Tag: Samsung

By November 30, 2009 Read More →

Samsung Omnia Lite review

We have seen an influx for devices since the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 and we also note that Samsung has been busy with their Omnia range. With the original Omnia being so popular are Samsung just jumping on the band wagon to promote all of their new toys or are they genuinely as good as the original?

The Samsung B7300 Omnia Lite

The Samsung B7300 Omnia Lite


What’s in the box?

  • Samsung Omnia Lite
  • Triangular standalone stylus with loop for phone attachment
  • Full User manual with over 150 pages
  • Getting started disc
  • Stereo headset with microUSB connector

Also have a look at Matt’s Samsung Omnia Lite unboxing video for more.


Samsung Omnia Lite specification:

  • Operating System – Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Processor – ARM 1176 667MHz processor
  • Memory – 250MB Internal
  • Display – TFT resistive touchscreen, 65K colours, 240 x 400 pixels, 3.0 inches
  • TouchWiz v2.0 UI
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
  • Operating Frequency – GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900  3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
  • 3G HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, DLNA
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
  • microUSB
  • GPS Integrated with A-GPS
  • microSD (TransFlash), up to 32GB
  • DviX/XviD/MPEG4/H.263/H.264/WMV9 player
  • MP3/AAC/WMA player
  • TV-out
  • Camera – 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
  • Battery – Standard battery, Li-Ion 1500 mAh
  • Dimensions – 107 x 51.8 x 12.9 mm
  • Weight – 103 grams with battery




The top of the device you can find the microUSB sync/ charge and headset connector, no 3.5mm to be found on this device. There is also a very small and recessed loop for connecting the stylus or charms etc.

Samsung Omnia Lite-top

Samsung Omnia Lite top view


On the left of the Samsung is an up/down volume rocker and a customisable Menu which doubles as a voice recorder when long pressed. There is also a small reset hole.

Samsung Omnia Lite left side view

Samsung Omnia Lite left side view


On the busier right hand side there is a dedicated camera button, a covered microSD card slot and a screen lock key, which actually suspends the device rather than locking the screen.

Samsung Omnia Lite right side view

Samsung Omnia Lite right side view


Nothing can be found on the bottom apart from the mic.

Around the back of the Omnia lite there is a speaker grill underneath which is the 3.15 autofocus camera, no flash or mirror, however the back is shiny enough to see for portrait pictures.

Samsung Omnia Lite back view

Samsung Omnia Lite back view


On the front can be found a front facing camera lens, for video calling and an earpiece recess. Below this is the 3″ touchscreen, covered in the review.

Samsung Omnia Lite front view

Samsung Omnia Lite front view


Underneath the screen there is 3 buttons the talk/speakerphone button, next is what looks like an optical Dpad or joystick but turns out to be a nothing more than a back button and finally to the right of this is the end/power button.



  • Neat, small form factor
  • High spec




  • Screen resolution
  • Screen responsiveness
  • Detached stylus





On looking around for information the Lite is obviously priced for the mid range market, but without compromising on the spec. Out of the box it is small and neat, the chrome accents and strips mean the phone feels comfortable and solid to hold. In this world of massive devices this is totally the opposite, measuring in at 107 x 51.8 x 12.9 mm you have to say it is small, but on the plus side very pocketable. Matt went as far as describing the Omnia Lite as being ‘cute’ but I am not sure if that is a good thing or not.

The specs do look impressive with the inclusion of the 667 MHz processor, HSDPA, 3G, GPS and Xtra (similar to QuickGPS) and a reasonable autofocus camera etc. There has been no skimping here.

One the thing that I find hard to understand is that I imagine this device being targeted at the first time user and younger people, yet it can appear ridiculously complicated, I am a long time windows mobile user and I love to have apps and gadgets included in my phones to keep me interested, but as Samsung have included Windows mobile and their own TouchWiz v2.0 UI forget trying to find anything in a hurry. As you can see below the customisable menus offer, for me, a little too much choice, not forgetting that this list grows the more programs you add, I just can’t help feeling there must be a better way to get organised. 5 pages of menus are a little long winded. Although a lot of these are customisable and could be made quite minimal.

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One disappointment picked up my Matt in his unboxing was the screen resolution, I can see what he means when he talked about the sharpness not quite being there, we have by now got used to the fantastic screen from other Samsung devices, and unfortunately this is not one of them. The 240 x 400 pixels resolution and the small screen size gives an appearance or a slight blurring, hopefully you can see what is meant in the screenshots, don’t get me wrong it in no way makes the device unusable or anything like it, it is just not as sharp as it could be. On top of that it is also not as responsive as it should be at times, I found myself stabbing at the screen more than twice to get certain apps to work or close, quite often while hitting the ‘x’ that the appointments app would open which proved very frustrating, maybe I need smaller fingers? Or a stylus….

It also takes some time to get used to the screen being as small as it is, texting is fine with the use of Samsungs own on screen keyboard, but there are times when a stylus definitely comes in handy, the only issue is that there isn’t one onboard you have to have attached it, and this for me is far from ideal.

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Other functions are really as you would expect call quality was fine and the speaker works exactly as you would hope.

As mentioned earlier that camera seems to be pretty decent, as we expect Samsungs are a tad better than most these days, in my opinion, although the omission of a flash and mirror is a shame. Only 3.15 megapixel’s too but not that bad, it certainly will not replace you dedicated camera.

The battery on the Omnia was also as expected, good to see that the higher capacity 1500 mAh has been included as standard, and lasted a good day plus, dependant, as always, on what is being used and when. Overall, acceptable.

The GPS with Xtra also worked well, I trialled N Drive as well as CoPilot and Google maps and all where responsive and accurate, the only issue is the screen size being small to pick up any great detail.





My time with the Samsung has been a mixed bag, the features and spec makes it very useable and easy to get on with in the main. Coupled together the small screen and the unresponsiveness make for quite a few frustrations as well.

I am sure that the compact, high spec phone will appeal to a lot of people, for me it was not the first phone I picked up in the morning for a day’s work, very capable and with all the goodies that you would need but just a few too many niggles that make it outstanding.

I am not really sure that I want a phone that was ‘Cute’, I think I will give the LG GM750 a look now, damn it! Isn’t that the same phone?


Review by: Steve

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
Tags: ,
By July 28, 2009 Read More →

Samsung S8000 JET review


In June this year Samsung hosted launch events called “Samsung Mobile Unpacked” in London, Dubai and Singapore. This event saw the live launch of the Samsung S8000 Jet. The device is advertised as being “smarter than a smartphone”. Let’s see if Samsung are right?

Samsung S8000 JET

The Samsung S8000 JET


The ten second review:

Device: Samsung S8000 Jet

Price: £320.85

Summary: A beautiful device jam-packed with features.

Best of: AMOLED Screen, User friendly.

Worst of: Video recording


What’s in the box?

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • USB Cable
  • In Line Headset
  • Software Disc
  • Manual
  • Plastic Case

Also have a look at Matt’s Samsung S8000 JET unboxing video for more.


