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Review of Samsung B7722 DUOS GSM/UMTS Phone
Live photos of Samsung B7722 DUOS
In the box:
DUOS, which supports the simultaneous work of two SIM cards, dominates this niche. Models from the DUOS lineup take up the major share of 2 SIM cards solutions despite their relatively high price. Samsung offers solutions, which have no rivals on the market, because apart from low end models more sophisticated handsets are also produced. Touchscreen B7722 is the flagship of DUOS and the most feature rich model with two SIM cards support. It has no direct rivals. We can say that the model is interesting for a narrow niche group of consumers looking for a touchscreen phone with advanced characteristics and they are ready to pay for it.
DUOS models, especially the flagship devices were never cheap, especially at the beginning of sales. In the lineup we see Samsung B5722 launched at the end of 2009. Its initial price was around $400 and by this summer it decreased to $300. The reason is the limited demand for such phones. We can also predict the fast depreciation of B7722. It will become cheaper by $25-30 each quarter. The lifecycle of the model is approximately one year.
Its positioning is straightforward and it can be purchased by men and women alike. There are no age limitations either.
The model is only offered in black. The glossy front panel has a chrome border and the back panel is also easily soiled due to the glossy finish. The handset looks like a traditional touchscreen phone and is decorated with hardware buttons to start and end the call and the key to go back to one level in the menu. The design is hardly revolutionary. Everything looks ordinary and minimalistic. It is a bit bulky when you hold it in your hands. The dimensions are 135 x 55.5 x 14.3 mm (5.31″x2.18″x0.56″) and it weighs 107 g (3.44 oz). It is comfortable to hold.
The front panel features a camera for video calls in 3G networks. The left side has a paired volume control button with the microUSB jack a bit lower, which is protected by a plastic cap attached to the body.
The right side houses a screen lockup button, which can be assigned different functions in the settings (to switch off a screen or activate it). We have a button to switch between the SIM cards and a key for the camera shutter.
A 5 MP camera with the LED flash are on the back panel. There are no complaints as to the build.
The phone features a 3.2″ TFT screen with 240x320 resolution. It reproduces 262000 colors. Data input is carried out with the help of the resistive touchscreen. In the sun it becomes faded, but you can still read the information. The screen has space for up to 8 text lines and 3 service lines, but in some modes you can have up to 12 text lines (for example, the viewing of SMS with the text scaling). The font size is large and can be easily read.
The phone is equipped with a 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery. According to the producer, it allows for up to 13 hours of talk time or up to 420 hours of standby. In real life cellular networks, the device could last up to 2 days, which included 2 hours of talking, a dozen of messages per day, some minimum e-mail work and up to 1 hour of listening to the music. If you are using the Web or e-mail a lot, the battery will allow for one day of work only. It requires about 2.5 hours to charge fully.
Bluetooth. The device supports various profiles, such as Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dial Up Networking, File Transfer, Object Push, Basic Printing, A2DP. Bluetooth version is 2.1 with EDR support. I didn't experience any trouble pairing it with wireless headsets.
USB Connectivity. In the menu, you can select one of the following working modes: Samsung PC Studio, Mass Storage and Printer.
In the Mass Storage mode, the phone memory can be accessed from a desktop computer without any extra drivers required. The version of the interface is 2.0, which allows for data transfer speeds of about 600 Kbit/s.
If you want to connect the device to a computer, you will have to turn off Bluetooth regardless of whether it is actually active at the moment or not, which is very awkward.
USB charging is supported.
You can use EDGE class 10 for your data needs on GSM networks.
WiFi. 802.11 b/g networks are supported as well as the memory for the preferred networks.
The handset boasts up to 290 MB of internal memory and the microSD memory card slot supports cards of up to 32 GB. They are hot swappable, but the card slot is situated under the back cover.
The integrated file manager allows copying information from one type of memory to another and in the settings you can assign the default location of files for every application (phone memory or memory card).
Under the battery you find two slots for SIM cards and you can locate them in any way. From the phone menu you can choose a primary card to be used by default for calls. You can also set a primary card for data transfer (obviously, it can be the second card). This is a major difference from other 2 SIM cards models, where everything depends upon the slot you put the card in. Even here you have the indication which card is the first and which is the second, but it only influences the order they are offered by a SIM manager.
How does it work? You switch on the phone and the SIM manager helps you to give names to both cards. It is more convenient than just to have SIM1 and SIM2 as in other models. For each card you can choose a picture. You cannot use your own pictures and have to choose from around 10 of them.
In the standby mode the screen shows the names of both networks and cards are given numbers. The signal level of the first card is indicated in a traditional top left hand corner. The same indicator for the second card is displayed near the first one. During the incoming call the phone shows the active card. In the status line the type of connection (EDGE, 3G or HSDPA) is indicated for each card.
