megapixel camera manages average-looking shots for both outdoors and indoors.
The Samsung Vitality makes its case with one very pronounced selling point: Muve Music. For folks who spend loads of time listening to tunes on their mobiles, this could very well be a solid purchase. Price is $199.99 for the phone, with a non-binding $65 per month contract (includes unlimited text, talk, internet and Muve Music).