Samsung S8000 Jet Specification:

  • Dimensions: 109 x 53.5 x 11.9mm
  • Weight: 99g
  • Battery Capacity: 1100 mAh
  • Display: 480 x 800 pixels/3.1″ AMOLED Display
  • Network: 2G: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
    – 3G: 900/2100 (Dual-Band)
  • Camera: 5 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
  • Video: Hi-Resolution VGA Video Recording
    – 30fps Video Recording (VGA)
  • Music: Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
    – FM Stereo Radio (RDS)
    – FM Radio Recording
    – DNSe Natural Sound Engine
  • Messaging: SMS, E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, MS Exchange)
  • Memory: 2GB (internal)
  • 3.5mm Audio Socket
  • Bluetooth (2.0)
  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
  • AGPS
  • Electronic Compass
  • Accelerometer



The top of the handset contains the 3.5mm headset socket and the micro USB port.

Samsung S8000 JET_top

Samsung JET top view


On the left hand side only a volume up/down rocker can be found.

Samsung S8000 JET left side

Samsung JET left side


The right hand side houses three buttons. The one nearest the top is the device lock button. The middle launches a cube style menu as well as motion features and the bottom key is a dedicated camera key.

Samsung S8000 JET right side

Samsung JET right side


On the front of the handset at the top are the secondary camera lens and also a light sensor. At the bottom are the send/end keys as well as a menu quick launch button.

Samsung S8000 JET Front view Samsung S8000 JET Front control buttons

Samsung JET Front view and control buttons

The rear of the device contains the 5MP camera lens as well as the flash. The nice thing about the back is that at certain angles it looks black but when the light hits it right it has a deep red colour.

Samsung S8000 JET back

Samsung JET back view



  • Wi-Fi
  • AMOLED screen
  • 3.5mm headset jack,


  • Video recording
  • sound quality



I was looking forward to the Samsung JET arriving on my doorstep. I have always been a Samsung fan and have owned more than ten of their handsets over the years. I was intrigued to see how the Jet compared to its main rival (which I would say is the LG Arena) and also if it was as smart as Samsung say it is. As I recently reviewed the Arena I was looking forward to the battle!

After opening the box for the first time I was pleased with the look and feel of the Jet. At only 99 grams the handset is very solid and just feels well made.

The design of the phone is just as good as the build. Its plastic casing is smooth and its rounded edges make it feel comfortable to hold.

The Jet comes with a case inside the box. This is only for protection and does not have a belt clip/loop. I initially thought this was a nice add-on but the case is made of thin plastic and feels cheap.

Using the Samsung JET was a real pleasure and a better experience than I imagined it would be. The AMOLED screen is absolutely stunning! Its colours are so bright and vibrant.

Samsung use there Touchwiz interface on the Jet. This contains the widgets bar on the left of the screen. From here you can drag and drop widgets of your choice onto the home screen. A nice additional feature is that you can swipe the home screen left or right to give you a total of three home screens. By adding widgets to these it can give you quick access to your most used features. For example: on one home screen I had the myspace, facebook and youtube widgets. The only downside to these are that they are not applications but links to the websites. Still a great feature if you use them a lot but not perfect. Could be “smarter” Samsung!

At the bottom of the screen are four on-screen shortcut keys. These are keypad, phonebook, messages and main menu. These work like a dream as the screen is so responsive.

Another shortcut option is the button next to the camera button. A short press of this button opens up a cube interface which contains easy access to the media features on the handset (photos, music, video, radio, games and internet). Although a nice looking feature I found this a bit of a novelty after a while and I could access these features just as quickly through the main menu. It looks nice though!

A longer press of the same button opens up the motion sensor. This teaches you how to use movement and taps to change music tracks etc. I couldn’t get along with this option and found it quite frustrating! Again, it sounds a nice feature but how many people are going to be walking down the street listening to music and then waving there phone around in the air just to skip a track. It may be quite funny to watch though!

Using the Samsung music player was a nice experience. Once opened the player is extremely easy to use with nice big on screen buttons and a graphic equalizer. If the phone is rotated into landscape the screen auto rotates and shows you the albums cover work. You can then scroll left or right to choose the album you wish to listen to.

The sound quality was not as good as I expected though. The supplied Samsung earphones are nice and I actually use these myself but I have had better quality on a lot of other devices. The speaker produced a decent volume but lacked the sound quality. This is one of the few areas where the LG Arena was much better.

Creating both SMS and email on the Jet is a quick and simple. The onscreen keypad is great as the keys are big and responsive. You also have the option to auto rotate the screen and this gives you a full QWERTY keypad. Although in this option the keys are smaller it is still easy to use and with the T9 option messages can be typed with minimal mistakes. The Jet also gives you the option to use handwriting recognition. This actually works well but if its speed you want then stick to using the keypad.

The Jet also has email capabilities. The only down side to this is that you need to input all the settings manually. This is something most “smartphones” do automatically. The upside to this is that you only have to do it once and once it’s done it works well.

The phone contacts menu on the Samsung JET is super cool. It will store up to 2000 contacts and each contact can have a photo attached. In addition there personal information such as email and home address can be stored. A nice feature.

The main menu on the handset is beautiful. The background in the menu is black and this really makes the colours of the menu icons jump out. The main menu consists of three pages and again these can be accessed by swiping left or right. As there are twelve icons per page its very easy to find what you want, unlike some other operating systems which will have you going into folders to find the feature you need.

Web browsing on the Jet is pretty nice. The pages render well and it gives you the option to tap the screen to zoom. Using the Jets Wi-Fi is an added bonus and the whole browsing experience was as good as any other “feature phone”. A nice feature is that you can have several pages open at the same time. By clicking an on screen button you can view the pages you have open and then scroll left or right to select the chosen page. This is actually better than on a lot of “smartphones”.

The 5MP camera does a reasonable job. Its pictures are not fantastic but are as good as you would expect. What really helps though is how easy the camera features are to use. The on screen option buttons make changing the cameras setting simple. There is a nice selection of “scene” modes to choose from. These include portrait, landscape, night, sports, indoors, sunset, dawn and a few more. A decent amount for getting the right shot. The flash on the Jet is pretty decent and has an auto option as expected. There is certainly plenty of space for keeping photos. The Jet has 2GB of internal memory with the option to insert a micro SD card.

Using the video recording option though was a bit of a let down. On screen the video recording look fine but once transferred to a PC they are grainy and a bit blocky. I used QuickTime to view the videos and even watching the videos at half screen size it was not good. Compared to the LG Arena the JET’s video recording was a major let down.

As expected the Jet has lots of additional features such as alarms, calendar, radio, voice recorder, timer, stopwatch, world clock and a few more. All worked a treat and were really easy to use.




Overall the Samsung JET is an amazing little phone. Its jam-packed with features and so easy to use. Although the camera and video features are not as good as on the LG Arena pretty much everything else is better in my opinion.

“Smarter than a smartphone” I don’t think so! It’s smarter than most other “feature phones” but compared to Windows Mobile, Symbian and the iPhone it’s a little bit behind.

If you want a good all round device without the business features then buy a Samsung JET. I would! In fact I think I may well get one for my other half!


Review by: James

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
Tags: ,
By July 15, 2009 Read More →

Samsung JET S8000 unboxing video

Samsung seem to be releasing a large number of handsets at the moment from the Omnia range. The Omnia HD and Omnia II are among the more eagerly awaited models out there and we should be getting our hands on them to review in due course.

This week we received the Samsung JET S8000 to review and initial impression are that this is a decent looking handset with a fabulous AMOLED display. There’s also an 800MHz processor to keep things moving along at a fair old clip and the 5MP camera is pretty good too!

