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Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto review

4.6/10 AVG.
RATING



4.6/10
Informr score
The Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto currently has an Informr score of 4.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 31 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Helio Mysto is the CDMA version of the Samsung U600, but with many improvements.

The popularity and intrigue surrounding Helio phones rests in the rich bundle of onboard applications, including robust IM and email features found on all their latest models, and the Mysto is no exception. In fact, the shorter feature list would be the one listing what the Mysto cannot do!

Helio could make a phone shaped like a spatula and it would have terrific features and awesome icons.

The Mysto is an attractive, super-slim slider, complimented by a beautiful 2.2 inch screen boasting excellent resolution and a variety of customizable settings. It comes with GPS and makes great use of it with numerous free, clever applications, including “Tellme”, a GPS search with voice recognition, and “WHERE”, an application which allows you to assign a value to a widget, such as “cheapest gas station”, “local pub finder”. The Mysto also includes the innovative feature “Idle Search”, which allows you to search directly from the main screen, simply by typing in a search term. Default search results come from Yahoo, Yelp, Amazon and Wikipedia.

The external keys are electrostatic; they vibrate when touched.

Keep in mind that Helio designs phones for young people, and I think they do it better than anyone else. All the features relate to personalization, communication and interaction. Like their other phones, the Mysto can do things you didn’t even know you wanted to do! The Mysto is a hip smartphone, but a smartphone for young folks who want a pocket-rocket of technology; it’s not for someone looking for a smartphone with business applications.

The Mysto includes a 2MP camera, down from the 3.2MP employed by the Samsung U600. It comes pre-loaded with photo software to modify the pictures in any number of fun ways.

The Mysto also includes full HTML, making surfing the web a blast. You can zoom in on an area easily and even copy pictures and videos found on the internet and use them as static or fluid wallpapers!

Deciding on the Mysto is clearly a form factor issue. If the crazy popular dual-slider Helio Ocean is too thick or bulky for you, the Mysto would be a wonderful alternative. Keep in mind, however, that in achieving the slim form factor, the keypad is flat, much like the Motorola Razr, and clearly different from the sure-fire knobby, rubber buttons found on the Ocean.

The Helio Mysto definitely continues the Helio mystique!


Operating system
Custom
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
2.2"
Camera
2+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


MobileBurn

The Helio Mysto is certainly an attractive handset, and the multimedia features are incredibly tempting. However, I found the user interface to be a bit difficult, specifically the inconsistent touch-sensitive keys and slider behavior. The battery life is satisfactory, but there's nothing that reall...

- Ricky Cadden, MobileBurn


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the SPH-A523 Mysto on January 16, 2008.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto user manual here.


Samsung backs up the SPH-A523 Mysto with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your SPH-A523 Mysto has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
2.2"

The Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto's screen size is 2.2 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown

There is a processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
2+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 2+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
106 MB

Internal memory is 106 MB. An external, MicroSD (up to 4 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
880mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 880 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 8.5 days standby time.

SPH-A523 Mysto Specs

Overview
Release date January 16, 2008
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
CDMA:
850/1900 MHz
Data:
1xRTT, EV-DO Rev. 0
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System
Processor
Internal Storage 106 MB
RAM No
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.39 W/kg
Body: 0.79 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 880 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 8.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Slider
Colors Sapphire blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.5 x 5.0 x 1.3 cm (4.1 x 2 x 0.5 in)
Weight 95 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 262k
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 2.2 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Standard / 12-key Numeric
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry T9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity 1000
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 4 GB)
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Brightness control, Multi-shot, Self-timer, White balance
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
QVGA (320 x 240 pixels), 14 fps
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 2.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Helio Mysto

-
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto Reviews
Where to buy Samsung SPH-A523 Mysto
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Critic Reviews


MobileBurn

There's nothing that really makes this handset stand out

from MobileBurn

The Helio Mysto is certainly an attractive handset, and the multimedia features are incredibly tempting. However, I found the user interface to be a bit difficult, specifically the inconsistent touch-sensitive keys and slider behavior. The battery life is satisfactory, but there's nothing that really makes this handset stand out from the rest of the Helio lineup. I would give the Helio Mysto a Recommended rating overall....

