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Review of GSM handset Samsung D830

Live photos of Samsung D830

Besides Samsung X820, which is the slimmest candy bar phone, company saved all other form-factors in slim design as well, and each of them has some groundbreaking results too. Slim clamshell is Samsung D830 model, it is part of Ultra Edition model line-up, which joins three thinnest solutions. Company decided to put maximal effort into promoting series name Ultra Edition instead of every model being advertised individually. Additional codenames were introduced for these models, they correspond case thickness. This means that Samsung D830 is called Samsung Ultra Edition 9, which means that case thickness is 9.9 milimeters. Unlike Samsung X820 where case thickness (6.9 mm) was measured by most thinnest part of case, this time everything was done as it should, there is no deception, case has no stepping out parts.

This model is advertised in one single color solution, which is black, meanwhile it will be released in different color solutions. However at first only black edition will be available as it remains the main one. We can expect new color editions by end of this year, and not for all markets.

Handsets size is 103x54x9.9 mm, it is comparable with Motorola RAZR in terms of this parameter, only thickness is different. We cant say that such slim phone is inconvenient to use, it is pretty wide and fits ones hand nicely, it is pleasant to carry around. Weight is 92 grams, although manufacturer states that metal was used in the construction, some people may think that front surface and sides are made of metal, but in reality only metallic element is battery section cover.

Handset was provided with 2mpx camera which is unusual for such case thickness. Reason why this was made possible after all is fact that camera module is placed into rotating block, this means that its thickness is maximal. You will not be able to make a self-portrait, there is no camera button so that you were able to activate it when handset is closed. At same time there is no big external display that would help you, however it all seems reasonable due to case size. Display is small, monochromic with blue characters, its resolution is 96x16 pixels, manufacturer states that there are 16 shades of grey, but you wont see it since there are simply no modes that will demonstrate that. Up to two text lines can fit one with icons, second with text information such as date in stand by mode. There is no graphics for this display, well once again this seems logical.

There is only joined volume adjustment button present out of control elements on sides, it is located on the left. There is also plastic cover that is attached to case, it is used for protecting headset and charger port, which is traditionally combined. Slot for MicroSD memory cards is located on right side, there is hot swap support.

One of construction peculiarities is presence of rubber roller on upper butt-end, once you open handset it fixates sides in opened position. Phone can be easily opened with one hand. When it is closed you might get a feeling that upper part is shorter than lower one by approximately 1cm, but it is not true. Line on external side is decorative, it is the thing that deceives your feelings.

Once you open handset you will see display, it has pretty much envious specifications without any discounts made due to models thickness. Its resolution is 240x320 pixels (2.3 inches, 36x47 mm), can show up to 262000 colors (TFT). Colors are saturated, easily readable even outdoors in a sunny day. There are no problems at all except for the fact that it gets soiled easily, but once backlight is turned on you wont see it. There can be up to 8 text lines displayed with additional 4 lines saved for service needs. Some modes can enable display of 12 text lines.

Handset is powered with two speakers that are highlighted with grids by sight, this is a simple speech loud speaker, as well as loud-speaker, that plays ring tones, it is placed in bottom side of handset.

One of main shortcoming of this model is the way keyboard is done, it was designed as sensor numeric keyboard in RAZR, but its thickness is minimal and even big buttons themselves cannot save the situation. Once you press the button you will not feel weather it is actually pressed, you have to put additional efforts and this is rather irritating. It is inconvenient to work with such keyboard especially if you love writing SMS a lot, it is designed mostly for phone calls. Backlight color is white, it is clearly visible in different conditions.

Battery is similar to one in Samsung X820, it is Li-Ion with 630 mAh capacity. Manufacturer states that battery is able to provide up to 210 hours of stand by mode and around 2.5 hours for phone calls. Handset worked for about 2-3 days in Europe, with 1 hour spent for phone calls and only alarm clock was used besides that. At same time battery lasted for about 2 days in Moscow, with 1.5 hours of phone calls. Here is where we can draw the conclusion that this model will work for minimum 2 days with average load, but 3 days can be achieved as well (minimal load). Full charge time for empty battery is 1.5 hours. Due to overall case thickness there is no improved capacity battery edition support for this model.

Menu

This is another bird out of Gumi nest (second R&D center of Samsung) and it has a lot of common with Samsung X820, almost all menu items are identical. This is first commercial sample powered with Mobile Tracker system, that allows receiving messages that contain phone number (SIM-card) that it is used with by new owner. This function is interesting, but hopefully none of our readers will be forced to use it.