Samsung JET S8000

Samsung JET S8000


As you know by now, we’ll start off with our unboxing video and then spend the next couple of weeks using the Samsung JET before committing to our written review.


Samsung JET S8000 unboxing video


Samsung JET S8000 specification:

  • Dimensions: 109 x 53.5 x 11.9mm
  • Weight: 99g
  • Battery Capacity: 1100 mAh
  • Display: 480 x 800 pixels/3.1″ AMOLED Display
  • Network: 2G: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
    – 3G: 900/2100 (Dual-Band)
  • Camera: 5 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
  • Video: Hi-Resolution VGA Video Recording
    – 30fps Video Recording (VGA)
  • Music: Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
    – FM Stereo Radio (RDS)
    – FM Radio Recording
    – DNSe Natural Sound Engine
  • Messaging: SMS, E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, MS Exchange)
  • Memory: 2GB (internal)
  • 3.5mm Audio Socket
  • Bluetooth (2.0)
  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
  • AGPS
  • Electronic Compass
  • Accelerometer


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Phones, Videos/Unboxings
Tags: ,
By January 28, 2009 Read More →

Samsung i200 review

Following on from my recent S740 review, one of my comments was that I was really impressed by the Smartphone but would have preferred a version without the sliding keyboard. This lead me to have a look around to see what was available with that kind of spec. I ended up taking a closer look at the Samsung i200.

As Matt mentioned in the unboxing video it is an entry level and Windows Mobile standard Smartphone, with a relatively small processor and low end specifications. Described as ‘My very first Smartphone’ is the Samsung i200 any good, or is it too basic to warrant a serious look?

Although this device has been around for a few months it kind of passed me by and even if you go onto the Samsung website it’s masked by the likes of the Omnia and Pixon etc. It took me a while to even find it.

Samsung i200

The Samsung SGH-i200


What’s in the box?

  • Samsung i200
  • AC charger
  • USB sync
  • Stereo headset
  • Quick start guide and CD.
  • Outlook 2007 trial


Pretty standard here, with nothing out of the ordinary to comment on. Have a look at Matt’s Samsung i200 unboxing video for more details.


Samsung SGH-
i200 specification:

  • Dimensions: – 117 x 51 x 12 mm (Corrected from the original Unbox)
  • Display: 240 x 320 pixels (2.3 inch)
  • 128MB ROM / 64MB RAM
  • MicroSD/SDHC memory card slot
  • Network: – GSM: 900/1800/1900 (Tri-Band) – WCDMA: 2100
  • Camera: – 2 mega-pixels
  • Music: – Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
  • Video: – Video Recording – Video Streaming
  • Bluetooth (2.0)
  • GPRS Class 32
  • HSDPA (3.6 Mbits)


Around the i200

On the top of the phone is only the power button, which launches the ‘Quick list’, this allows you various options such as 1. Power off 2. Lock 3. Task Manager 4. Wireless Manager, or access to ‘Profiles’.

Samsung i200_top

Samsung i200 top view


On the left side of the i200 is the ‘Function jack’ to connect the proprietary Samsung connector, USB lead or headset. Once again and the VERY worst thing about the Samsung phones is their refusal to use miniUSB connectors.

Also there is a lanyard loop and the up and down volume rocker.

Samsung i200_left

Samsung i200 left side


Opposite on the right is the dedicated 2 Megapixel camera button which is customisable and can be changed to pretty much whatever you want and there is a MicroSD slot.


Samsung i200 right side


The back of the device finds the camera itself, with no flash or portrait mirror, as well here is the back cover.


Samsung i200 back view


At the sharp end, on the front of the unit is the earpiece, the forward facing camera lens which is next to the light sensor.

The Samsung has a flush fitting QVGA screen which is 2.3” screen underneath which is the left/right soft keys, the send and end keys surrounding the centre key and 4 way navigation key. Flanking all of these buttons is a Home key on the right hand side and a Delete/back key on the left hand side.

Below these is the 12 button key alphanumeric keypad.


Samsung i200 front view


There is nothing on the bottom of the i200.




  • Utter simplicity
  • Clear bright screen
  • Great design and build


  • Proprietary Connection!!
  • Occasional lag
  • No GPS or Wifi



In regard to the Windows Mobile Standard this device is pretty standard, there is Mobile office included as well as Adobe reader including ClearVue PDF viewer, an organiser which includes the calendar, alarm, world clocks, tasks, voice notes and a selection called ‘D-day’ which is a reminder and countdown program to a specific event, such as Birthdays, anniversaries, end of the world etc.

There is also a ‘contents manager’ which seems to be a different, customisable version of File Manager, where you can navigate through My Documents, My Pictures, My Music etc.

The home screen in particular is very customisable because on top of the usual WM home screen Samsung has added a couple of their own to give no less than 15 different options.

Another disappointment, and not a fault of this particular phone, is the lack of third party applications compared with that available for Windows 6.1 professional. I found very little to spice up the phone for a self confessed tinkerer like myself.




On first impressions I really like the look of the Samsung, it is a little longer than the normal, being roughly the same width and similar depth as my diamond, it does come in approximately 15mm longer. A few have mentioned that it is too long, but after using the S740 I have got used to this as they are very similar in length and I would sooner have this than sacrifice either the larger screen or keypad.


The design of the phone is very well laid out and the feel of the device is very easy to live with. It is comfortable to hold and use. I found that all the buttons are responsive and positive. It looks good and is very pocketable due to its slim form factor.

There is occasionally a slight lag due to the lack of ROM/RAM on the device, but never that often or long enough to be annoying. I’m not the most patient of people when it comes to computer processes (I once read that if a web page doesn’t load within 15 seconds then the majority of people log off, I wouldn’t give it that long!) so if the lag had been an issue then I would have been the first to make a big deal of it.

The lack of wifi and GPS is a real shame, but then again the simplicity of the i200 is one of its charms. Like the S740 I found that it does the everyday tasks very well, texting and calling are a doddle, the call quality is fine, and fast web connection is also nice to use.

As a side point, this week I have been messing about with Windows 7 Beta release, and while the Samsung interacts happily with Windows Media Device Centre on Vista, I could not get it to work on W7, despite loading drivers, connecting with Bluetooth etc. It just did not want to know, strange.

The camera is adequate and that’s about it, as a low end device you cannot expect miracles, it does have face and smile recognition technology but in practice I found these not that good, I think adequate says it all.

The battery life on the phone is good; as it is simple it does not make excessive demands on the battery, with normal moderate use I did manage up to 3 days between charges, on a heavy use day it was done by late evening.

Placing the connector hole on the top left of the i200 I feel was a mistake, this would probably have been better at the bottom of the device, being Right-handed I often hold the phone in my left hand to use and the lead was often in the way and made the device awkward to hold.





Is this phone good enough to tempt the Nokia user away and introduce them to Windows? In my opinion, I like this phone a lot, its neat and tidy, slim and feature packed, as a low end device; I think it is very capable and a simple pleasure to use on a regular basis. It has its faults and is not perfect, having said that I like it enough to go about buying one myself. The reason I am buying one is that sometimes my Diamond, as well as other high end devices can quite often over complicate matters, making simple tasks too much of a pain. The i200 is the opposite it is not complicated and does simple tasks very well, there are quite a few times when I just want a decent phone, without the bells and whistles, and for me this a great cheap alternative, at around £160- £190 for me it’s worth the money.

