Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Samsung SGH-D807 Review

Slim enough to match up with the RAZR, the D807 measures 97 x 52 x 15 mm and weighs in at just 98 grams, rather thin and lightweight, but not impressive with the influx of similarly slim devices.

The Samsung D807's most dramatic feature is its large 176 x 220 px 262K-color screen. Offering exceptional resolution with vivid imaging, the state-of-the-art LCD is the centerpiece to the D807's impressive design.

Below, 4-Way Keypad with Select Key, Connect and Disconnect, and Left and Right Keys allow users to navigate without having to open the D807. But the arrow buttons are quite small, make functionality a bit difficult.

The multi-function port for Headsets, Accessories, and the Charger can be found along the left side near the Volume Keys. But with an irregular connection port for the Headset, consumers will have to purchase special headphones for the D807. Along the right side, an expansion slot accepts microSD memory cards.

Located on the other side the screen, an integrated 1.3-megapixel camera is revealed when sliding open the D807, ensuring the lens protected when the slider is closed. Capturing pictures up to 1280 x 1024 px in resolution, the D807 provides good quality photos that can be used for printing, allowing consumers to leave the digital camera at home.

Easily opened with one hand, the spring-loaded slider reveals a slightly recessed keypad. With the buttons connected, the smooth appearance is a beautiful design element, but is rather difficult to type on, being unable to differentiate keys from each other by feel.

Overall the D807's obvious appeal is its stylish, sleek look with a vibrant LCD set off by the matte-black finish and chrome trim. Similar in dimensions to the RAZR, the D807 is as compact as any of the latest ultra-thin phones on the market, fitting tastefully in any pocket.

Samsung SGH-D307 Review

Offering a rather ordinary exterior, the rectangular D307 is rather plain, a sharp contrast for the ultra-thin fad to sweep the market. Having a boxy 94 x 48 x 22 mm frame and weighing 122 g, the D307 is reasonably sized; small compared to most PDA phones, but large enough for quick text messaging.

On the front, the D307 is a minimalist, featuring only a monochrome 96 x 96 px external LCD. However, convenient access to voice functions is available through the Voice Key on the right side. Activating voice dialing in idle mode, the same key also turns on the speakerphone. On the left, Volume Keys adjust earpiece volume during calls, and ringer volume in standby mode. The Connection Port is located on the bottom.

When opened, a 176 x 220 px internal screen is revealed, capable of showing a brilliant 262K-colors. But the highlight is the D307's revolutionary dual-hinge design. Allowing consumers to use it two ways, the D307 opens both vertically (as a phone) and horizontally (as a PDA).

Depending on which mode the D307 is in, the QWERTY keypad has different functions. Opened vertically (like a normal phone), the top portion functions as the 5-way directional keypad (W, A, S, D, and X keys) with Left and Right Softkeys (Z and Q). The bottom half works like a normal 12-key numeric keypad. Opened horizontally, a 30-key keyboard is supported by additional Option / Menu, Back, and Symbol Keys, and a 4-way directional keypad.

Out of the box, the Samsung SGH-D307 comes with a standard 800 mAh Li-Ion Battery, Travel Charger, Battery Door, Welcome CD, Quick Reference Guide, and User Manual.

Samsung SGH-A727 Review

Its main display screen measures 1.8-inches diagonally and utilizes 262K-colors and TFT technology to produce beautifully vivid images. Users can customize the phone's backlighting, brightness and dialing font.

Below the screen is an extremely smooth keypad, toggle and other buttons that lie flat on the phone's thin surface. Surrounding a circular navigation toggle and WAP browser shortcut button are left and right soft keys, which appear to take more force to push than other keys. Below the soft keys is the shortcut button to activate the phone's music player, one button to "swap" between multiple applications, a "clear/back" button to navigate within the phone's menu and other programs, and a power/menu exit button. From a usability standpoint, the numeric keypad seems pushed too low down on the phone for comfortable dialing or texting and may be difficult to use for people with large hands.

The A727's left side panel includes a jack for a headset or USB adapter and up and down keys for volume control. The right panel touts a microSD memory card slot as well as a shortcut key to activate the phone's camera and camcorder. The phone's antenna is located in the bottom half of the handset. On the flip side, the top left hand corner of the phone is home to the camera/camcorder lens. This particular model lacks a flash and an additional screen to guide self-portraits.