Unlike previous DUOS solutions, where the profile could be chosen for each card, in B7722 (and B5722) it is set for the phone in general. This simplification must have been introduced due to customers' demands.
For the first time B7722 has a feature of switching between the cards with the help of a timer. You can set a time interval for SIM1 to become primary and the period when this function is assigned to SIM2. It is very convenient, so you do not have to switch between them manually.
By default in all menus you have an icon for a primary card and you can switch between them with one touch of a side button. Both cards have identical capabilities and it is not important in any application. You can choose any card for data transfer and the same applies to SMS messages. Everything can be done with the side button.
In all calls lists you have the information on the card they were received with. In the phonebook you see entries from the phone memory and both SIM cards. Opposite each entry you have an icon, which shows the card responsible for each call.
Two radio modules require two IMEI numbers, so all standards are observed.
The handset has a 5 MP camera with autofocus and it provides a decent quality of pictures. You can look at the samples yourself. The settings are standard for Samsung (white balance, accentuation, frames, etc).
Samples of photos:
Video. You can record video with 320x240 resolution. Recording can also use the size limitation for MMS. The quality of video is average.
The model is typical of the current lineup of Samsung touchscreen phones (interface TouchWiz 2 Plus) and all differences are connected with the possibility to use 2 SIM cards at a time. You can see them in some widgets, the phonebook, messages and so on. Let's speak about all features of the model in detail.
In the standby mode the screen displays the lower bar with four shortcuts: dialing, contacts, messages and menu. At the top we have a Widget button. Once touched it allows dragging any Widget applications on to the screen. Their location on the screen can be customized by users and it will be remembered. It is a good idea not to have too many windows here and stay minimalistic. The main screen can host the following features:
It is clear that Widget from Samsung allows the complete customization of the screen. Unfortunately, we are limited by the screen size, so we cannot see more elements at the same time. But even what we are offered today is quite a flexible solution and it definitely surpasses Active Standby in Nokia phones.
The main menu can be accessed by pressing a button in the lower part of the screen. From the standby mode you can also activate the digital keypad, which is very easy.
The main menu appears as a 3x4 grid and is well suited for the sensor screen. All that is needed from you is to pick an item to tap. Whenever you come across a text input field – another tap – and a keyboard pops up, no confirmation required.
During the date setting the keypad input is chosen by default, but you can use the jog as well. It is a cylinder with digits, which earlier was the only solution of input on Samsung touchscreen models (for such fields with dates).
The information input is carried out with the help of the screen keypad, which resembles the traditional phone keypad. You see buttons with several symbols on each. To select a necessary letter you have to press the button several times. If you place the phone horizontally this keypad type switches to QWERTY, which is convenient to use. There are no complaints here. It is a decent and high quality keypad.
There is Т9 mode, but I have some reservations here. During the input you see a window at the top of the screen, where words pop up. Its main downside is the impossibility to guess words. You can't see one until you enter it. In particular situations when two words have similar buttons you can use the arrows to scroll the list. It seems that the list of available options is not visible as well. To my mind, you should not disable Т9, but it does not speed up the input anyway. If you use Latin symbols for Russian words, you should probably disable Т9. You can add your own words into the dictionary, but it is an uphill struggle.
During the input you can switch between all installed languages with ease. From the menu you can activate the text editing mode, which allows highlighting but not copying the text. Highlighting is useful when you want to change the font in your message or something similar.
Every menu has a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The buttons are context sensitive, so their functions and quantity (up to four) depend on the current menu.
If you use the left-hand side of the screen for scrolling, it will be faster than on the right-hand side. The function is basic yet very powerful and handy.
Traditionally you have three home screens and three views in the main menu.
You can activate contacts from the quick launch bar in the lower part of the screen: you see the list with all entries from the phone's memory and the SIM card. The choice of the SIM for a call is made with the side button.
In the line under the name you see the default number, which can be selected individually from the numbers already in the memory. Quick search by the first letters (up to 20) of the name is enabled for every language. When you click the name you get into the menu of a separate entry where you see an icon if the picture is connected with the name. Any graphic file, a picture or video can be used as a contact photo. For each contact you can record up to 5 phone numbers of different types (mobile, work, home, fax, etc) and one of them will be main (by default the first chosen will get this status). The fields are not limited. From the phone menu you can introduce additional fields, for example, an e-mail, address and so on.
The phone has two fields for name and family name (only the first field is searchable), which are displayed together. The field Name comes first. For example, Eldar Murtazin appears precisely this way. The length of each field equals 20 symbols for every supported language. During the name input you can interchange different languages.
The entries in different languages are sorted in the following order: first come all contacts in the local language (let's say, Russian) and then all contacts in English. It is quite convenient and common for computer software. Taking into account the possibility to switch languages during the search it is clear that entries in different languages can be easily handled in this phone. The sorting by name or family name is supported as well.