NB. Even better I have just found one of £120, bargain.


Review by: Steve

[ Post Tags: windows mobile, smartphone, Samsung, SGH-i200, i200, My Very First Smartphone, tracyandmatt.co.uk ]

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
By September 9, 2008 Read More →

Samsung i900 Omnia review

Now it is time to review the iPhone look alike Samsung i900 (Omnia). This is yet another high end, flag ship of a phone. Can it stand up to the claim from Samsung that it is ‘A truly all-in-one phone’?

For various reasons I have not really been a fan for the later variations from Samsung, in the early days of splashing out cash for phones, my 1st choice was always for a Sammy. Lately I have been tempted away from them to seek the joys and delights of Windows Mobile, so, now Samsung are even entering that market, can I be tempted back?

Samsung i900 Omnia review

The Samsung i900 Omnia (click images to enlarge)


What’s in the Box?

  • i900 Omnia
  • Mains charger with propriety connector
  • USB to propriety connector PC data cable.
  • 2 part stereo headset allowing own set connection through an adaptor.
  • Spare earpiece plugs
  • Detached telescopic stylus – see review.
  • Getting started disc
  • Minimal quick start guide

As always, you can check out Matt’s Samsung i900 Omnia unboxing video for more information on what’s in the box as well as a quick demonstration of the interface.


Samsung i900 Omnia review specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 8GB Internal (ROM) 16GB model also available.
  • 128MB RAM.
  • 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen (240 x 400 pixels)
  • Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900MHz, HSDPA (7.2 Mbits)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11g
  • 5 megapixel (auto-focus) camera, with face and smile recognition
  • LED Flash
  • GPS
  • microSDHC (up to 16GB)
  • TV Out
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • TouchWiz User Interface
  • 1440mAh battery
  • 112mm (L) x 56mm (W) x 12.5mm (H)


Around the device



The device is very well made, the chrome and black casing feels solid and doesn’t seem to attract the usual finger marks problems seen on most phones these days to the same extent. The back especially is difficult to mark. It is also not overly heavy at a stated 125g. It appears to follow along with a current trend to keep phone fascias uncluttered and minimal.

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Top of the device there is the power switch and an LED status indicator. Also a very small reset hole.

Samsung i900 Omnia top view

Samsung i900 Omnia top view


On the left hand side of the phone, at the top end there is a lanyard connection or maybe the detached stylus connection, more later. Towards the bottom is the covered multifunction jack used for headset, PC connection and charging.

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Top of the right hand side is a dedicated Main menu launch button; below this is the volume up/down rocker and finally the camera key.

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

The bottom of the unit holds nothing more than the mic.

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

On the back you can find the 5 megapixel autofocus camera and LED flash.

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

The screen on the i900 dominates the front as it is a 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen, above you can see the small VGA camera, and below is the a Talk / Speakerphone button and an End / device lock key, these straddle the centred Trackpad.

Inside the back of the device is the side by side SIM card holder and the microSDHC card holder. The battery has to be removed prior to removing either card so no hot swapping here.

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view



  • Great camera
  • Easy to use
  • Great specification


  • Non standard Connectors as usual
  • Missing stylus compartment.




At first I was determined that I did not like the i900 Omnia, it is too long and also resembles the iPhone so much, I was happy not to be a fan. The only reason for me that I took a second look was the specifications appeared impressive. Unfortunately, faults mentioned apart, this is a very nice device that I easily learned to live with and enjoyed a lot more about it than I thought I would have.

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone


There are some points I do not like, for example, it is relatively expensive in its group; however there has to be reasons why it is sold out almost everywhere. So here are some of my thoughts, good and bad.

Firstly when switched on everything is different, the usual Windows screens etc. are nowhere to be found, it took me by surprise to start with, and I have to say I did not like it. I felt that the main menu screen appeared childish in form, the icons appearing in a cartoon style, and the Samsung widget sidebar seemed a waste of time. Now having spent some time with the unit, I have to admit that it probably one of the easiest phones I have used it quite a time, connecting with my car kit and network etc where an absolute doddle. The layout and functionality as a breeze and the icon simplicity made it easy for even those not familiar with Windows mobile to get on in a plain and uncomplicated manner.


The unit certainly responds well and is quick in its opening of applications and the larger processor than standard is also noticeable.



The Samsung widget is handy to use as it is acts as a shortcut to a lot of commonly used programs such as clock, photo album, games, music, radio, profile, notes etc. which can be dropped and dragged straight on to the main screen for launching.


It also boasts Dix VOD straight out if the box once registered. There is also a themes editor allowing the user to change the standard background colour and text colours to one of the multitude of colours available.

The vibration touch screen option was fun at the beginning where a touch of the screen was registered by the phone omitting a gentle buzz, I found that overall this was a little erratic, sometimes it would not register but carry out the command anyway and vice versa, for me in the end it was better switched off. The same can be said for the Auto orientation motion sensor settings, I found that this was better for me set on low as, the simple act of putting the phone down would trigger the screen flipping into landscape, and then having to flip it back again, although it was a handy addition when you did want it to work.

It was also good to be able to rid yourself of the Samsung settings and revert straight back to the standard Windows menus etc. in a way like have 2 different devices really.

Included in the settings are add-on’s such as GPS extra, which I assume downloads satellite positions on a regular customisable interval. There is also a facility to switch the Trackpad between a 4 way navigator or finger mouse, neither of which I find useful, but I know a lot of people do. And as more common on Samsung devices there is also the TV out connection.

Programs are again pretty standard as the device goes, Google maps as you would expect works very well. There is a smart converter for quick conversion of weights, areas, volumes temperatures and lengths. A Touch Player, specifically designed to be able to play music, videos etc at the touch of the screen.

ShoZu enables sharing and watching music videos, shows and photos delivered to your phone automatically again subscription and registration are required.

Apart from the few points already mentioned above, the other good and bad points are as follows;

There is no stylus compartment anywhere on the phone, there is a telescopic stylus included in an attachable case, I find this completely unusable and would imagine one of the easiest ways to scratch the unit would be to attach the stylus and then stow it in your pockets. The advice from Samsung is not to use pens, pencils or any other implements to activate the screen; it fails to mention how to reset the device with your finger?!

The Camera is great, the options and use of the 5 megapixel autofocus was superb and probably the best I have used in a long time, also included was smile as well as face recognition, which seemed to work well enough. I liked playing with such options as the panoramic mode. The photos achieved overall means that you can do away with your extra point and shoot camera, when going out.

Samsung are still insisting that they use their own connectors which drives me crazy, why can’t they adopt the standard miniUSB connections used by so many other manufacturers?

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

The screen is not quite a bright and vibrant as certain new devices lately, although adequate and I definitely preferred the manual settings over the automatic mode, I also had a minor issue with the fact then when displaying a photo, occasionally the phone would fill in the side with a section of the photo repeated, to make up for the longer screen. Having said that, when searching through lists and websites the longer screen was a pleasant extra, as you can see more of the page that you are viewing. Opera worked very well in this form and there is also a built in page zoom when the side of the screen was touched.