More

The Helio Mysto is certainly an attractive handset, and the multimedia features are incredibly tempting. However, I found the user interface to be a bit difficult, specifically the inconsistent touch-sensitive keys and slider behavior. The battery life is satisfactory, but there's nothing that really makes this handset stand out from the rest of the Helio lineup. I would give the Helio Mysto a Recommended rating overall.

Read full review

Less



User Reviews


Very Annoying Phone!

Have only just activated this phone (it is a refurbished phone sent to me by Telus a couple of years ago, but never activated until now). In less than a week I am already experiencing major annoyance and frustration. It almost always does not hang up after making a call...closing it, pressing the end k...More
Have only just activated this phone (it is a refurbished phone sent to me by Telus a couple of years ago, but never activated until now). In less than a week I am already experiencing major annoyance and frustration. It almost always does not hang up after making a call...closing it, pressing the end key does not work most times, and it then phones the person back several times in a row...and I'm unable to get it to hang up!!! How embarrassing to have a phone that is out of control! It also goes to voicemail after only one ring even if I have slid the phone open to answer! Hate the phone...and Telus will not provide another phone, they have told me I can buy one from them or someone else! Worst phone I have ever owned. Don't waste your money. Less

Worst phone I have ever owned

Pros: - slim design - easy to use Cons: - if I miss a phone call while its in my purse or something, it will actually CALL people back on its own - the touch buttons became less sensitive over a year - after a few months, I had to send it back to get it fixed as the phone came out of alignment and the...More
Pros: - slim design - easy to use Cons: - if I miss a phone call while its in my purse or something, it will actually CALL people back on its own - the touch buttons became less sensitive over a year - after a few months, I had to send it back to get it fixed as the phone came out of alignment and the top half had to be slid down to be responsive (this happened again a few months later, but it was worse with absolutely no response from any buttons except the number pad) - the text message would NOT send if it was over a certain length. Even though I was allowed to write 1000 characters, if it went over one screen the message would say sending 0% and just NEVER send - the same happened with any picture messages -- All in all, this phone was great for about a month and then it started giving me problems. I do NOT recommend this phone as it is a piece of garbage. I tend to not be the most graceful with my phones, and I do tend to drop them a lot, but this phone started messing up even before it was ever dropped and it's never suffered any severe drops/damage. Less

Decent

Not bad. Basic. Cool design

Buy another phone

Pros: -other people talking sounds clear -built in digital camera pretty clear -decent battery life Cons: -very blurry camcorder -sometimes calls back the person I just hung up with when sliding the phone closed to hang up -keypad requires extreme precision to avoid fat-fingering other keys, and I'm...More
Pros: -other people talking sounds clear -built in digital camera pretty clear -decent battery life Cons: -very blurry camcorder -sometimes calls back the person I just hung up with when sliding the phone closed to hang up -keypad requires extreme precision to avoid fat-fingering other keys, and I'm a slim guy without fat fingers The calling back people after I hang up with them has to be the most frustrating problem I have with this phone. This not only burns my air time but is also pretty annoying for the other person too. The keypad has to be the most poorly designed keypad I've seen on a cell phone. It's extremely difficult to type a message without accidentally hitting other keys unless I use the tip of my thumb nail. I strongly suggest not buying this phone. I wanted it because of the slide feature and there weren't many reviews at the time I got it because it was brand new, but now I regret it. Less

donniboy Brampton

Telus offered me a new phone when my contract came due 6 months ago, no charge. I wanted a phone with camera, bluetooth and hands free. I do not use text... only make or receive 2-4 calls a day on a heavy day. many days go by with no calls. The Telus folks said the A523 was the one. FRUSTRATION begins...More
Telus offered me a new phone when my contract came due 6 months ago, no charge. I wanted a phone with camera, bluetooth and hands free. I do not use text... only make or receive 2-4 calls a day on a heavy day. many days go by with no calls. The Telus folks said the A523 was the one. FRUSTRATION begins. The battery was fully charged for 24 hours.. then I played around with the features for another day. Now after 6 months, I have had it. Telus have no resolve for me other than purchasing another phone, used or new.. mor expense because the phone they chose for me does not work.. CONS.. battery life, standby, 36hrs tops. Camera.. cannot download pics from camera to computor without taking out memory card which I had to buy separately. The soft keys drive anyone nuts.. go near them and they take you to the unknown realms of cyberspace.... the hands free feature demands you to press 5 keys before activating it. By that time you would be in a ditch. I purchased a hi end blootooth device for the car and the phone volume is so low you cannot hear phones verbal instructions, all volumes set on hi. The hands free dialing absolutely ingores me half the time, asking me for a command which I offer in rising volumes at each request. The lady in the phone can only be heard when you are in a quiet washroom in a secluded park etc. The voice quality of incoming calls is also very poor. I am thinking of putting it in a drawer and just using my old Samsung A650 and A540 phones. By the way, I just turned on the A650 which has not been plugged in or turned on for 6 months and it still has a 1/2 full battery, What a wonderful show for technology, the old was better than the new. donnibly Less

