5 used & new from $27.50

Samsung a197 Phone (AT&T)

4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
| 7 answered questions

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Available from these sellers.
  • Easy-to-use clamshell phone for voice communication and text messaging
  • VGA camera for still photos; Bluetooth; speakerphone; access to personal e-mail and instant messaging services
  • Up to 6 hours of talk time, up to 300 hours (12.5 days) of standby time.
  • What's in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, charger. and Back cover
3 used from $27.50 2 refurbished from $35.00

Product Features

  • Size (LWH): 3.54 inches, 1.83 inches, 0.78 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Network Compatibility: GSM
  • Phone Book Capacity: 100 Entries
  • Minimum Rated Talk Time: 542 minutes
  • Minimum Rated Standby Time: 648 hours
  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion
  See more technical details

Product Description

Product Description

This entry-level clamshell GSM phone is similar to the A167, but adds Bluetooth. Other key features include an external display, VGA still camera, MMS, and downloadable games and content.


Offering a compact, flip form factor, the Samsung a197 brings a nice balance of features and design to your fingertips. The a197 lets you check your Yahoo! Mail, AOL and Windows Live accounts so you can read and respond to tidings from friends and jokes from your aunt. And you can chat with your friends without having to speak a word via instant messaging services--all you need is a Yahoo! Messenger, AOL or Windows Live account.

The Samsung a197 also features a VGA camera for still photos, Bluetooth for hands-free communication, speakerphone, USB connectivity, and up to 6 hours of talk time.

Pay As You Go with GoPhone

With AT&T's GoPhone pay-as-you-go service, you get all the benefits of wireless without the surprises--no long-term contracts, credit checks, or deposits. You can easily refill your minutes via prepaid cards or the Internet, or choose to prepay each month and roll over unused minutes.

You can choose from a variety of plans that suit your individual needs--including monthly and daily plans with unlimited talk and text messaging as well as a simple per-minute plan. And with Rollover Balance, you can carry over your unused account balance when you refill before your balance expires, up to the account maximum (learn more below).

Key Features

  • EDGE data connectivity with average data speeds between 75-135Kbps--fast enough to support a range of data services including full picture messaging, Internet access, and e-mail on the go.
  • 1.37-inch internal display (128 x 160 pixels, 65K color depth)
  • External monochrom screen displays incoming calls, current time and date, signal strength, and battery life.
  • Standard alpha-numeric keypad with backlit keys
  • VGA camera for still photos with 4x digital zoom
  • Bluetooth connectivity (version 2.0) includes profiles for communication headset and hands-free car kits.
  • 128 MB internal memory (non-expandable)
  • Mobile Web: Check local weather, your team scores or movie listings with just a few clicks.
  • Text messaging: You can text message to other wireless phones and e-mail addresses.
  • Instant messaging: Chat in real-time using your favorite instant messenger provider such as AIM, Yahoo! or Messenger.
  • Mobile e-mail: Access to personal e-mail including AOL, Yahoo!, Windows Live (data charges apply)
  • T9 predictive text entry
  • Organizer tools including calendar, alarm clock, calculator, and voice memo
  • Airplane mode allows you to listen to music while the cellular connectivity is turned off
  • Predictive text for fast typing
  • Hearing Aid (HAC) rating M3/T4

Vital Statistics

The Samsung a197 weighs 2.68 ounces and measures 3.78 x x 1.85 x 0.75 inches. Its 800 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 6 hours of talk time, and up to 300 hours (12.5 days) of standby time. It runs on the 850/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE frequencies.

What's in the Box
Samsung a197 handset, rechargeable battery, charger, operating instructions, GoPhone SIM card

AT&T GoPhone Service

GoPhone logo

AT&T's pay-as-you-go GoPhone plans are wireless plans made easy, simply pay in advance for what you need. No long-term contracts, credit checks, or surprise bills--just all the benefits of wireless, with no complications. In addition, AT&T's Rollover Balance feature lets you carry over your unused account balance when you purchase refill minutes before your balance expires.

Other great GoPhone features include no long distance or roaming fees across AT&T's national service area, the ability to track usage via text messages with an updated balance after each call, and the ability to refill your minutes 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. You can also choose to add international long distance for calling to over 50 countries (including Mexico landlines and Canada) for just $10 for 250 minutes. And you can cancel any time without penalty.

GoPhone Plan Options
  • $50 Monthly Unlimited Plan includes unlimited talk, text (both U.S. and internationally), and access to Internet data and web browsing (smartphone users must purchase a separate data package).
  • $25 Monthly Plan includes 250 minutes of talk time, unlimited text messages, and international texting at 25¢ per message. Data and mobile web browsing is charged per use, or you can buy a package.
  • $2 Unlimited Daily Talk & Text is a good plan for those who do not use their phone every day, and data packages can be added. It's charged ONLY on days when the phone is used to make or receive a voice call (including a call to voice mailbox), use IM, or send a text or picture/video/sound message. Data is charged per use, or via a package.
  • Per Minute enables you to make phone calls at just 10¢ a minute--perfect for those looking to use their phone very infrequently or for emergencies. You can also send texts at 20¢ per message (25¢ per international message), or choose a monthly package. Data is charged per use, or via a package.

Smartphone users can use any of these GoPhone plans, however, a smartphone require a data/web package to use data/web services. Pay-per-use data/web is not available on smartphone devices. Data packages for all GoPhone plan options (for mobile web access for e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and more) include the following:

  • 500 MB for $25
  • 100 MB for $15
  • 10 MB for $5

Data packages are good for 30 days, as long as your account balance is not expired. Standard rates apply if feature package is not renewed after 30 days.