The call quality and signal strength indicator appear more than adequate, the earpiece and speaker phones work very well. I also found that the battery life was reasonably good with light to moderate use a couple of days between charges, heavier use of Sat Nav etc. reduces this dramatically.




It is very nice to have Samsung on the Windows Mobile road and this phone was I mentioned above really did grow on me, which was not a real advantage. I am still torn between the Diamond and the Pro, this makes the choice even worse, and the Xperia is likely next week!

I think for me, the advantages of the HTC devices still holds its for me, the VGA screen and the stylus issues mean that i900 not my preferred device of choice. But I was pleasantly surprised on how good it really is. It will be well received by many and also well liked, get over the length of the machine and get involved with the preloaded applications and the ease of use and this will prove to be one of the best phones around. As I covered at the start of the review those in the know have already brought theirs, and that’s why they are sold out!

It has got to be one of the best times in the mobile world for choice of good devices at the moment and more due to follow, will there ever be the ultimate device, or will the makers keep bringing out more and more great devices to part us from our money?



Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By July 15, 2008 Read More →

Samsung F480 Tocco Review

The F480 Tocco is another high-end touchscreen phone from Samsung following in the footsteps of the Armani and the F490 Nerva. It looks like every mobile phone manufacturer wants to have touchscreen devices in its arsenal and I wonder how much this has to do with the success of the iPhone and the HTC Touch.

Samsung F480 Tocco Review

Samsung F480

Samsung F480 (Tocco) Specification:

  • Size: 98.4 x 55 x 11.6 mm
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • Camera:  5 MP, 2592?1944 pixels, autofocus, video(QVGA), flash
  • Battery life: 250 hours standby & 3 hours talk time
  • Display size: 240 x 320 pixels, 2.8 inches touchscreen
  • OS: Custom flash UI on S60 OS
  • Bluetooth: 2.0 with A2DP
  • Memory: 240MB shared memory & MicroSDHC
  • Networks: GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
  • FM radio with RDS
  • MP3/AAC/AAC+ player
  • AC Charger: Output 9VDC, 2.5A


What’s in the box?

  • The Samsung F480 handset
  • Battery
  • Mains Charger
  • Case
  • Handsfree wired headset
  • USB Data Cable
  • CD-ROM
  • User’s Guide



The Samsung F480 Tocco is a lightweight, slim and attractive looking device. On the front we have a 2.8″ TFT display which sits flush within a metal surround. There’s a front-facing VGA camera for video conferencing and a few basic controls under the screen.

Looking to the left hand side of the unit we can see an up-down rocker button for in-call volume control as well as scroll control when browsing web pages for example. Below that a hinged plastic cover hides the MicroSDHC memory card slot.

Samsung F480 left side

Samsung F480 left side


On the other side of the unit there’s a similar plastic cover sitting over the proprietary connector used for charging, connecting a set of headphones (supplied) and for connecting to a PC via USB. Also on the right is a camera button used to launch the camera app. and for actually taking a photo. Directly beneath that are a couple of holes used to attach phone charms or lanyards.

Samsung F480 right side

Samsung F480 right side


Flipping the F480 over reveals an attractive brushed metal back and the 5 mega pixel camera complete with flash. Looking at the back of the F480 you could easily be forgiven for thinking that it was digital camera rather than a mobile phone.

Samsung F480 back & camera

Samsung F480 back & camera



  • 5.0MP camera
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • Classy looks
  • Thin & light


  • Screen attracts dirt and fingerprints
  • No on-screen keyboard
  • No WiFi
  • Tri-band only




I first saw the Samsung F480 Tocco a few weeks ago when I called in at a local phone store. Initially I thought is must be a new Windows Mobile device that I hadn’t seen before (unlikely :P) as I thought it rather unusual for a ‘non-smartphone’ to be almost completely touchscreen. Returning back to the office I decided to drop Samsung a line to see if I could review one.

First impressions of the F480 is that it’s a classy looking phone. The front is clean and understated with just a few push button controls housed in a shiny case. Turning the phone over the metal casing is obvious which makes the phone both look and feel robust.

The supplied leather case should help to maintain its good looks. However, you’ll soon discover that the F480 is a total fingerprint magnet that will have you rubbing the screen on your shirt each time you finish a call having held the glossy screen to your ear! The other drawback of having such a shiny screen is the performance in bright lighting conditions, especially direct sunlight. It’s virtually impossible to use the F480 under these conditions and it has you looking for shade each time you attempt to make a call.

The touchscreen works very well and is quite sensitive to even a soft touch, not quite as good as the iPhone but certainly better than many other touchscreen devices that I’ve used in the past.

The user interface is also a pleasure to use and the main menu is set out as a series of 12 icons. Each of the sub-menus appear in list form and the last used item in each of the lists is highlighted as the default when you open up the menu. This sounds like a reasonable thing to do but actually becomes a bit of a pain, I’d like to be able to turn this feature off but sadly that doesn’t seem to be possible.

It’s been a long time since I used a phone with a numeric pad and as a consequence I find texting and emailing with a numeric pad a bit of a chore. The F480 doesn’t have an on-screen QWERTY keyboard which would be ideal for texting and emailing. I guess T9 is something that you will either love or hate but it would be nice to have the option of both included.

The Samsung F80 Tocco

The Samsung F480 Tocco


The 5 mega pixel camera on the F480 Tocco is quite pleasing. It includes autofocus, digital zoom, LED flash and also a funky new feature called “Smile Shot”. This is similar to the face and smile detection being incorporated in to many mainstream digital cameras and is supposed to be able to tell when your subject smiles and snap a photo at precisely the right moment! This isn’t something that I was able to get working quite right but I suspect that it may depend on the subject and the environment as to how effective this is. That said, the F480 is able to take fairly decent pictures but as I have stated before, camera phones are no substitute for proper purpose-built digital cameras and this one is no different. It is among the best I’ve seen though.

As a music player the F480 performs quite well. There isn’t a vast amount of free memory available on the device as standard, 240MB wont go very far but it will allow you to get a few MP3 files on to start you off. Fortunately you can add up to 8GB of additional storage memory thanks to the microSDHC compatible memory card support. When you do finally run out of music there’s always a built in FM radio, with RDS support, to give you something to listen to.

The media player application is decent and easy to get to grips with.

The application offering the greatest surprise is the built in web browser. To be honest I was expecting this to be basic at best but I have to say that it puts many other mobile web browsers, even the mainstream Pocket IE in smartphone, to shame. The best of the viewing modes for web pages is the smart-fit mode where pages are rendered neatly on the screen and can be read without having to scroll left and right.

There is another disappointment here though as it is NOT possible to rotate the screen and display webpages landscape on the device. Again I would have thought this logical and easy for Samsung to achieve but this feature is sadly missing.

The F480 is quite well connected and, where you have coverage, the HSDPA connection is extremely fast. Bit of a shame that the radio is only tri-band but this wouldn’t bother me too much. Music is transferred to the device via a USB cable connected to a PC. Transfer rates are high thanks to the USB 2.0 support.

The lack of WiFi is also a bit of a shame and something that I particularly missed especially coming from a Windows Mobile background where WiFi is normally standard. With the excellent web browser I think that the F480 would really benefit from WiFi support.





