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Review of Samsung E1081T GSM Phone

Live photos of Samsung E1081T


  1. In the box
  2. Positioning
  3. Design, dimensions and controls
  4. Screen
  5. Keypad
  6. Battery
  7. Menu
  8. Impressions

In the box:

  • Phone
  • 800 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Charger
  • User guide


Cheapest phones always aim at the mass market. On one hand they are bought by those who cannot pay more. This segment has another interpretation as well. It is also a phone for travels, when your main one is left at home or another handset is required for a second SIM card. A huge slice goes to corporate phones given to drivers, couriers, builders and other trades people. Such models are often purchased for children and senior citizens. Reliability, durability, keypad convenience and operation time come to the fore instead of rich features.

Samsung often paid attention to this segment and tried to compete with Nokia, which has been the leader in this area for years. The Finnish manufacturer skillfully uses such models to keep its market share, while Samsung follows another strategy as it cannot sell many budget models to lower the average handset price. At the same time this segment cannot be ignored, because customers become loyal and often upgrade to more expensive solutions of the same brand.

E1080 allowed Samsung to make a giant leap forward in the segment of budget phones. €25-30 can buy you a color screen, though before you could only rely on monochrome ones. Samsung tried to offer new rules of the game for Nokia and the latter had to accept them. It was a win-win situation for consumers who received more models with better features.

Within a short period of time E1080 was updated to E1081T with more memory, a proper flashlight and some improvements in the menu. Generally speaking, it is still the same E1080 with its good reputation.

Who should be interested in the model? I wouldn't recommend it for senior citizens as they don't need a color screen, while the fonts are not large enough. The keypad is convenient though. I think this low cost solution is excellent with its operating life, which is particularly attractive for corporations and can also be successfully used as a second phone for calls. With this in mind we will analyze the model.

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Design, dimensions and controls

Dimensions are very compact – 107.4х45.5х13.6 mm with the weight of 64 g. The phone easily slips into your hand and is convenient to carry in pockets. A hole for the strap is available as well.

There is only one color offered and it is black (a red one is actually different just by a navigation key decoration). The back cover is texturized and glossy at the same time. The plastic doesn't wear off easily and it will look more or less new during a long period of time.

The top features a flashlight, the left side is for the interface slot covered with a cap. The slot is proprietary and other controls are not located on sides of the model.

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CSTN screen of 128х128 resolution (27х27 mm) offers up to 65,000 colors. The screen fits up to 5 text lines and 2 lines are dedicated to service information. Picture reproduction is below average, but you cannot expect more for this money. In comparison with Nokia 1209 screens of both Samsung models win only in terms of physical size, while the quality remains the same. In the sun screens fade away almost completely and you cannot read the information.

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Keys are made of rubber with large size and nice pressings. The navigation key is also properly sized and we had no complaints about the ergonomics. The backlight is white, bright and symbols are well visible in different conditions.

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The phone boasts an 800 mAh Li-Ion battery. The manufacturer claims up to 500 hours on standby and 7.5 hours of talktime. In real life the phone offers around 5 days of operation with 15-20 minutes of talktime and 20 minutes for other features every day. If you don't use it very often you can get a week or more with one charge. Overall an operation time is standard for similar models. Full charging takes around 2.5 hours.

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Main menu is represented by a 3х3 matrix and other display modes are not supported. The submenu uses vertical lists. There is quick navigation courtesy of numerical sequence. Navigation key can also provide quick access to different types of information (up – profiles, down – calendar, etc.). The phone remembers your last location in the menu and next time you enter it the last item will be highlighted. This sort of memory works both for the main menu and submenus.

Phonebook. The handset can store up to 500 contacts. For each contact you can add a name, up to 3 phone numbers where you can find its type, and ringtones.

The search is effected by first letters of a name, while the contacts are displayed as a list, which shows a name with the number under it. When you select a contact you can view all its numbers by horizontal movements of the navigation key.

Fast dialing of up to 8 numbers is supported.

As we have already mentioned the handset has a multibook option when you divide a phonebook into 5 virtual phonebooks and each will have its name, and contacts list. The feature is far from unique and has been already used in low cost Nokia solutions before.

There is a wizard, which helps you to dial numbers by offering variants from calls list and phonebook when you start entering first digits.

Messages. You can keep up to 300 messages. The model handles ordinary SMS messages, but EMS are not supported, let alone MMS. Luckily, we get joint messages option for up to 918 symbols. Mass mailing for up to 10 numbers is also supported. The numbers have to be entered in To field and divided by a semicolon. You can create up to 10 customized templates.

Calls. Here we get standard lists for incoming, outgoing and missed calls with the maximum capacity of up to 30 numbers for reach of them. Identical numbers are united, but if you select a contact you can access detailed information for every call. The same location is used for the conversation counters, separate for the latest call, incoming, outgoing calls and a general one.

Profiles. All in all you have 8 profiles, which can be customized by users in full. As a ringtone you can go for: signal only, a crescendo signal, signal and vibro together, vibro followed by a signal or signal followed by a vibro. As a signal you can choose one of pre-installed melodies, while you cannot download additional tunes.

Games. The only available game is Super Jewel Quest.

Calendar. This traditional and basic calendar has a monthly viewing mode. You can't enter your own events.

Notes. Text notes are limited to 70 symbols.

Alarms. There are 5 independent alarms. For each you can choose time, single or regular response together with type of signal, tune, volume, periods for repeat and auto activation.

Applications. In this section you can find a basic calculator, measurements and currency converter, stopwatch with preliminary results and timer. The flashlight can be controlled from here as well.

Settings. All key settings are accessed in this menu. For a screen you can choose one of 5 color themes and one of 3 preinstalled wallpapers. Brightness, contrast, time of backlight operation for the screen and keypad complete the lineup.

In security settings passwords are available for Calls List, Contacts and Messages to limit the access. Alerts for SIM card change are available here to be activated, so if the phone is stolen and a new SIM card is installed it will automatically send a stealthy message to an earlier indicated phone number.

In Applications black lists for voice calls and messages are enabled.

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The handset offers a reliable connection quality even in areas where more expensive models fail. It boasts a 40-tonal polyphony with the mediocre sound for preinstalled midi ringtones, while you cannot use your own MP3 files. The volume is average and the same applies to the vibro.

This phone can be rivaled by all entry level solutions with color screens offered by second-tier manufacturers. The brand plays its part as Samsung offers higher quality components produced in-house. Nokia doesn't offer similar models as Nokia 1280 has a monochrome screen.

There are no particular drawbacks in Samsung E1081T. You can mention a hands free mode where the volume is not high enough. Apart from that we have a definite bestseller in its class.

The average price of the phone is €20.

SAR level for this model is 0.739W per kg.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion be known to the author and everybody else.

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Review of Nokia 1280 GSM Phone

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 15 December 2010

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



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