Learn more about AT&T GoPhone plans from this handy chart, plus check out AT&T's nationwide coverage map.

How to Refill Your Account

For your convenience 24/7, you can add money to your account in a variety of ways and in a variety of amounts.

  • With Rollover Balance, if you refill your account before your balance expires, you keep your unused balance.
  • Purchase a refill card at any AT&T store and over 200,000 other retail locations in the U.S. Most refill cards will let you dial *888* to refill using the PIN number on the card.
  • Use a credit/debit card and visit att.com/mygophone to refill online. You can also set up Auto Refill and Text to Refill, which enables you to refill directly from your phone.

To check on your current balance, dial*777# and press SEND to receive a text massage indicating your account balance and expiration date.

AT&T GoPhone refill cards are available in these amounts:

  • $15 (30-day expiration)
  • $25 (90-day expiration)
  • $50 (90-day expiration)
  • $60 (90-day expiration)
  • $100 (1-year expiration)

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.8 inches
Item Weight 3.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 8 ounces
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number Samsung a197
Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #163,939 in Cell Phones & Accessories (See Top 100 in Cell Phones & Accessories)
#812 in Cell Phones & Accessories > Carrier Cell Phones
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I wanted a simple phone for making occasional calls and texts. This phone is it.

If you're looking for a phone that does apps/games/music/web surfing, then you're better off getting a smart phone.

The call quality has been good for me. Make sure to check AT&T's coverage map, because results will vary.

This phone has an easy-to-use interface and allows for plenty of customization. The silver disc supports 4 custom shortcuts, and the "Go To" button supports 12 shortcuts. Even without shortcuts, you're still only a few clicks away from most menu options.

The camera is good enough for setting a custom wallpaper, but don't expect to win any photography awards. This phone wasn't build to handle a lot of media. It supports up to 27 photos at 640x480 (the highest resolution), and about 200 photos with the average setting.

I especially like the Alarm. You can set alarms that span certain days (e.g. one for weekdays, one for weekends, one for M-W-F).

The phone has a MicroUSB port, which could allow you to charge your phone from your computer (the phone ships with a wall charger).

For those concerned with health risks, this phone has a very low SAR rate (0.24 W/kg at the ear). It's well below the federal limit of 1.6 W/kg.

Again, this phone does not have a lot of bells-and-whistles, but it works well. With occasional use (~ 300 minutes or less per month), it will end up saving a lot of money over a contract plan.
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If you deduct the 15$ airtime credit from the price you get good value for your money. The phone is basic, but really good for voice calls and text messages. The cover is made from durable plastic. If the display is difficult to read in bright sunshine you might try increasing the brightness of the display. In case you are looking for the SIM PIN: it is 1111 on att gophones. The phone is very leight and the battery really lasts long. So do compare the amazon.com product description with the net price (20$) you are paying. If you expect a camera with a higher resolution or any other big feature you have to look for another phone.
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I was looking for a simple phone without all of the bells and whistles. The Samsung A 197 pretty much qualifies. As I use a prepaid plan w/o any data options there are a lot of features to this phone I would never use, but they are there for those who want them.

Pros: The hinges for the clam shell design are solid. Standby time is acceptable, but not really anything special. Sound quality and voice quality are good.

Cons: Hands free options are Blue Tooth or Samsung's own ear bud/microphone system. As the connection is a micro USB, other ear bud connectors are not going to work. The speaker phone is total crap. With speaker volume as high as it will go, it is almost impossible to hear the person on the other end. Pretty much limits the hands free options to Blue Tooth.

I did receive the $15 airtime credit and there was absolutely no problems with using A T & T's online setup. The airtime credit is 90 days instead of the normal 30 days for that amount of money.
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(OK, you can stop laughing now. To answer your next question, mid 50's. For the following, I keep saying `minutes', but of course I mean $$$, and how many minutes it gives you depends on the GoPhone plan you choose)
The impetus for buying this was: I had forgotten how expensive a bunch of long distance phone calls cost over a landline. There was a family tragedy, and for the phone bills I racked up, I coulda bought several of these GoPhone thingies, so I finally decided to get one.
For the rather modest price tag, compared to a 2 year contract, you get all the accessories you need plus free airtime, so I consider this to be a great deal and give it highest recommendation. I remind you, however, that this is an old school "dumb" phone.
Besides the phone, you get a SIM card, battery, AC charger, and included minutes, so you are good to go right out of the box. I had never seen a SIM card before, so it took me a minute to figure out how to punch it out and insert it into the phone. The factory settings for the display were no good, so I had take the brightness and screen idle time and set them to max. The best part was the minutes: once the phone was charged, you call a number listed in the quick start guide, and in less than half an hour I got my first text message telling me my minutes were activated; how cool is that? ICYW, this text message was free.
It has number buttons, and call button, and an end call button (the latter 2 double as power on and off).
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I bought this phone because I needed a Bluetooth compatible phone. The phone is compatible with the Bluetooth in my car. I have not tried it with an ear bud. The phone is simple to use and has all the basic features of a cell phone. I do not know if the text messaging works as I do not text. There are plenty of fancier cell phones on the market but if you need a basic, inexpensive, blue tooth phone, this is the phone for you. I am very pleased with this phone and I would purchase this phone again.
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