The Samsung F480 Tocco really surprised me. I thought that the beauty of the device would only be skin-deep but there are plenty of other bits on the inside to get the gadget freaks excited.

Cameraphone fans will love the 5 MP camera and those just wanting a cool looking phone that fit easily in their pocket will find this phone easily fits the bill and then offers so much more besides.

If only the F480 had Exchange email support then it’s be a phone that more business types could enjoy.

The F480 is a great all rounder offering Music, Video, Email, Web browser and Camera in one neat package.


Posted by: Matt

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By March 19, 2008 Read More →

Samsung i780 review

I was asked to review this phone and thought great, another Samsung, how wrong can someone be? Do I like this phone? Read on…

To be honest I knew very little of this phone as I am not a Blackberry type or QWERTY fan at all. So this type of unit I tend to give a wide berth and not so much as a second look.

Due to be released very shortly and at present exclusive to Orange, this unit sits at the upper end of the market and offers a full function PPC with all the attributes that we now take for granted and more besides.

Samsung i780

Samsung SGH-i780

What’s in the box?

Matt’s Samsung i780 unboxing video will show you just what you get with the i780 but in summary:

  • The Samsung SGH-i780
  • Getting started disc
  • Quick reference guide
  • USB sync and charge cable
  • Mains adaptor
  • Headphones
  • 2 standard batteries
  • Battery charging caddy

Samsung i780 specification:

  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • 624 MHz Marvell CPU
  • 256 MB ROM / 128MB RAM
  • 2.5 ” 320×320 TFT Touchscreen
  • GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100
  • Built-in QWERTY-type keyboard, 37 keys
  • microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g
  • Built in NMEA 0183 GPS
  • 2.0mp camera
  • 61.3 x 115.9 x 13.3 millimetres
  • 120 Grams


The top of the i780 finds the front-facing VGA camera and earpiece also the status light indicator. Below these is the square 320×320 touchscreen, which sits flush with the casing and has slightly mirrored finish. Not ideal in bright sunlight but still useable.

Below the screen there is the normal softkeys, default set to contacts and calendar. The phone pick up and end keys that also double up as loud speaker key and device lock key respectively. Positioned between these there is the Windows Start and an OK button. And between those there is the innovative optical joystick-cum-Dpad. Below is the full 37 key QWERTY key pad with white highlighted number keys, reasonably standard now on this type of device. The keypad has a white coloured backlight when pressed.

Samsung i780

Samsung SGH-i780 controls

On the left side there is a lanyard hole and nothing more than a up and down volume rocker and a reset hole.

Samsung i780 left side

Samsung SGH-i780 left side

The right side from top to bottom are a flap covering the connecting socket for the USB lead or headset. The next housing also covered is for the microSD card and finally the camera key.

Samsung SGH-i780 right side

Samsung SGH-i780 right side

There is nothing on the base of the phone apart from the microphone hole.

Samsung SGH-i780 bottom

Samsung SGH-i780 bottom

The top is home to the power button and the telescopic stylus housing.

Samsung SGH-i780 top

Samsung SGH-i780 top

The back of the unit is pretty bare apart from the battery housing and the 2 Mega pixel camera and a small speaker grill. This has a pleasant rubberised feel and comfortable to hold.

Samsung SGH-i780 main camera

Samsung SGH-i780 main camera


  • The 2 mega pixel camera
  • Fast 624 MHz Marvell processor
  • Connectivity speeds
  • Comfortable and easy to use


  • 320×320 screen creating issues with some 3rd party applications
  • Unresponsive touchscreen
  • Propriety connections for USB and headset.


My first impression of the i780 was one of pleasant surprise, the unit feels comfortable in the hand and it feels a lot smaller than it is, in fact it is the near enough the same height and width as the iPaq 614c, that I have just reviewed, but a approximately 4.3mm slimmer, and this for me made a world of difference. I had to check the dimensions again, as the difference in appearance was dramatic.

Also on first impression the keyboard appears to be too busy and small for me to be able to use, but after a short play and without reading the manual it proved to be easy to use and one handed texting was a breeze and this from an anti QWERTY man. Pretty much all of the buttons are dual function, offering an alternative symbol or number at the touch of the fn button. For example as mentioned the Phone keys double up, as does the camera key which is used to call up a mini windows media player, the OK button when held brings up the Task Manager, the left of centre keys act as number keys etc..I also like dedicated Message and GPS buttons found on the bottom row, a long side the space/vibrate button and the caps lock amongst others.

I even quickly got to grips with the optical Dpad/joystick, with the lightest of touches and a small sweep of the pad with your thumb, proved to be very responsive and accurate when needed, I did find myself using it quite a lot. There is also the option to use mouse mode in the same manner, but this I agree with Matt is not ideal on a WM device, and prefer not to use it.

I am really impressed with the speed of the thing for example downloading a video podcast from the built in extras menu, saw a 12mb clip downloaded on wifi in around a minute. And nipping around the applications is a superb, the only gripe here mentioned by Matt in the Unboxing is the touchscreen which although flush with the casing on the top appears to be quite badly recessed in the device, occasionally it takes a couple of taps to get a response, not by any means a major problem but an irritation.


The WM menu seems pretty unremarkable, apart from being a little Orange, there is the option of ‘Themes’ which is a smart way to customise the overall colour of the screen and the text colour, lots of options here, in both areas, from one end of the rainbow to the other. Also the option in ‘wake up’, to choose which button or buttons brings the device back to life after standby. Settings offers a Data Call Manager, HSDPA enable/ disable.

The programs menu offers, out of the ordinary, Alarms which offers Wake up and 4 others besides, Orange Plus which shortcuts to various topics such as sports latest, financial markets, lifestyle, all of which requests a text message with the info to be sent back to you. Photo slides gives access to ‘My Pictures’ with options to browse or zoom and see as a slide show with very pleasant lift music running in the background, is that customisable anyone?

It was nice to see software bundled in the device as well; a mini player meaning you can access your WM player without have to take up the whole screen to adjust volume or skip a track. Also included in ‘extras’ is Opera 8.65 for WM great for the tabbed browsing. The aforementioned Podcast application, RSS reader, smart converter and Java. Task manager also works well allowing you to see and the applications that are open and the soft keys default to close and close all.

Google maps was downloaded and set up in moments and also works very well, seamlessly zooming and scrolling around the desired positions and routes, with the assistance of the capable onboard GPS and A-GPS.

The GPS signal is acquired pretty quickly, probably thanks in no small part to the Assisted part of the AGPS. Once the ephemeris data is downloaded using any available internet connection (even through activesync) you do not need any network connectivity as, once again, most of my testing here was done without a sim card in the device.

My biggest surprise, which was also commented by many friends and colleagues, was the 2 mega pixel camera, the clarity and ease of use were for me a real highlight, the menus are clear and understandable and although there is no autofocus or flash the quality for an amateur like me was more than adequate. Taking photos around the house in both daylight and at night with side lights appeared no different. Looking at the ever increasing mega pixels that are around these days, I thought this was going to be another disappointment but it really wasn’t!

Samsung i780 sample photograph

Samsung i780 sample photograph

Telephone functionality was absolutely fine and nice to see that even with the 3g connection the phone worked and also when losing the 3g connection reversion to GPRS caused no issues either. The spoken word was clear, both on speaker and also on the earpiece/ Headset. I would class this as one of the better phones I have used for this purpose.