One of important aspects that should be highlighted first, there is no sorting by name or by surname in the phonebook, all entries are sorted by name and thats it. This is rather stupid, since it is much more convenient to let user choose which way he prefers best, as it was done in all previous models and some current ones.

Company realized that interface has to be redesigned well in order to fit handsets outlook, this model is one of the first with such interface realization. Skins that were introduced in previous models do not just change window titles, but whole appearance of menu. There are two skins in handset black and white (black is set by default). This is why interface looks extremely interesting, both editions are nice.

Main menu is presented in shape of 3x3 matrix, icons are animated, and highlighted menu item gets its icon scaled. Fast numeric key navigation is present. All sub-menu items are presented as vertical lists. Navigation key can be assigned with shortcuts to access most used functions.

Another interface modification is items highlight in vertical lists, you will see that font gets increased in size. Once you enter Settings menu or any other, you will see highlighted item that you checked last time. For example in case you picked Email in Messages folder, you will see it being highlighted next time you access this folder. We will speak about other improvements as we go on describing interface.

Phone book. Contacts can be accessed by pressing right soft key, you will see a list that contains all entries from both SIM-card and phones memory. By default first name is highlighted, and you will see phone number in service text line (SIM-card entries are displayed with corresponding icon). Fast name search by first letters is supported, there can be up to twenty of those, for any language. Once you press OK key you will go into detailed view of selected entry. Here you will see a thumbnail in case there had been one assigned. It can be either an image or a photo. Each entry can have up to 5 contacts of different types (cellular, office, home, fax other), one of them will be main one (by default it is the first one that you enter). Fields are fixed.

There are two lines for name and surname (search is made only by first field), fields get summed when displayed, first comes the Name. For example Eldar Murtazin will be shown in this sequence. On other hand names can be sorted manually by surname, list will be refreshed dynamically. Length of each field is 20 characters, for any input language. You can also switch languages when entering a name.

All entries, without regard to language, are sorted out under the algorithm all contacts with headings made in a local language (Russian, for example) go first and then those with names in English. This is rather convenient and handy list sorting system. Taking into account fast language switch option during the search, its clear that no language will spoil the experience of working with this phone.

But let us return to the information entered for a contact. Apart from phone numbers, e-mail address (there may be a number of them), a little text memo can be submitted on top of all that. Any music file as well as composed MP3's can be picked as a ring tone for a contact. Three caller groups are provided by default with the possibility for creating any number of additional groups, selecting a personal melody and image for each.

The phonebook is capable of holding up to 1000 contacts with filled in data fields. Even if all the available blanks are not used, the cap wont get any bigger and will still make one thousand. It is possible to set in the settings where all new numbers should be kept by default. There is also an option for moving entries from the SIM-card although the vice versa action is denied. According to the developers, PC is the best means of synchronization, MS Outlook in particular. Any contact in the form of SMS/MMS, mail message or other text file can be sent quickly through Bluetooth to another device. There are no problems with sending and the phone book entry being transmitted to another device is precisely decoded without any trouble.

The phonebook may contain a business card as well, though its structure copies all the fields applied to a regular contact in the phone book.

There can be up to eight numbers in the fast dial list; separate numbers tied up with a single contact may appear on this list as well. The subtitle of the chosen entry (but not of the phone number type) is displayed on the buttons.

When receiving a call, a picture occupies not the entire screen, but only a part of it, however it still takes up a considerable area.

Call lists. Each of the given lists contains up to 30 phone numbers. There is a combined list of all the last calls with an icon indicating a call type. Declining the navi-pad horizontally, you can switch quickly from one list to another. The date and the time of a call without special note of duration are displayed in extended view for separate entries. Calls from/to one number are summarized, so that a number standing next to the call specifies total amount of calls made. In order to access duration data you will need to call up detailed information on desired item. As always, the overall time of the calls and their prices can be viewed in this menu (in case the service has been enabled).

Messages. Working with various types of messages is implemented through separate submenus. Let us begin with short messages. The phone memory can hold up to 200 messages simultaneously; the handset supports EMS standard compatible with Nokia Smart Messaging. T9 text input capability comes in handy and is easy to use. When at choosing recipient window, you can either select a telephone number from your contacts or pick one from the call lists or groups. All messages are manageable, this means you are at liberty to move a certain number to your black list, in order to make sure all messages coming from that phone number will be deleted automatically; possibility for moving messages to any own folder is also at your disposal.

