The 360 H1 is Vodafone’s foray into the world of application-based mobiles, and the next in the long line of iPhone contenders. So with the iPhone coming to Vodafone very soon is the 360 worth the time and effort and what does it offer users in terms of connectivity and functionality.
The Vodafone 360 Samsung H1
What’s in the box?
- The Vodafone 360 Samsung H1 handset
- MicroUSB wall charger
- Headphones and wired headset adapter
- USB to MicroUSB sync cable
- Manual and Warranty card
Vodafone 360 (Samsung H1) specification:
- Display: AMOLED – 16M colors, 480 x 800 pixels – 3.5 inches
- Operating System: LiMo OS
- Processor: ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz, PowerVR SGX graphics
- Memory: Internal: 16 GB / Card slot: microSD (TransFlash) up to 16GB
- 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- 3G: HSDPA 2100
- Camera: 5 MP, 2560 x 1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
- Alert types: Vibration; Polyphonic(64) / MP3 ringtones
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Dimensions: 115.9 x 58 x 12.9 mm – 60 cc
- Weight: 134 g
- Battery: Standard battery – Li-Ion
- Talk time: Up to 10 h (2G) / Up to 6 h 40 min (3G)
- MP3 / video player
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- GPS with A-GPS support
- 3G / HSDPA
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth: v2.0 with A2DP
The Vodafone 360 H1 looks every part the exciting new communication device offering some great innovative features sure to keep even the latest tech savvy social butterfly. Now I am fairly sure Vodafone would not appreciate the tag of iPhone clone however if manufacturers continue designing phones in a style, which was perfected by the iPhone, then unfortunately this tag remains. If this is a style perfected by Apple I suppose Vodafone have no need to change it and for the most part it works with the 360 however I am personally not a massive fan of the plastic back, it seems a little cheap.
The front of the H1 houses the large 3.1″ touch screen along with three navigational buttons. Call buttons along with a quick launch contact key and applications page shot cut.
The Vodafone 360 front view
The right of the device is home to the dedicated shutter key and also a rather helpful and colourful search quick launch key.
The Vodafone 360 right view
The left of the H1 features a two-way volume rocker and also the mini USB connector, which is cleverly hidden behind a sliding panel keeping it safe from dust etc. while improving the overall design of the phone.
The Vodafone 360 left view
The back of the 360 has the 5 megapixel camera along with that all, important flash. The back also features the obligatory Vodafone branding.
The Vodafone 360 back view
The top of the device has the dedicated standby button and a much welcome 3.5mm headphone socket.
The Vodafone 360 top view
So 360 is a new service being launched by Vodafone, which aims to bring the world together, well maybe not the world but your contacts at least. Basically it is their way of bringing all your contact together in one place whether this is through social networking sites or your mobile contacts. The idea and purpose of this is to encourage people to communicate in a new exciting way. But does it do this? Well the short answer is ‘yes’ but the slightly longer answer is ‘yes, but it is far from perfect’.
Now although this is not a review of the service, as the Samsung H1 is currently one of the few phones able to use the service it seemed wrong not to mention it. And also the phone has clearly been designed with 360 in mind and not the other way around. Looks wise as I mentioned earlier the H1 is not an unattractive device however I am personally not a massive fan of the silver plastic I feel for a device of this status it should try a little harder to warrant the price tag with its looks.
The H1′s emphasis on connecting people and contact is apparent right from the start after unlocking the phone using the completely original cough slide to unlock feature you will be greeted by a either a mass of coloured heads or if you have particularly photogenic friends a collage of your friends for you to scroll through in a 3D depth rich layout. Navigation on the H1 was something I found surprisingly easy. The introduction of this new style for Vodafone had me worried that it may come with a lengthy learning curve however after just a few clicks you will soon find yourself flicking through your features with great ease.
This ease of use is due largely to the navigational buttons at the bottom of the device a quick click of the contact button will allow you to switch between the colourful and creative collage of contact or a more conventional list view and the same applies for the apps button switching between either a gird or list view of all your favourite applications.
The H1 houses a hefty 5 megapixel with an LED flash, which is certainly a welcome addition. I was pleasantly surprised with the image quality of the H1 and would even go as far as to say it rivals some dedicated digital cameras of a similar resolution out there on the market today. The various different modes including panoramic and smile, and with video capabilities the H1 may well have your current digital camera shaking with fear as it positions itself as a rival to the modern camera striving to do it all.
The H1 also features an easy to use music player and what makes this player so much easier to enjoy is the 3.5mm headphone jack and my joy was even more profound after discovering it is located on the top of the device, which allows the H1 to sit comfortably in the pocket without a protruding cable.
Applications wise the H1 has a fair amount to offer including YouTube and Facebook apps and with many more available through the 360 store it seems like Vodafone are set to bring their own offering to the already fit to burst apps market. However it is difficult to judge at this point but things look promising. Connectivity wise the H1 is fairly standard stuff, Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G etc. however the inclusion of WiFi is certainly a very welcome addition. The large touch screen makes using applications and things like web browsing enjoyable and easily navigated with little trouble.
So one thing that many have said about the iPhone and to be fair other devices focused more on apps than communication is that although they may be a great source of entertainment on the move when it comes to them operating like a phone they disappoint. The H1 however for me anyway really did seem to take a step closer to combining great feature rich applications while still maintaining its primary use as a mobile phone. The speakerphone is crystal clear and using the phone in the traditional way isn’t bad either with minimal muffling and clear sound throughout the call.
Performance with the H1 is something which for such a feature packed device surprised me there is little to no LAG when scrolling through contacts or applications and using the touch screen qwerty keyboard is a breeze so no complaints there. Battery life for the H1 is quoted at up to 10 hours 2G-talk time, which is not bad for a device with so much to offer, and I had little trouble with rapidly depleting battery in the time I spent with it. The phone is a fair size however not too clunky to slip in your pocket and the weight is a comparatively light 134 grams compared to other similar devices.
The H1 or the Samsung Vodafone 360 H1 to give it its full title is a phone full of promise however at this time it is certainly more promise less fulfilment. The 360 platform is one which excites me and if carried out properly could be a real success for Vodafone however at this time it is a little like when you first got Facebook or MySpace its great and has so much to offer however it is a service which relies heavily on your friends and contact being a part of it as well, and given that the H1 is one of the few devices able to use the 360 platform until it is rolled out onto more common devices it will remain a phone of great potential and not a device that delivers the before mentioned potential. A great phone for those wanting to be the leader of the pack who is not concerned with having to wait a while for others to catch up.
Review by: Nick
Post Tags: [Vodafone 360, Samsung H1, LinMo, tracyandmatt.co.uk]