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Review GSM-phone Samsung E100
Samsung targets its model E100 as the ancestor of E-series. But apart from its older model E700, it lacks built in camera, and the external display is monochromic instead of being built on the OLED technology. This model will be released by the end of year 2003, and replace Samsung S500. This model will be positioned as the alternative for Samsung X100, an offer for those who love clamshell factor, need IrDA and do not feel like having built-in camera inside their phone. Technologically E100 uses the same platform as X100, X600 and E700.
The design is the successor of T100, here you can definitely see the same shape, but the size was decreased (83x46x21 mm). The new phone turned out to be harmonious; it fits nicely into ones palm. When you look at it, you will notice rounded shape that provides the phone with elegance and a sort of lightness. Besides the traditional silver case, other color variations will be available, so far same color gamma as Samsung A800 was announced. We believe that titan color looks the best.
The phone’s weight is 80 grams, this is typical for modern phones, the phone stretches out neither your palm, nor your pocket. E100’s main auditory will be men of middle age, and slightly less women, that do not love miniature phones instead of full-sized ones. Men/women consumer ratio will be 80 to 20 percent according to our predictions.
Garniture connector is located on the top, near the hole for the strap. Joined volume regulator button is located on the left side, you can assign call answer/decline function, or the second behavior when the ring tone will be turned off. IrDA is located on the right side. The traditional interface connecter is located on the bottom, it’s standard for all recent models.
Service LED is located on the right top, its color is blue. The external screen is monochromic; its resolution is 96x64 pixels. The screen is capable of displaying two text lines; backlight’s color is blue as well.
You will see the internal screen after opening the clamshell, it’s build on the TFT technology. It’s hard to expect the presence of such screen in a segment on which the phone is targeted at, but the fact remains present. The display can display up to 65000 colors and its resolution is 128x160 pixels. 5-6 text lines as well as up to two text lines reserved for service needs can be displayed. The picture looks nice even when the phone encounters direct sunlight; however in that case the picture is not as saturated as it have been, it turns pale.
The keyboard is made of plastic, the buttons are placed nicely. Unlike the other Samsung’s models, this one has its buttons drowned greatly into the case, they’re not very comfortable. On the other hand, keyboard’s convenience is not so low, more like average. The backlight’s color is blue, this is a tradition.
The battery plays the role of back cover. Some more information about the battery, its Li Ion and has the capacity of 720 mAh. Samsung claims that this phone can work up to 200 hours in the stand by mode and up to 3 hours during the talks. We were testing the device in Moscow , and it worked for 3 days with 30 minutes spent for talks and up to one hour spent for other functions daily. Nice results considering the amazing quality on internal screen.
E100 is a copy of X100, or simplified version of E700, that’s why we will repeat the review of basic features from the corresponding reviews. The main menu of this phone looks in the following way: menu title, animated picture and first three items of this menu under them. Each item has its own number, fast shortcut number navigation is available. Unfortunately, the navigation can be used only in the selected item of the main menu. It is a payment for such menu organization.
This product has an excellent localization. There are T9 vocabularies for all menu languages. While inputting data, it is possible to switch them. Russian predictive text input is also available.
The phone’s interface is considerably revised, pop-up menus are made in new style. In our opinion it looks nice.
Phonebook. Up to 1000 phone numbers can be stored in the phone memory. Up to 5 phone numbers, e-mail can be added to one name. All phone numbers can be grouped in caller groups (up to 6). It is possible to assign a melody or a picture to each entry. Unfortunately only pre-default picture can be assigned. It is impossible to add a picture taken by a digital camera. Today it is the main shortcoming of the phones from Samsung.
Horizontal scrolling allows listing bookmarks and viewing the phone numbers. Both phone numbers from SIM-card and phone memory are displayed in the total list. There is a search by name, you need just to enter first letters of the name to change the list.
You can adjust up to 9 fast dial numbers.
Messages.There are two separate items, which allows operating with SMS and MMS messages relatively. Up to 200 SMS-messages can be stored in the phone. There are up to 9 editable SMS-templates. The phone support EMS, so it is possible to add pictures, animation and melodies. Set of standard files is usual, there are no changes compared to other models.
Now it is more comfortable to work with MMS-messages. When you create a message, a template with fields to input text, music, picture, theme is appeared. You can create several pages, set showing time between them, adjust font (size, style). The maximum size of one MMS-message couldn’t exceed 80 Kb.
There is a special folder for drafts and own messages. Memory for storing photos and MMS-messages is shared dynamically. Total memory pool is about 9 Mb. It’s more than sufficient for the phone of this class.
Call records. There are lists of 20 missed, 20 received and 20 dialed calls in the phone. Time and date of each call is indicated in this menu. You can also view time of the last call, total time of all incoming and outgoing calls.
Sounds. The phone supports 40-tones polyphony, which sounds not bad. There are several modes of incoming alert, for example, only sound, only vibracall, and then a melody. Other settings are standard. You can select signal tone for SMS-messages, MMS-messages, adjust minute minder during the talk, select silent mode (only vibra).
Settings . Apart from greeting messages, you can adjust display settings here. You can set animation (up to 5 pre-default ones) as a wallpaper. It is possible to select font style and location of text.
One of the 4 color schemes is available.
Duration of backlighting can be also different (from 15 seconds to 10 minutes). The longest value is interesting for those who like to play games. In this case they will not move keys to activate backlighting while playing a game.
There are up to 15 points of brightness of the screen.
Organizer. You can easily add a new reminder (up to 100 characters). After inputting text, you could select one of the categories (Schedule, to-do list, call, anniversary). Depending on the selected category, different actions will be offered. For example, if you select a schedule, you will see a calendar, then select a day, indicate time, set alarm-clock. Then, this record will be saved and displayed in the separate window. Unlimited number of records could be added to one day, totally up to 25 records of each category are available. When you view several records added for one day, you could see the number of the current one. On the whole, the organizer is well-realized.
World time functions is usual. The same is related to calculator, unit converter, including currency converter. Countdown timer, stop-watch with intermediate results are also available in the phone.
Alarm-clock can be set only for one time. The consumer can use an autopower on/off function. Alarm-clock will be active even if the phone is switched off.
Network Services. Just settings, connected with calls diver and etc.
Fun Box. Wap-browser of 2.0 version is hidden here. It allows to view color images. The phone supports GPRS 4+2. So, you won't pay much for browsing.
All received pictures, images and melodies are kept in Media Box.
There are three pre-installed games in the phone: Honey Ball (a kind of archanoid), Go! Hamster (you should open the picture and avoid flying animals), Bowling. These games can't be deleted from the memory.
A special menu item – Java World is also placed here. There are two pre-installed Java-games there, which can be deleted. The first game is Snow Ball Fight. You move on the map and throw snow balls to your enemies. The second game is well-known BubbleSmile – nice logic game.
Up to 600 Kb can be used for Java applications, this memory space is separate from the memory pool available to store photos, pictures and messages.
This model has 40-tone polyphonic ring tones, and its volume is very high, so you will not miss an important call while you're on the street. Vibrating alert's power is average, but it still feels nicely, especially if you're carrying the phone in your shirt's or jacket's pocket. The sensitivity is typical for this phone, no problems were encountered.
Considering the amount of Samsung S500's sales; and that E100 has all typical features required for its segment we believe that this model will be successful. Its sales will begin in the end of November, or the beginning of December. The price will be around 275 dollars during the beginning, but after some time it will be decreased to 240-250 dollars.
Published 17 February 2004
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