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Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look

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Review of Samsung E1252 DUOS Lite GSM phone

Live photo of Samsung DUOS Lite


  1. In the box
  2. Positioning
  3. Design, dimensions and controls
  4. Screen
  5. Keypad
  6. Battery
  7. Operation with 2 SIM cards
  8. Menu and interface
  9. Phonebook
  10. Calls log
  11. Messages
  12. Organizer
  13. FM radio
  14. Alarms
  15. Settings
  16. Impressions

In the box:

  • Phone
  • 1000 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Charger
  • Wired stereo headset
  • User Guide


Samsung almost single-handedly created the market for dual SIM solutions and its lineup remains the most impressive. Nevertheless, the Korean manufacturer often charges high premiums for these models because they lack competition on major markets. It can be justified in some areas, but it is not always so. For example, in Russia Fly also offers many dual SIM models and we should not forget about LG and Philips as well. Here the pricing policy of Samsung is not up to the mark. The model on review today is a copy of Samsung E1081T with several minor differences in the shape of a better screen and new interface. Anyway we have a typical budget handset here without a camera, memory cards support, browser and PRS. This model can be used for calls and SMS only.

Consumers often don't care about low resolution cameras and ditching one is quite reasonable, but memory cards support is a must and is viewed by some as a standard feature. This phone is a very basic one, but costs too much. Analogues from Fly are two times cheaper, while better options are still 1.5 times cheaper.

It looks that Samsung targets markets where dual SIM models are offered by second echelon manufacturers only. This is the sole explanation of its price, which makes the phone uncompetitive.

It is a handset for emotional purchases, because even Samsung itself offers E2152 devoid of minuses we have mentioned, whiles its price is only И12 higher. This solution was launched to expand the products range and is a very niche product, which can hardly be a serious player in the segment.

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Design, dimensions and controls

We have a typical budget model from Samsung. The only color offered is black. The back cover is covered with dots to prevent wearing off. The dimensions are the following Ц 112.70x46.65x13.90 mm, with the weight of 78 g. The phone fits any hand well.

On the top we get a torch to be activated by a dedicated button located on the left side. On the right side you see jacks for a headset a charger. The latter is protected by a plastic cap attached to the body. This is a proprietary jack and the model unfortunately features nothing universal. The same side has place for a SIM switch button.

The build is decent and you shouldn't experience any looseness.

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A 128х160 TFT screen fits up to 8 text lines and 2 service lines in 262,000 colors. Picture quality is below average, but nobody expects wonders from a low cost solution. Taking into account the price of the model we could have expected more, but it was not to be.

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The block of keys is made of rubber with large buttons, which are convenient to press. The navigation key is good and the overall ergonomics of the keypad is above criticism. The backlight is white, bright and provides clear representation of symbols in different environment.

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The handset features a 1000 mAh Li-Ion battery. The manufacturer claims up to 620 hours on standby and 10 hours of talktime. In real life the model gives you 4-5 days of operation with 15-20 minutes of talktime and 20 minutes for other features a day. If the workload goes down the model can go on for a week or more without recharging, which is good. In general the operation time is standard for this class of devices. Full charging takes around 2.5 hours.

I would like to emphasize that the operation time is comparable with that of standard phones as we have only one radio module here (DUOS Lite series).

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Operation with 2 SIM cards

Under the battery we have two slots for SIM cards and you can insert cards the way you like. From the menu you can designate the main card to be used by default. The slots have a mark for card 1 and card 2. It only influences in which order the SIM manager will offer them to you.

How does it work? You start a phone and the SIM manager allows labeling any inserted card with the name you like. Subsequently, you don't mix them as it is more convenient than SIM1 and SIM2 typical of some other models.

In the standby mode the screen shows the names for both networks and the number of the card. The signal level for the first card is in the standard top left hand corner, while the second indicator is in the right one. During the incoming call the handset highlights the card, which receives a call. Interestingly, users can choose not only a ringtone, but a profile for every card as well. For example, for the first card you can select a ringtone, while the second gets a silent mode. The same applies to themes. This option is excellent and other companies cannot offer anything similar.

This is an inexpensive solution, so we have only one radio module. You can receive calls for both cards, but once it is received the second card becomes inactive. It is understandable for a low cost solution.

To highlight the different nature of the model the side features a calls management key and SIM manager button. It doesn't only activate the manager, but allows changing SIM cards with one touch during the dialing or writing an SMS. In all menus you have an icon with the first card and you can easily select the second card with one move. Some people may found this feature useful. Similarly to Samsung C5212 the selection of the card is confirmed by highlighting the icon in the status bar instead of using an icon at the bottom of the screen. It was influenced by a lower resolution screen.

In all calls lists you see which card received a particular call. In the phonebook you have entries from the phone memory and SIM cards.

