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Review GSM phone Samsung C230

Samsung C230. Live pictures


  • Handset
  • Manual
  • Headset
  • Charger

Haven't we seen the Samsung X140 with FM-radio on the market, and the company already launches its copy called C230. The reason of this fast put on the market is the X140 was equipped with FM-radio with mono sound. At the same time rivals had stereo, for instance, the LG B2000. So, the C230 improves this shortcoming. The model is positioned the same way and is a copy of the C210 with only stricter appearance and another stereo sound realization. Unlike the C210 with its rough dull plastic, the C230 has a glossy one resembling the elder models. The phone now resembles high-price devices in its style and spirit. That is a good feature to distinguish with. There are no other serious differences from the С210/X140, so, the models are completely alike.

The most interesting thing about the phone is its display. It is 65K UFB with the resolution of 128x128 pixels (28x28 mm). It is capable of showing up to 4 text lines and one service line. The quality of the screen is not bad for a low-end device, though the colours are not as vivid as on the majority of the TFT screens. The screen wins the comparison with Motorola C380 but looses to Siemens C65. It fades in the sun but the picture is seen.

The navi button is comfortable to work with, and the same may be said about other functional keys. Number keys are average in size and are well placed. That is a traditional keypad with a green backlighting, it's not very bright.

There is an OK button centered in the navi one, number keys are average in size and placed in terraces. Working with the keypad is easy, it is averagely comfortable.

The battery is also a back panel of the device and has no backlash, by the way. That is capacious of 800 mAh, and according to the manufacturer works for 150 hours in the standby mode and up to 3 hours in the talk one. In Moscow the device worked for about 4 days in case of 40 minutes of talks and up to 15 minutes of using other functions. Full recharging takes about 1.5 hours.


There are two ways of menu representing; they are a traditional vertical one with a list of functions and one function on the screen with a vivid animation. In general the menu is rather colourful and interesting. Fast navigation with number series is available. Entering the menu is possible by pressing a soft key or moving the navi button to the right.

Phonebook. Up to 1000 numbers may be saved in the main memory while up to 3 numbers (home, work and mobile) and e-mail address for a name. While entering a new number you are offered to set its type and only after that type the number in, extra numbers may be entered from the editing menu afterwards. The organization has both advantages and disadvantages, so everything depends on how often you enter new names with one number.

An entered name may be assigned to a users' group which also may have a personal icon and signal.

Both numbers from the main memory and SIM one are displayed in the general list and you may take an advantage of a quick search by name. That's enough to enter the first letter of a name and the first entry starting with it will be displayed in the main list. Then a second letter may be entered and so on. The same search is realized for each group. Fast access keys may be set for 8 numbers.

Messages. Up to 200 messages may be saved in the main memory, the device supports EMS standard also. There is a set of rather interesting icons, melodies, sounds and animations in connection with this. A set of emotion icons is unusual - they have not only a funny face but a body also.

In all the rest phone possibilities are standard. There is a predictive text input T9 and up to 5 own templates may be saved.

MMS . About 700 KB are reserved for multimedia messages, input interface is plain.

Call lists. Lists with the last 20 outgoing, incoming and missed calls are kept here traditionally. Date and time are specified for each call. An interesting feature is that new numbers are not duplicated, the number is only shifted to the top and new date and time are specified. The absence of similar entries is achieved this way. This organization is most acceptable for the majority of users.

Sound settings. Here you may choose one of the melodies as a call signal, the set is not very big and is rather standard. There are no profiles in the phone, but you may set personal alert signal (light, melody, vibra, vibra+melody) minute minder is turned on in this menu. It works during a conversation also.

Phone settings. The device may be set the most comfortable for you via this menu. Menu language, background image (there are 11 of them and they are all animated) for the screen in the standby mode. Screen contrast level and security settings are also here.

Organizer. Several applications are hidden in the menu.

A calendar with a one event possible for a day is the first item. More events may be added by copying a previous day entry that's inconvenient. Calendar view for a month is set here. Days with an event added are of a different colour and there is a fast switch to a date.

A to-do list adds to the calendar possibilities. A task may be created, assigned a priority (high, low, normal). Tasks may be copied into a calendar.

Alarm clock. You may set it once, everyday or weekly (from Monday till Friday, from Monday till Saturday).

There is a calculator and a currency converter in the phone, everything is traditional.

Date and time. A current date and time are specified here, world time function is also available.

Dictaphone. Up to 5 entries 30 seconds in duration, up to 100 KB for notes. The Dictaphone is not possible to use during a conversation.

Network services. All the settings concerning operator functions are here.

Funbox. A usual browser version 1.2.1 is in this menu.

Games are also here. There are 3 of them - BubbleSmile, Fun 2 Link, Mobile Chess. Separate memory of 512 KB is reserved for games. 600 KB are kept for images and melodies. Downloaded melodies are impossible to use as call melodies for users' groups.

Radio. Up to 20 FM-stations may be saved in the internal memory. Search is made either manually or automatically. A name may be assigned to each station. Radio works only when the headset is attached as it serves as an antenna. The headset is standard with earphones having rubber insertions and a button for switching between channels on the cable.

That's pleasant the phone is possible to work with while the radio is on. You go to another menu items and the radio keeps on playing. Turning the radio off is possible only from the same menu, that's why that's better to use a hot button or just plug the headset out.

The realization of the radio resembles the one in Nokia 8310. It sounds well for this class and the volume is enough almost always.


This model with the price of 120-125 USD will loose to LG B2000 in price/quality ratio at first. At the same time the phone wins in the body and plastic quality. And in the beginning of September the price for the C230 will most probable be corrected to the level of 105-110 USD. This model is interesting as a low-end solution due to the presence of an integrated stereo radio and a standard set of functions.

This class represents low competition; models of the previous seasons are of great interest, since they offer higher functionality within a comparable price. Taking into consideration traditionally great advertising company of Samsung, we can surely expect high sales for the model. The phone is a good solution for pupils, students and those people who spend much time outdoors listening to the radio.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Mitina (maria.mitina@mobile-review.com)

Published — 6 July 2005

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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