MMS. The interface for multimedia messages looks quite good; the messages can be saved in several folders right away after receiving or drawing them up. There are no size restrictions on received messages, though an outgoing messages size is limited 295 KB. As for additional services available with the X820, advertising messages rejection and message receiving type options are onboard. Unlike all other models, all messages are located in a separated storage area, which takes up 3.7 Mb and contains eMails on top of standard messages.

The bundled mail client is standard in all its components 5 accounts and the maximum of 100 incoming messages; attachments are also handled by the phone, though there are also several caps theres no way you can receive a file more than 5 Mb in size, or send one with size exceeding 300 kb.

Organizer. There can be up to 400 different events of four types (4x100) - meeting, affair, anniversary and others. The day and the time as well as end time of the even are indicated for each entry. Alert signal, as well as its duration can be adjusted according to your liking; repeatable events are available for setting up (at that repetition time is also adjustable as well as exclusion dates). The weekly and the monthly calendar are very convenient with each type of the event having its own color.

Tasks a standard list of tasks with the possibility of stating priority. Maximum capacity of this section is 20 entries.

WAP. There is a wap-browser ver. 2.0, similar to that carried by some phones by Nokia and Sony Ericsson, using http protocol. The browser automatically offers you standard prefixes and endings of the entered addresses. Although its feature-packed, it would make more sense if you replace it with Opera Mini.

Applications. MP3 player. An integrated mp3 player, supporting random track playback, sequential and cyclic, is available on the phone. Mp3 files can be uploaded to the phone both directly through Bluetooth and through a synchronization application. There no limitations, placed on tags and names of music files. The user is armed with nearly 80 Mb of storage available for filling up with music and other apps and content

The title of the track playing is displayed as well as the number of the remaining tracks. The equalizer doesnt make much sense, as there is no precise adjustment of audio controls (only a possibility to choose from classic, rock, jazz and normal sounding). The tracks can be played through the stereo headset as well as through the speakerphone. The volume bar has 10 scales on it. And of course user can make up playlists of his own. Player can work in minimized mode.

Dictaphone. You can record up to several hours of voice memos with the number of files being unlimited. Basically, limitations on recording durations are set by user himself, though length of a single recording cannot exceed 1 hour. All the files are stored in a separate folder in the memory bank. The recorder performs well during lectures, conferences and presentations I could even say that it is a partial substitute for a digital tape recorder.

Java World. The phone has only 2 pre-installed games on-board these are BobbyCarrot, and FreeKick. Downloading of new applications and games is carried out only via wireless networks, at that size of a single JAR file cannot exceed the limit of 1 Mb. The size memory bank reserved for Java-applications is 4 Mb.

World time is displayed for two chosen cities.

Alarm clock. The phone is equipped with three alarm clocks. One is meant for mornings and can be set for selected weekdays as well as for weekends. For each of the alarm clocks there is a selection of five tunes, though necessity of them is questionable, as mp3 tracks can be used there as well. It is up to user to set up whether the phone will turn on automatically in the time of the event or not.

Calculator. It divides, multiplies, subtracts and adds and does several more things quite enough for a mobile calculator.

With a converter, you can operate with different units of measurements as well as with a number of currencies.

Image editor. A basic picture editor, which allows transforming images by using a variety tools.

File Manager. Thats the place to search for all files such as music, pictures, video and sounds. Any uploaded file gets stored here. The disadvantage is that files sometimes are not displayed in the list immediately - in that case you will need to leave the menu and enter it again.

Settings. This item boasts a standard set of options inside - font color in the standby mode, password protection of selected sections (messages, short messages, organizer, etc.), backlighting duration and brightness, dialing numbers (a fetching function, which has been incorporated only in a couple of models by Samsung so far).

Settings. This item boasts a standard set of options inside - font color in the standby mode, password protection of selected sections (messages, short messages, organizer, etc.), backlighting duration and brightness, dialing numbers (a fetching function, which has been incorporated only in a couple of models by Samsung so far).

Flight mode you can disable network part of handset.

Bluetooth. The handset supports various profiles, namely, Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dial Up Networking, File Transfer, Object Push, and A/V Headset. The Bluetooth realization is not ideal, troubles with headsets having only a Headset profile appear pretty often, and work with the speakerphone is incorrect sometimes either. In general the Bluetooth found on the X820 is better than that on Nokias phones, Siemens, but worse than on Sony Ericsson.