Battery life was a little better than most, although it is 1000mAh according to the device, however there is 2 supplied and the charge caddy mentioned already. Not a real issue for me. The only gripe here is the proprietary connector which means you will need a Samsung specific car charger if you are using Sat Nav.

It wasn’t all good as it might appear, there are gripes such a having to use propriety connectors that Samsung deem fit for purpose but limit the option of connection to chargers, headphones etc. Although the headphones supplied are excellent and the Sync/charge cables work perfectly fine, why can’t they be mini USB style like many of their competitors? Standard connectors for all please.

And then there is two points about the 320×320 2.5” screen the first already mentioned above with the responsiveness, the 2nd is the ability to use 3rd party applications which is the one of the main reasons we love using Windows Mobile. As a self confessed Phone fiddler I am not convinced that there is that much available in the way of Plug-ins and add-ons that will support this screen format. My personal favourite input programme leaves a gaping hole at the bottom half of the screen, I also use thread SMS software which works fine, I am told that Tomtom supports 320×320 but have not been able to test this, if someone could let us know? So it appears some programmes will work and others won’t but there is not necessarily an easy way of tell which is which. A real shame.

Finally another niggle, hearing now that there is no way to hard reset the phone, that anyone has found to date, not even Techies at Samsung can advise at this time.


OK, I’m converted. This is, in my opinion a very nice device, I realise it will not please everyone, as it might appear overcomplicated, but for an all in competent and capable phone that fits as well in the pocket as it does in the hand, includes all of today’s must haves such as GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100, CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA to 3.6 Mbps,as well as Bluetooth with A2DP, wifi, built in GPS and A-GPS.
I will definitely be recommending this to my friends and a few have already been showing an interest, is the price tag the ultimate killer? Being slightly above the cost of Matt’s beloved TyTN II will we tempt him to swap? Will the lack of available applications and gadgets mean that you can’t live with it? Time will tell. Can I have a look at the Asus P750 now, Please….?

Review by: Steve

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By October 31, 2007 Read More →

Samsung SGH-i620 review

The Samsung i620 is a darn good smartphone and here’s why:


While everyone and their uncle have been waiting patiently for their Kaiser, I’ve been frustrated that other devices seem to have struggled for any publicity in the face of the behemoth!

One device that does continue to make news, is this Samsung i620, and expansys have helpfully supplied us with a review device.

Samsung SGH-i620 review

Samsung SGH-i620

Since Matt has been officially banned from reviewing this device, since he appears to be in love with the HTC TyTN II, I managed to steal the Samsung i620 and have been using it over the past few weeks.

The device has been used as my sole phone device, and has been travelling in car, down to the pub, and as my work mobile as well. It’s also one of only two non-HTC Smartphones I’ve used.

The i620, supplied by eXpansys, is as far as we can tell, a final retail device. So lets see what you get for your money.


What’s in the Box?

You may have seen Matt’s Samsung SGH-i620 unboxing video already but here’s what you get with the device.

A very slim box would appear to suggest there isn’t a lot to see within, but in fact, having got inside, there’s a great selection of accessories – some you’d expect, and some you wouldn’t. I’ll explain more about the multitude of batteries later in the review.

The Samsung branded box is nice enough, but they haven’t reached the heights of HTC branding, and fanciful packaging quite yet.

Inside you’ll find:

  • The i620
  • Mains Charger
  • USB Sync/Charge cable
  • Application CD with Activesync and software pack
  • ExtUSB hands free headset
  • Standard Battery
  • Extended Battery
  • Two battery covers (one for each battery)
  • External battery charger/holder
  • Manual & getting started guide

Samsung i620 Specification

  • Network: HSDPA / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Display: Type TFT, 65K colors, Size 320 x 240 pixels
  • Memory
  • Phonebook 1000 entries, Photocall
  • Call records 30 dialed, 30 received, 30 missed calls
  • Card slot microSD (TransFlash)
  • Data GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps, HSCSD: No, EDGE: Yes, 3G: HSDPA, 1.8 Mbps
  • Bluetooth: Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
  • USB:Yes, v1.1 miniUSB
  • Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
  • Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
  • Camera: 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video, flash; secondary VGA videocall camera
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • WMV/3GP/H.263/MPEG4 player
  • WMA/MP3/AAC/AAC+/OGG/ASF player
  • Organiser
  • Document viewer (MS Word, Excel, PPT, PDF)
  • Built-in handsfree
  • Dimensions: 113 x 59 x 11.8 mm; 95 grams


Yes, 113 x 59 x 11.8mm is small, if a little wide. It reminds me very much of Orange’s C500/C600 phones, and must be up there with the slimmest of Windows Mobiles. It is a fair bit wider – to accommodate that full QWERTY keyboard, but it sits in the hand very nicely. Again due to its slim nature, it fits in the pocket nicely. I’m not sure of dimensions, but it can’t be that much wider than the original Motorola RAZR anyway. Certainly it’s a lot easier to carry about with me than my original TyTN.

On the front panel, we see the 320×240 landscape screen towards the top, and the main control set just below. These are in the main, all touch sensitive. There are no buttons for either the soft keys, call keys or Home and Back keys – just touch sensitive areas, which do seem very sensitive.

Samsung SGH-i620

Samsung SGH-i620

The lower centre area contains the wheel, and directional pad. The wheel itself is a free-flowing scroller, which for me works better than a jog wheel, with the added bonus of being a direction pad as well – push soft and spin, or push harder to click the direction pad. In the middle of all of this, is the action buttons, common to most Smartphones.

Sliding the phone to its open position, as the spring loaded mechanism hits it home point, a full QWERTY keyboard is visible. The keys are very, very small, and I was a little worried that my stubby fat fingers would struggle. Not so though – the gaps between the buttons, and the buttons themselves seem to be perfectly adjusted. The keyboard is responsive, and I can really hammer an email in quickly, without it missing a press.

Samsung SGH-i620 keyboard

Samsung SGH-i620 keyboard

Also included at the top right hand corner of the screen, is the utterly pointless forward facing camera. Does anyone still ‘do’ video calls? Well it’s there in any case!

The bottom of the device is nearly completely blank. A small mic hole is the only blemish on an empty bottom panel.

Samsung SGH-i620 bottom

Samsung SGH-i620 bottom

The right hand side is a little less sparse, with a “phone” button – this just brings up the system menu, containing flight mode activation, along with profile selection. This used to be brought up on Smartphones by tapping the power button – however, on the i620 this button is used to lock and unlock the device. Confused? Me to – but you do get used to it.

Samsung SGH-i620 right

Samsung SGH-i620 right side

Also housed on the right hand side, behind a rubber grommet, is the main charge/sync/audio port. It’s proprietary, and yes its annoying. Even more so because it appears to me that a mini-usb port would have fitted quite easily along the bottom. My guess is that there is probably a reason for it – I’m just not sure what.

Moving to the left hand side, we see the microSD slot – again hidden behind a well fitting rubber grommet, and below that, a up/down jog-rocker switch. This feel really comfortable to use – but annoyingly seems to have no use by default other than to adjust volume – it can’t be used to scroll messages or websites for example.

