Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review Samsung V200
This year almost all phones from Samsung will be equipped with an integrated digital cameras, but V200 will be the first one. The company stands out this phone against other phones from the line and it’s obvious why, first time it will be a top model. So, the phone is technologically advanced and attractive in response to design features, by the way, not only for those who prefer fashion phones.
Samsung V200 has rather large dimensions (91õ48õ23 mm), compared to modern clamshell phones of this company. Usually they are smaller. The weight of the phone is only 96 grams. Such discrepancy between dimensions and weight is explained by designer’s desire to built a camera, which has fixed dimensions, in the phone. If the handset had smaller size, camera wouldn’t have look so effective.
Digital camera is a salt of Samsung V200. It is placed on the hinge of the phone and has a rotator viewfinder (the angle is 180 degrees), it allows to take pictures not only of other people, but also of yourself. Special denticles are provided to rotate the camera, it’s very easy to use them. Later we’ll detail speak about the camera capabilities. Now let’s look at the other phone features.
An external display can show up to 3 text lines, it has a resolution of 96x64 pixels and a blue backlighting. A service LED is placed under the screen, it is rather unusual because it is multicolored (3 colors). In contrast to one-color indicator it is made only just as a decoration. Very soon you are tired of this constant blinking, especially if the phone lies near you all the time.
IR-port is placed on the left-hand side, a volume key and a portable handsfree connector are also positioned there. You can see a system connector on the bottom of the phone; it is similar to those, which were in earlier models, for example in T100.
When you open the phone, you will see an internal display. It attracts everybody’s attention immediately as it is TFD display, which capable to support up to 65000 colors. The resolution is of 128x160 pixels, what allows to show up to 7 text lines, 1 line with icons and 1 line with tips to the soft keys. Information is highly visible in all lighting conditions. The screen has vibrant colors and excellent color rendering. It is ideal screen to display pictures and animation. Originally, the phone has pre-installed pictures and wallpapers. It is also possible to download them from standard CD or Wap-resources. As in S300, there are two backlighting modes here, energy-saving one and normal one. The picture is not very bright in the second case. The phone is automatically switched to an energy-saving mode, if the phone is open, but you don’t make any operations. A little bit later a backlighting is absolutely turned off, after you press any key, the phone will switched to a normal mode.
A keypad is made of plastic, alphanumerical keys has a terraced location, and that is why they are more comfortable. These keys are large, they are slightly raised above the phone; we had no problems with them. A special key to turn on camera is placed under the screen. Lower there is a 4-directional navigation key with Wap-browser access button.
Now few words about the battery. The phone has a lithium-ion battery of 720 mAh capacity. According to the manufacturer the phone can work up to 140 hours in the stand-by mode and up to 5 hours in the talking mode. In reality (Beeline network) the handset had 3 days of operating time in case of 40 minutes of talking and 1-hour of using other applications (including active using of camera). A time of full re-charging is less than two hours. The phone worked 1 day longer with an extended battery.
The phone has a vertical menu structure, shortcut number navigation is available to access special menu items. Menu interface has been changed; we can see new icons, which look more interesting now. You can also choose a Film style of the menu; it is more usual version, when several menu items are displayed at once. Similar to S300, the phone supports different languages while text inputting and combined languages in SMS messages.
Phonebook. One can enter a phonebook just pressing right key in the stand-by mode. Then, you’ll see a list of menu items, first one is “Name search”. Phones from both Sim-card and internal phone memory can be displayed in the total list. Up to 10 fields can be added to one contact (mobile, home, office phone, fax, e-mail, URL and other information). Also a contact can be assigned to a name. Up to 10 caller groups are available. Caller groups are very useful if you decide to send a group SMS message. Special melodies, pictures, ringing tones and SMS tones can be assigned to each group.
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.
Picture Messaging. Here you can create and read received MMS–messages. All settings are rather simple, it is possible to choose automatic downloading of messages. This feature is operator dependant and unfortunately, it doesn’t work in Moscow yet. You can add text, photo taken by your camera or just a picture (only from your folders, not pre-installed) to a message. If to compare the capabilities of the phone in response to MMS, it is similar to phones from Nokia, for example, it has the same ideology and number of settings.
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, athough there are separate timers for incoming and outgoing calls.
Camera. Phone display is used as a viewfinder, you can rotate an image 180 degrees using side keys. Other manufacturers doesn’t have such feature. You can adjust brightness of the picture pressing navigation key. Also there is a Zoom-function in the phone, it is quite acceptable. To make a shot, press a special key under the screen. Then you can save this photo or delete it.
All photos can be viewed in Photo Album, some photos are presented as small copies. Navigation is simple and convenient.
An integrated CCD-camera enables to make images, which have a resolution of 352õ288 pixels. Unfortunately, there is no software to synchronize the phone with PC. It is also impossible to transmit photos via IrDA and it’s doubtful whether it will be available in the future.
The quality of images is quiet good, all pictures look vivid, may be because of the screen capabilities. Up to 100 photos ca be stored in the internal memory of the phone. Now you can’t select a resolution, possibly this function will be appeared, when the phone goes on sale (presumably in March). In the whole, this camera is similar to one in Panasonic GD87 except availability of different effects (images frames, for instance).
Sound settings. Here you can choose a ringing tone (totally, 44 polyphonic melodies and animals voices). The phone supports 40-tones polyphony and a ring is very loud. 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.
Organiser. 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 Service. Apart from usual network settings the phone allows a user to choose manually a current band (GSM900/1800 or GSM1900).
Funbox. Up to 3 games are pre-installed, they are X-Fighter, SpaceWar, MyPet. All of them were in other phones from Samsung.
Wap-browser in version 1.2.1 can help to download new pictures, melodies and games.
Samsung SGH-V200 supports GPRS (4+1). You can view pre-installed video clips on this phone. The quality is not bad. We think, approximately 6-8 shots a second are displayed. The sound is very loud but handsfree mode is not available.
Quality connection of V200 is compared to modern phones from Samsung, volume of the loudspeaker and ringer is higher, than usual. Vibrating alert is average. Technological features of V300 is similar to S300, but it has MMS-function support and integrated camera. The latter one is very functional even if to compare it with external cameras for other phones. Images are quickly saved in the memory (about 8 seconds). Unfortunately, software to synchronize a phone with PC is not available now, but it will appear in commercial samples.
Operating time of the phone is sufficient, it is comparable with other similar phones. So, V200 is a handset, which has all features of the phones manufactured by Samsung and also an integrated camera. An expected availability in Europe is the end of February, beginning of March. An expected price is about 600-650 Euro. Such phones as Panasonic GD87, Sharp GX10 offer similar functions but they have the other type of camera (not rotator). Later, in the end of March LG G8000 will be launched, this phone greatly resembles Samsung V200 both in design, features and camera. So, a rivalry will be very strong.
We can recommend to purchase this phone to all adherents of this brand and those who are interested in built-in camera. As for me, this model seemed to be nice and functional. An interest to this phone showed that it would be a popular model on the market. It is one of the first phones with integrated cameras, other manufacturers are delayed with these products.
Here you can listen to some of the ringing tones (mp3, 600 Kb)
Published 31 January 2003
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