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Menu and interface

Slim UI reached the segment of budget solutions. Despite the low screen resolution this new interface looks fresh. On standby we have Smart Home, which is similar to Active Standby from Nokia. You can add the line of contacts, calendar, notes, two types of clocks and shortcuts. You must select each of items as they cannot be dragged around the screen. If the contents of Smart Home are bigger than the screen you see scrollers. The screen looks strangely, but it is convenient. Contacts line looks like favorites with names and icons. Select a name and one touch will allow you calling a contact or sending an SMS or e-mail. Selecting a contact opens a phonebook entry. It is pleasant that by choosing a field you go into a respective app, which looks quite logical. By pressing a calendar you go there. The same applies to other applications as well.

Main menu is represented by an icons matrix (3х4). All sub-menus feature horizontal lists, but they are not displayed in an appropriate list unlike in Samsung U900. The phone remembers which feature you accessed last time and by default highlights this feature when you enter a menu again. For example, you worked with the calls list in the main menu. If you leave it and then return you will see this item highlighted. Moreover the selected submenu will be highlighted if the menu is displayed as a list. During the selection the item is highlighted, while the font size increases.

Themes. 3 variants are available. There is no themes editor.

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Contacts can be activated by pressing the right soft key and you will see a list with all entries from the phone memory and SIM card. In the general list you cannot see pictures of contacts.

In the line under the name you see a default number and you can choose it yourself from the phone memory. You can use quick search by first letters (up to 20) for any language. By pressing OK you go to the menu for every entry and you see an icon there if the image is associated with the name.

Any graphic file, your pictures 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 and you can choose any type of number for every contact. The phone has two fields for name and family name (both fields are searchable), which are displayed together. The field Name comes first. For example, Eldar Murtazin appears precisely in this way. The length of each field equals 20 symbols, for every supported language. During the name input you can interchange different languages.

In the general list against the name you see an appropriate icon. 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, short text, address and other fields. Any sound file 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 cannot select your own melody.

The phone memory hosts up to 1000 entries with completed fields. If you don't complete all fields you will still end up with no more than 1000 entries. In the settings you can select the default destination of all new phone numbers. The copying 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. 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. While viewing contacts in the phonebook quick dial numbers are marked with a special sign.

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 to a portion of the screen, which doesn't look nice, especially taking into account its capabilities.

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Calls log

In every list you can enter up to 30 phone numbers. There is a general list of latest calls (90 entries in total), where a special icon means a particular call type. You can quickly move from list to list browsing them horizontally by pressing the navigation key. For a separate entry in a detailed view you can see the date and time of the call and its duration. Identical calls are combined with the number of calls given opposite every phone number. In у detailed view you can see the duration for every call. 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.

Received and sent SMS are also united in lists with the contacts.

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The phone memory can store up to 1000 messages, the model supports EMS and works with Nokia Smart Messaging. T9 attracts no criticism. 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.

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.

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In the phone memory you can save 1000 entries for different event types Ц meeting, anniversary and holidays. There is also another type of entries for 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.

World clock shows time in 2 selected cities in a very simple and easy way.

Calculator is very simple too.

Converter helps to convert measurement units together with different currencies.

Notes are represented by simple notes.

Prayers. Alerts remind of time for prayers with an appropriate signal and music. This feature is available for several religions, but is supported not in all markets.

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FM radio

The phone memory stores up to 10 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. 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 title in the general list above, and has no other options. You can also use an alert to start the radio playback at a designated time.

Dictaphone. You can record several minutes of voice notes and the number of recordings is not limited. All samples are stored in one folder.

Games. Sudoku, Cricket and Carrom are available.

Stopwatch and countdown timer are traditional.

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The model has 5 alarms and each can be activated for a particular day. For all of them you can choose from 5 tunes and MP3 files are also supported. In settings you can indicate if the phone has to be activated automatically when the event comes or not.

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Traditionally all section of the phone (messages, short messages, organizer, etc) can be protected by a password. The time of backlight and its brightness can be customized. In the dialing mode users can choose the design of digits, their size and color (there is no animation option during entering).

Profiles manage all possible profiles including the flight mode. Each profile offers a particular tone for messages and volume can be changed as well.

Installation wizard helps to adapt main settings during the first run of the handset.

BackUp Ц you can back up all data on a memory card and then restore everything if necessary.

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The phone boasts connection quality on par with other Samsung models and is typical of the class. The volume is excellent, which fits different types of environment. The vibro is average.

All in all we have a typical entry level phone with a torch, rubber keypad and average screen. There is no memory cards support, browser, e-mail, GPRS and other features at the price of И70. FLY DS170 for И55 boasts a 1.3 MP camera, memory card, standard slots and higher resolution screen (176х220 and 2″ size). The price and features difference is staggering. The premium for the brand name will lead to catastrophic consequences for Samsung E1252 and its sales. This phone has no chances at this price. E2152 Duos Lite (VGA camera, memory cards, browser and e-mail) is more attractive and costs only И12 more. But, even in this case the model from Fly has an advantage. Similar and better models are offered by Philips and LG. In the budget segment Samsung failed to provide a competitive solution within a Duos Lite and here we have a niche offering with high markup. After testing the handset I felt bewildered. Its price and features do not match. May be its positioning is influenced by Nokia, though its dual SIM models will go on sale only at the end of January and in February. These handsets are anti examples, because they also have inadequate price tags.

SAR level for the phone is 0,938 Wt/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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Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 10 January 2010

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



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