Samsung SGH-i620 left

Samsung SGH-i620 left side

On the reverse side of the i620, when closed we see a plain black battery cover, with the Samsung emblem, website address and ‘HSDPA’ designation. When we slide the phone open, the 2 megapixel camera becomes visible, next to a small mirror. When the phone is closed, the camera is completely protected against scratches and smudges on the lense.

Samsung SGH-i620 back

Samsung SGH-i620 back

Finally we move to the top of the device, and once again there isn’t a lot to see (Can you see the pattern emerging here). A solitary, recessed power button is on the right hand side, and it’s alone – nothing else to see.

Samsung SGH-i620 top

Samsung SGH-i620 top


This is where I was surprised. Although HTC are slowly adding bits and pieces of their own software, you don’t get a lot of software with their devices. They are usually very ‘vanilla’ to Microsoft’s operating system.

Samsung however have really come up trumps. The menu system has been edited and the structure reminds me of a dumb-phone. Easy when you need it, but complex when you need to dig a bit deeper and use things like file manager.

The jewel in the crown for me is in the ‘Internet Services’ menu. Yes we’ve got Pocket Internet Explorer – and Windows Live is also included (At least in this Samsung ROM), along with some Samsung specific software like an RSS reader and Podcast organiser. The single most useful add-on though – is Opera. Included in the base ROM, fully activated, trial-free. I’ve used it on pocket PCs – but if anything the Smartphone version is better. Far faster than PIE, and far more feature rich. It also supports the scroll wheel – and that coupled with the direction pad makes it nearly as easy to use as a full web browser on a PC – the software and hardware connection really is THAT good.

Clearvue document viewers are also installed – and don’t appear to be trialware – do need to check that though.

Samsung have also created little apps to group together, and improve the look of certain features. A good example of this is found in the ‘Applications’ area, and is called the ‘Organiser’. In actual fact, is just a collection of improved tools that are available by default in the smartphone OS, but aren’t always that easy to find. A much better Alarm’s section is available, voice notes are linked in, along with a world clock and something called “D DAY”

I always get a shock when looking for the Wireless Manager. I forget that this is a HTC addon and not part of the operating system by default. The samsung version is OK. Its functional, but certainly doesn’t look as refined as those found on HTC devices.

Finally a completely pointless, but ulimately lovely “Living World” homescreen is provided. This is an animated home screen, in which clouds and birds float in the sky of the image, and the lighting changes depending on the time of day. As I said – pointless, but it is implemented really well.

Size/Looks: This thing is small. It also looks amazing. I say without any concern that this is the best looking Windows Smartphone available. It’s exceptional, and when released, I’d hope it is marketed at everyone – not just as a business phone.

Keyboard: The sliding querty keyboard is excellent. Its responsive and doesn’t miss keypresses. The number pad is also integrated very well.

Battery life: The box contains two batteries – but I’m not sure why The difference in size is just a few millimetres, and although the standard size battery is in itself pretty good, I struggle to see why you would not just use the extended battery in day to day use.

Display: Razor sharp, if small. Colours are exceptional, and it looks and feels an expensive device, for this reason alone.

No Wifi: I’m just starting to relealise the potential of Wifi in phones. Everywhere you go these days, there are wifi stickers in windows, and its a shame I can’t take advantage of the exceptional Opera browser in this way.

Slider mechantisem could be better: It’s by no means bad, and I think we were given a slightly ropey unit to be honest – but the slider isn’t exactly firm. Its a bit sloppy, and also appears to not fit right on the left hand side. I would hope this is a per-unit issue, and not a major problem affecting the majority.


Right so we’ll ignore the standard battery for now, and go straight in with the extended battery pack, and secure it with the extended battery cover (with me so far?!)

Turning on the power, we first see the Samsung “The Ultra Messaging” logo. This then pushes onto the Windows Mobile screen, and finally the Samsung logo and swirl animated startup sequence.

First things first, I need to get up some data connections. Due to it being an expansys device, this unit came setup for Vodafone. For my sins, I’m an Orange customer, so was about to dig out the settings. Being a geek, I was already playing about in the Control Panel, when I found a ‘Operator settings’ button. As suspected, this told me I was setup for Vodafone UK. Changing this was a doddle, and the software deleted my Vodafone settings, and helpfully set up GPRS, MMS, and everything else I’d need to Orange UK.

Samsung SGH-i620 open left

Samsung SGH-i620 open left

So now I’m up and running and straight away I’m in Opera to see just how good it is. Answer: Very. As I said earlier though, this is in part to the great hardware and key configurations. Its hard to fault Samsung with this device – it really feels like they have thought about what people will want from it, and how they will want to use it.

I’m already getting annoyed by the key-click sound so before I send off a round of SMS’s – I nip into the control panel again to turn this off, and also to engage automatic slider keylock. I don’t think I need to explain too much about what that is. Because of the touch sensitive controls though – I should point out that the End Call key does not work as you’d expect. Because of the risk of the touch sensitive buttons being touched during the call, the phone requires you to press the middle action key first, then press the key you want. Its not ideal, if understandable, so you might want to consider how much of an annoyance this would be to you.

Back to the messaging then – and what becomes apparent straight away is that when reaching for the ‘send’ softkey – I knock the home button and end up where you might expect. Leaving my message sitting there rather than being sent. I have over the days I’ve had the i620, got used to this, and became more confident with the phone in general. Even with smartphones and a stand OS – each new phone does have a slight learning curve, and there are no major issues with the use of the i620.

Samsung SGH-i620 open right

Samsung SGH-i620 open right

The QWERTY keyboard itself, as I’ve stated already is absolutely excellent. The size doesn’t seem to course any problems, and unlike a certain other device I’ve reviewed recently – it works absolutely 100% perfectly. The layout for symbols, and function keys is spot on – with all the main punctuation getting their own key.

The default profiles all seem OK – and in all honesty, I didn’t really have to do anything to the phone before I was happy. Its set up really sweet from the off. As you’d expect the sync ability is exactly like any other phone, and I quickly copied a mp3 ringtone to the phone via explorer/activesync with no apparent problems.

The camera application is OK. It’s very similar to the HTC standard app, but takes slightly longer to long. In reality though, its more or less identical, and since there is no problem with either – it makes it easier to switch between phones! It comes with a completely pointless digital zoom, but its there if you want it, and the video recording seems pretty nifty as well.

This is a nice bit of kit, but having had bug-ridden devices in the past – how does this compare? Very well actually. I’ve not had it fail, I’ve pushed it as best I can – and it hasn’t faltered. It isn’t the quickest device at times, but even when its got a lot to do – it does it well, and it hasn’t crashed at all, in the time I’ve used it. The Samsung ROM (and I’m told its typical of Samsung WM device ROMS), is solid as a rock. I’m not even sure what I could suggest to improve it.

i620 vs i600

i620 vs i600


This is the best Windows Mobile device I’ve ever used. Its exceptional, it looks great, feels better and is a joy to use. Other than the slight slider issues, the build quality is great and feels really robust.

The lack of Wifi and GPS will be killer for some, at least for the former, but for what it is – I don’t think there is a device that does it better.

I’ve got to send this review unit back now, and I really don’t want to. I’ll be buying it on Vodafone when it comes out (hurry up Voda!)

This device is the closest we have in the Windows Mobile world, to getting the hoards of teenage girls parting from their RAZR’s. It’s not quite there – but it’s very close.

100% recommended.


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