Worst phone ever made

I've had this phone since march and I've hated it since april. The battery won't make it through the day, the buttons are way to sensitive, and for some reason it will call you back if I don't answer, even when I'm not in the room. Seriously, I'm not even making that up, it will repeatedly call some...More
I've had this phone since march and I've hated it since april. The battery won't make it through the day, the buttons are way to sensitive, and for some reason it will call you back if I don't answer, even when I'm not in the room. Seriously, I'm not even making that up, it will repeatedly call some missed callers back, we're talking 20-30 times in a row, until I walk in the room and hear it ringing someone. Even if they answer it will just call them back again when they hang up, it's really weird. If you ever meet the team who developed this phone, please tell them to quit their job. Thanks, Less

WORST PHONE EVER!

It looks nice, but that's it. You can't use the music player for very long because your battery will die within a few hours. After only 3 months the touch buttons went all wonky and would go off even if nothing was touching them, and then after 6 months stopped working altogether. Waste of money and ve...More
It looks nice, but that's it. You can't use the music player for very long because your battery will die within a few hours. After only 3 months the touch buttons went all wonky and would go off even if nothing was touching them, and then after 6 months stopped working altogether. Waste of money and very frustrating phone. Would call people back after hanging up. Less

Not a good phone

Overall, this phone is not an enjoyable experience. The battery life holds up well when not in use, but depletes before you know if after a few calls. The touch buttons are extremely sensitive when turned up high and extremely unresponsive when turned down low. I always have the trouble of re-dialing...More
Overall, this phone is not an enjoyable experience. The battery life holds up well when not in use, but depletes before you know if after a few calls. The touch buttons are extremely sensitive when turned up high and extremely unresponsive when turned down low. I always have the trouble of re-dialing after hanging up and putting the phone in my pocket. To by pass this issue, I actually have to slide my phone open and close it again after every call before i place it into my pocket. It's features are nowhere near exceptional. It is difficult to locate media folders. It looks nice though. Less

absolute piece of junk

I've owned the phone since May 2009 If I fully charge the phone and turn it OFF the battery dies in 5 or 6 hours. I've had it in to be fixed four times now. Each time they say "it tested out to spec". HUNH? A cell phone that you need to leave plugged in to AC power to be able to use? I don't think so.
I've owned the phone since May 2009 If I fully charge the phone and turn it OFF the battery dies in 5 or 6 hours. I've had it in to be fixed four times now. Each time they say "it tested out to spec". HUNH? A cell phone that you need to leave plugged in to AC power to be able to use? I don't think so. Less

THE WORST PHONE I HAVE EVER OWNED!

This phone is truly the worst I have ever owned. I'll give it credit for its great looks and I get compliments on it all the time. Also some of the features like Bluetooth, 2MP Camera and touch buttons are pretty cool. However, After owning it for 11 months it glitched and the screen would stay on all...More
This phone is truly the worst I have ever owned. I'll give it credit for its great looks and I get compliments on it all the time. Also some of the features like Bluetooth, 2MP Camera and touch buttons are pretty cool. However, After owning it for 11 months it glitched and the screen would stay on all the time after texting which wasted the battery. Not to mention, the battery doesn't last more than a day even when I don't even use it!!! 2 weeks after getting it sent away to be fixed it broke AGAIN, this time the screen wouldn't stay on when it was fully opened. I think these are common problems with this phone. I've babied this phone from day one and the screen is in mint condition so there is no reason for these problems to occur. My warranty is about to expire and I have this phone for another year so now I need to spend more money to extend the warranty! I'm getting so sick of loaner phones! Less
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