Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review Samsung S200
Samsung simultaneosly announced two models – S200 and S300 based on the same platform. Originally it was presumed that these models will be shipped simultaneously on the market, but later launching of S200 was postponed. The main reasons one could find in marketing policy. Shipments of this phone began in September. First the price for this model was 10-15 USD higher than Samsung S300 had. Now it’s 25-30 USD lower.
If to say about the differences in design, we should mention a lacquering surface of S200. It is a little bit smaller than S300 (81õ40.5õ22 mm) and weighs about 75 g. Hardware of the phones is the same, but resolution of the internal screen is different (128x144 pixels) that allows to display up to 6 text lines and 2 service lines. The phone is equipped with UFB-screens that are blurred under the sun, though the picture is quite visible.
STN-display of this phone supports up to 256 colors. The screen turns into a mirror in the standby mode, you can activate it by two side keys. Up to 3 text lines and 1 line with icons are contained on the external display which has a resolution of 96x64 pixels.
Service indicator is placed above the external screen and inserted in the word Samsung. This solution is rather unusual. You can select different color schemes.
Keypad is made of plastic, all keys have an average size and well-spaced. All keys are placed deep into the phone and not all users feel comfortable while tapping them. All characters are well seen in different conditions.
Lithium-ion battery of 720 mAh capacity is also used as a back cover of the phone. According to the manufacture, it could operate about 160 hours in standby mode and up to 3.5 hours in the talking mode. In reality it worked about 3 days in case of 45 minutes of talking. Time of re-charging is less than 2 hours.
Press left soft key and you'll get an access to the menu. Main menu is made as a list of items and navigation key or volume key help to move between them. There is also a shortcut number navigation. By the way, you can choose one of two variants of the main menu, they differ in graphics.
Phonebook. You can enter a phonebook if you press right soft-key in the standby mode. Then you’ll see a list of menu items, first one is “Name search”. The phone allows to view phone numbers both from SIM-card and phone memories. If you add a contact to a phone memory you can add up to 5 phone numbers (mobile, home, office, fax, other), e-mail and URL to each one. Besides, you can sort all your contacts in caller groups. Up to 5 caller groups are available (and besides, a category “Without group”), you can name them, as you like. Groups are necessary when you send group SMS. There is also a name search in group. Special ringing tones, pictures and SMS tone can be assigned to some groups.
Contacts view is well done. You can see a total list with all phone numbers and choose the necessary one to make a call. Up to 8 phone numbers can be assigned to speed dialing. Totally up to 500 phone numbers (not contacts) can be stored in the phonebook.
Messages. The phone supports EMS standard and concatenated messages (up to 918 characters each). As a result there is a set of small pictures (up to 22) and animated images (up to 24) and a set of melodies, which can be attached to a message. Up to 50 messages can be kept in the phone memory.
A new feature to easy text inputting is appeared in the phone. Now when you create a message, you can call a special menu and change a language there. Thus, you can write a message in several languages. Moreover, predictive text input is supported for all menu languages.
Call lists. Nothing new is here. There are lists of the last 10 missed, dialed and received calls with time and date indication. Unfortunately, total time of all calls can’t be viewed, though there are separate timers for incoming and outgoing calls.
Sound settings. Here you can choose a ringing tone (44 polyphonic melodies and animals voices). The phone supports 40-tones polyphony and a ring is very loud. Very often we are asked what is the difference between 40-tones and 16-tones polyphony. Firstly, 40-tones polyphonic ringing tones sound more natural, secondly, this polyphony allows to reproduce qualitatively a voice. Examples of S200 ringing tones can prove it.
There are several types of incoming alert: just sound, just vibrating alert and a mixed mode (firstly, vibrating alert and then a sound). One of 10 pre-installed tones can be chosen for SMS messages. You can also switch a minute minder, which works in a talking mode and set a tone that is played while connecting with the other side (subscriber).
Phone settings. All settings are ordinary. However, you can adjust contrast of both screens (external and internal). And you can choose one of the animated pictures here. After it you will feel all capabilities of the screen.
Organizer. Current month is displayed as a calendar. You can add a note (up to 40 characters) to each day. Events are not divided to types. And you can’t input 2 notes to one day. But there is a way to avoid this limit. You make a record for another day and then copy it to a necessary date, which has a note. It’s not very convenient, but works at least.
To-do list. You can add notes concerning your business, set a priority level (high, low, usual) and copy these notes to a calendar.
Date and time. You can view a world time in cities and set current local time and date.
Alarm-clock. There are two alarm-clocks here: recurrent and the one, which can ring only once. Both alarm-clocks can work when the phone is switched off.
Calculator and currency converter are simple but they make their job.
Network Services. Apart from usual network settings the phone allows a user to choose manually a current band (GSM900/1800 or GSM1900).
Funbox. There are 2 pre-installed games in the phone: Speed Up, Honey Ball. In the first game your mission is to drive a racing car. The second game is a kind of Archanoid.
Wap-browser in version 1.2.1 can help to download new pictures, melodies and games. The phone supports Java technology and your humble servant was able to download new games, which are much more interesting than pre-installed ones.
Reception quality, volume of the polyphonic ringer, strength of vibrating alert are excellent. This model is similar to Samsung S300. In response to design, the phone is targeted to men, though it will fits women too. The main shortcoming for Russian users is impossibility to input text, including SMS-messages in Russian. The strongest point is a small size of the phone. It’s a nice choice if you need a fashion phone.
Published 16 September 2003
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