Camera. Samsung D830 has 2mpx camera with CMOS lens (alike D600). The camera interface is standard for the companys products - you can rotate an image vertically, turn off the shutter sound. Image compression quality is adjusted from the menu - Super Fine, Fine, Normal, Low. The ISO value may vary from 100 to 1600, but the default value is handier. White balance has several levels, and Auto is set by default.

Image taken in maximal resolution gets processed in 2 seconds (1600x1200 pixels). The handsets camera can boast neither auto-focus nor macro mode. Considering the camera quality, it would be better to take snaps only in sunny weather; when shooting against the sun, the camera focuses on the brightest spots of the image. Exposition determining system does its best when the objects have contrasting parts e.g. posters. The model equals to Nokia N70 in terms of image quality, as hardware specifications of both devices coincide. At the same time, the photos taken by these handsets are worse than those by Sony Ericsson K750 or Nokia N90.

The device supports such effects as Gray scale, Negative, Sepia, Emboss, Sketch, Antique, Moonlight, Fog.

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

 (+) maximize, 1600x1200

Also there is a possibility to take 6, 9 or 15 photos in a series; you can set two types of speed for each case (normal and high). Finally, the device supports matrix photos (2x2, 3x3).

The photos are kept in the album, where you may view the data on a certain photo (not above the photo as in previous models). The list itself features the handsets name a thumbnail next to it. Any photo may be assigned to a name in the phone book or set as wallpaper right from the album menu. There are also a slide show mode, a basic editor that allows adding emotion icons, applying frames and effects to the photos.

The phone records 3GP video and you may choose whether it will be recorded with or without sound. All the settings are comparable with those for photos, the same 4-graded quality bar, but the resolutions are different. The maximum resolution is 355x288 pixels.

There is no limit on the duration of the record its more about how much storage you have available. Though when speaking about MMS mode, the videos do have cap, which makes 100 Kb.

Sample video 1 (mp4, 2.21 mb)>>>

Sample video 2 (mp4, 2.71 mb)>>>

Sample video 3 (mp4, 703 kb)>>>

Sample video 4 (mp4, 2.18 mb)>>>

Sample video 5 (mp4, 546 kb)>>>

Synchronization with PC. Synchronization may be carried out via Bluetooth or a cable. Easy Studio 3.0 is located on the manufacturer's site.

Performance. The device demonstrates moderate performance, however all Samsungs solutions possess nearly the same rates.

Jbenchmark 1

Version 1.1.1

Total Score: 1781

Details:
Text 518
2D Shapes 429
3D Shapes 301
Fill Rate 184
Animation 349

Jbenchmark 2

Version 2.1.1

Total Score: 134

Details:
Image Manipulation 109
Text 200
Sprites 121
3D Transform 139
User Interface 116

Jbenchmark 3D

Perfomance
Jbenchmark3D HQ: 87
Jbenchmark3D LQ: 132
Triangles ps: 10792
kTexes ps: 722

version: 3.1.0

Conclusion

As for receiving part, the handset does fine, though it would be strange to find out something different considering current connectivity level of all released mobile phones. The sound provided by the loudspeaker is pure and lacks foreign noises. The 64-tone polyphony is average volume-wise, while mp3 tunes have enough of sounding to make you hear them even on the busiest street. The silent alarm is modest in terms of strength, however one couldnt have expected more from such portable device.

This handset will be released as second product in Ultra Edition series by end of July. Its price will be around 450-500 USD, which is pretty much for a model considering its functionality. On the other hand, maximal effort is put into devices thickness, potential interest will be drawn by those who seek for fashion solutions. In my opinion this model will have its audience. As for competitors, there is Motorola RAZR V3i with de-facto design, which became an instant classics and has great potential. Other solutions are not that similar to Samsung D830 and wont be in demand that much. As for serious shortcomings we can mention keyboard, it prevents people who use their phone actively, those who love to chat and send messages from using this handset. This is 100% fashion solution, and it is interesting in this role. Potential problems can be faced with plastic on front panel being worn through within a month, a month and a half in case with black edition. During this term there will be glossy zones (initially plastic is mat). You will see these worn outs outdoors, in bright light conditions, otherwise you wont.

This model remains smallest GSM clamshell by end of this year. Samsung plans to release new model of Ultra Edition series only in autumn, however those three models will be UMTS-solutions, and their appearance on many markets, including Russia is doubtful.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Alexandr "Lexx" Zavoloka (alexander.zavoloka@mobile-review.com)

Published — 24 July 2006

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

 

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