Let's go back to the contact entry. Apart from the phone numbers you can add an e-mail (more than one) or a short text note. Any sound file, including an mp3 track can be selected as a ringtone for a particular contact. You can create the necessary number of groups at ease, select a ringtone and picture for every group (by default you have three groups and "without group" option). For SMS you can also select a melody.
The phone memory hosts up to 2000 entries with completed fields. If you don't complete all fields the number of entries remains the same. In the settings you can select the default destination of all new phone numbers. The transfer of entries from SIM card and back is available. The developers decided that the best synchronization option is the use of PC, in particular, MS Outlook. Any entry can be quickly sent to another device as SMS/MMS, e-mail or via Bluetooth. There are no problems with such a transfer and phonebook entries are moved to other devices without problems. Their recognition is not an issue either.
You can create a business card in the phone. Its format completely corresponds with an ordinary phonebook entry.
Quick Dial List contains up to 18 phone numbers and also several numbers of one contact can be added here. Buttons get the notes in the form of the selected contact, but not the phone number type.
Any number of contacts groups can be created. Each group can be assigned a picture and a ringtone. A group hosts up to 20 contacts.
During the incoming call a picture takes up the whole screen and its size is close to maximum.
In each list up to 30 phone numbers are indicated. There is also a united list of latest calls (up to 90 entries) and the icon symbolizes the call type. You can quickly move from list to list. For a separate entry in a detailed view you can see the date and time of the call. Identical calls are combined with the number of calls given opposite every phone number. Traditionally in this menu you can access the total duration of all calls and their cost (if the service is available).
For separate numbers the black list can be created to block the respective calls.
There is also the list of latest numbers you received or sent SMS (two lists). The used e-mail addresses are stored here as well.
Similar to other manufacturers Samsung abandoned an artificial division of messages into SMS and MMS: you create a message and then depending on its content the message is considered as SMS or MMS. In the menu you have an option to turn a message into MMS in a compulsory way (when you need to send a text to an e-mail address and avoid the in-built mail client).
The phone memory can store up to 1300 messages; the model supports EMS and works with Nokia Smart Messaging. When sending a message you are allowed to choose the contacts from the phonebook, the list of the latest used numbers and groups. Traditionally, you have an option to create a black list for all types of messages and all messages from the appropriate numbers will be deleted automatically. The messages can be moved to your folders. For e-mail the blocking targets not only particular addresses, but the topics as well.
MMS messages are limited to 300 KB, while the incoming messages have no size limitations. Among additional settings we can mention the blocking of ad messages, the type of message receiving in the roaming and in the home network. The messages are stored in the dynamic memory. The same applies to e-mail.
There is also a useful feature of SOS messages. Once activated in an emergency you just have to press a volume control button 4 times and the message "I am in emergency. Please help me" is sent to designated contacts and the incoming calls from these numbers after the message is sent are received automatically. Contacts phone numbers (no more than 5) and the number of times this message is sent can be adjusted, while the text remains the same.
The in-built mail client is quite traditional without anything special. You can customize up to 5 accounts with the number of messages limited to 100 for each account. Attachments are enabled with the size of no more than 500 KB for outgoing files. There are no limits for incoming files. Received files can be viewed with the help of an in-built browser.
There is no html support in messages, which disrupts the formatting of almost all received messages. They are not comfortable to view. The mail client in Samsung phones starts trailing its counterparts from Nokia and Sony Ericsson quite a lot.
In the phone memory you can save up to 200 schedules or 100 anniversaries. Each entry can be assigned time and date and its end period. You can select a signal and an interval for events. Repeated events option is also available (you set a repeat period and exceptions, which is convenient). The calendar can be easily viewed for a month or a week. Each type of event has a particular color, so everything is quite visible.
One of the serious drawbacks of the organizer is the fact that when you enter the date and time of event its end period is set by default. Other manufacturers offer the automatic change of such parameters (by default one event requires one hour). It has a severe impact on the ergonomics of the organizer.
FM radio. The phone memory stores up to 99 radio stations with the frequencies ranging from 87.5 to 108 MHz. Automatic tuning of all stations is available, but separate channels cannot be given particular names and are always displayed with the frequency and numbers. Radio also works in a speakerphone mode and you can record the radio show. Radio works normally and if not all stations can be received in general everything is arranged well and is comparable with other models from rival manufacturers. Radio also works in the background mode.
RDS feature shows only the station name in the general list above. It has no other functions.
Dictaphone. You can record up to several hours of voice notes and the number of such notes is unlimited. In theory the length limitation can be chosen by a user and may equal 1 hour. In memory all notes are located in one folder. The recording quality during lectures and round table negotiations is decent. The notes can be transcribed afterwards. The model can be used as a digital dictaphone.