Overall, the A727 is a very thin and lightweight phone to carry around. While the design is aesthetically pleasing, there may be some issues with the phone's potentially slippery keypad and position squashed toward the bottom of the face of the phone.

Out of the box, the Samsung SGH-A727 comes with a standard 900 Li-Ion battery, AC Travel Adapter and User Manual.

Samsung SCH-U740 Review

The soft, metallic champagne colored casing fits well with its fairly bright 1.1-inch external screen. However, the touch-sensitive music controls on the exterior are difficult to activate. Also, the left hand side charger outlet also serves as a headphone outlet, which means simultaneous charging and listening are impossible unless the two interior independent speakers are put to use. The buttons can only be used when the music player is on and the keys lock. Every time a track needs changing, the U740 must be unlocked and without a strict locking setting, those with wandering fingers might accidentally skip the track while grazing their finger over the pad. Smarter exterior buttons include a left-hand side volume control and expandable microSD memory card slot on the right hand side along with a speakerphone key.

The U740's interior has a slew of buttons in addition to its unique QWERTY keyboard. A typical rounded arrow button pad is customizable with its options. Also, an automatic camera/video camera button links to that function. A direct button also activates voice recognition, which is often spotty. But with all these great options, the keys are still crammed and users with fingers bigger than a regular pen-size point might find it difficult to use.

Out of the box, the Samsung SCH-U740 comes with an 800 mAh Li-Ion battery, Travel Charger, 2.5 mm Headset Adaptor, and User Guide.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Samsung SCH-A990 Review

Being designed around camera functionality, the A990 offers vertical (phone) and horizontal (camera) viewing conventions. Encased in a silver-lined sleek black exterior, the A990 measures 97 x 48 x 21 mm and weighs 125 g; average in size, but heavier and thicker than most devices on the market. Fairly traditional in style, right angles and straight lines are highlighted by an external display for convenient view of essential information.

The sides of the A990 offer a dizzying number of buttons and ports. Offering Rewind, Play / Pause, and Fast Forward Keys to let music listeners control the integrated MP3 Player, the left side also includes a microSD slot for extra memory. Dual external speaker ports are positioned on both sides, blasting a loud open-air listening experience. Meanwhile a Headset / Audio Video Jack provides handsfree access, also doubling as a connection port to view audio and video files on a television monitor (using a data cable).

The right side has a Speakerphone and Volume Keys, along with various buttons used during Camera Mode (when turned sideways) for Zoom and Options. The top has a loop to attach a Hand Strap, while the bottom contains the Charger Port.

Opened, a brilliant internal display reveals 262K-colors at a large 240 x 320 px resolution. Able to rotate the screen 180-degrees, the clamshell can close with the internal screen facing outwards; turning the screen into the viewfinder in Camera Mode. Suddenly the Camera Keys on the right edge become apparent, now positioned on the top when holding the A990 horizontally. Intuitively placed for familiar Zoom and Setting controls, users will forget they're using a camera phone and think the A990 is a standalone digital camera.

Samsung SCH-A970 Review

Featuring a 96 x 96 px external LCD, users can quickly glance at basic information in 65K-colors. Equipped with a built-in MP3 player, convenient Rewind, Play / Pause, Stop, and Fast Forward keys on the front panel allow users to control playing capabilities without having to ever open the phone. Through dual stereo speakers on the bottom corners below, users can experience music through an open air environment or speakerphone functionality; activated by pressing the Speaker Mode Key on the right side.

Located nearby, an Option Key provides additional functions dependant on mode, similar to Smart Keys on other devices. For instance, when Camera Mode is active, pressing the button will bring up additional settings. On the left side, a headset jack provides personal music listening and safe and convenient handsfree conversations, while a TransFlash card slot offers additional storage for multimedia.

The A970 is cumbersome to open one-handed, due to its design, stopping at 90 degrees before opening completely. However once opened, the main 262K-color LCD is revealed. Standard 5-way navigational and numeric keypads provide fairly sizable for comfortable typing through T9 predictive text.