World time. You can see the time for two selected cities. Everything is as simple as that.
Calculator is usual.
Converter serves to convert measurement units of different systems. The currency converter is also situated here.
Stopwatch and countdown timers are traditional as well.
Notes represent ordinary text notes.
Games. Several games differ depending on the market. There is a preinstalled IM client (Utalk). Java receives up to 4 MB of memory with the maximum size of a downloaded application - 500 КB. Multitasking is supported, so apps can be reduced to icons.
Tasks represent the list of tasks with different priorities and signals to set.
The phone features Samsung mobile 1.5 (Dolfin) browser. It is based on webkit as browsers in Apple and Nokia phones. The difference from NetFront is startling: the user experience remains the same, but several unique features were added. For example, you can customize the brightness of the screen backlight from the browser itself. This has never been done in the past and it is really convenient if you work in the street. Flash support allows viewing all web resources without any restrictions. This browser is also one of the first, which supports the standard ban on banner viewing. We tested this option on several websites and it worked well.
For a selected channel you can download not only the text, but sound and video files as well. You set the limit, which is 5 MB for each file by default. Unfortunately, there is no scheduled download and you have to do everything manually.
The phone has 5 alarm clocks and each can be set for separated days of the week. You can choose from 5 tunes or use an mp3 file. In the settings you can choose whether the phone should turn on automatically when the event takes place.
All files are collected here: music, pictures, video and sounds. All downloaded files get here first. One of the drawbacks is the fact that at times a file in the common list may not be visible straight away. You have to exit and open the list again.
Files can be viewed as a list and as icons. Select one or several files from the list. The following operations with files are supported: copy, delete and transfer (phone memory – memory card). The files can be sorted by time, type, name and size.
Memory card file structure is represented separately.
Traditionally you can protect any section of the phone by a password. The period of screen backlight on and its brightness are set individually.
There are no special or unusual settings in the phone. There is a package of different wallpapers with their random change. You can create an animated slide show with effects to attract attention in the standby mode.
The profiles help to change the settings of the phone rather quickly.
As always you can customize the font's size, its color and style during calling.
You can set the power of vibration for VibeZ.
This is a typical Samsung player. It supports random, consecutive and cycle tracks playback. You can download mp3 files directly via Bluetooth or with the help of the synchronization app or through Windows Media Player. Files can have any name or tag, including the ones in Russian. The phone reads them well. Files bitrate is not very important and the model understands all popular formats. WMA, AAC, eAAC and eAAC+ are also supported.
During the playback you see the name of the current track and the overall number of tracks. There is an equalizer, but it cannot be customized. The playback is possible with the stereo headset or in a hands free mode. 14 levels are available for volume. Users may create their own playlists. The player works in the background mode. At least the screen shows tracks titles and tips for controls, which is convenient.
There is also Album Arts support.
In the speakerphone mode the sound is not clear enough as the power capacity is weak, though the volume is medium and the phone is still heard.
It is not a music model, but you can listen to music after all. There is nothing special about the player.
Find Music is a feature, which finds the performer's name by a piece recorded from the radio or microphone.
Music store is available in Russia only. You can either listen to a part of a track or buy it. WiFi connection is required.
Dictionary. ABBYY Lingvo is already installed.
Apps store. This application is a carbon copy of Samsung Fun Club and gives access to java apps, pictures and ringtones.
Video Editor is used to edit recordings and add sound tracks. It is very basic.
Yandex is offered in Russia only. Here you have Yandex mail, maps, metro maps and search engine.
Facebook/My space are the applications to work with the eponymous social networks.
Synchronization. New PC Studio is supported, which synchronizes everything. The handset supports Microsoft Exchange as well.
The ringtone volume is enough for the majority of situations including the noisy streets. The vibro is average or a bit better, but some users claim to miss it. The sensitivity of the phone is typical of Samsung, despite two radio modules.
This phone does not pretend to rival Samsung Wave – the screen is simpler, the interface is a bit older, but still remains quite decent. As the DUOS flagship this model is a good solution, which is head and shoulders above its direct rivals. There are no other models for comparison. At the same time we should not expect huge sales, because it is a niche model. In the segment the sales have never been dramatic (for DUOS).
Priced at €400 the handset attracts attention, because the majority of similar models cost 50% less. LG GX500 is on par with Samsung B5722 and we cannot take it into account. Some will use it as an inexpensive DUAL-SIM phone, but B7722 has an advantage in the form of WiFi, which is important for some users. It is one of the first models with this feature and the support of 2 SIM cards. I do not believe it will bring colossal sales, but can be used as one of the selling points. Finally, we have an unrivalled flagship without any competition in sight.
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Published 12 August 2010
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