Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review of GSM-handset Samsung X160
Samsung x160 is a budget class model, it is presented as clamshell form-factor. There are four color solutions available, which are: Shadow Blue, Strong Black, Valentin Red, Warm Silver. Besides there is an insertion with drawing on front panel. Each color solution has its own image, but they’re all united with similar theme. Different color of case allows selecting the one you really like. However some may dislike usage of images on case, even though they are neutral and not so obvious you know that tastes differ.
In order budget product to look more expensive manufacturer decided to use varnished surface. Of course it adds additional external attractiveness but besides this it also adds easy soiled area. Case gets soiled instantly, thankfully part of upper side is occupied by insertion with drawing, which has mate surface, and drawing also distracts you from looking at soiled case. On the whole handset is made of qualitative plastic, assembling is fine too.
Handset dimensions are small (87x44x20 mm, weight – 76 grams), it can easily fit your shirts pocket, as well as trousers ones. Handsets size is optimal as it feels comfortable in both large male palm and elegantly small female one. It causes no problems to open handset with one hand, there is rather wide deepening throughout whole case. Opening range is rather large, this allows comfortably speaking in almost all conditions, since microphone will be located near your mouth in most cases.
Port for connecting headset is located on lef side (2.5 mm), it is covered with plastic cork, small joined volume control button is located slightly lower. Most likely you will find yourself looking for this button during phone conversation, as it is located closer to center of case, instead of upper part. Hole for strap is located on upper side, and interface connetor covered with plastic cork is located on bottom one.
Once you open handset you’ll see small UFB-display with 128x160 pixel resolution (28x35 mm), it is capable of displaying up to 65k coors. Picture rendering quality is good, especially for budget class handset.
Keypad layout is mostly standard for Samsung phones. Big four-positional navigation key with Ok button inside. Two soft-keys which are also rather large are also comfortable to work with. All keys are pressed softly and have average key-press length.
Numeric keypad covers almost all useful area, this is why manufacturer was able to create a really big and comfrotable to wok with buttons. Even those who have large fingers will find it convinient to work with. Faulty key-pressings are nearly impossible to make. Keypad backlight color is white, and it is equally spread among all surface.
Nearly all part of back side is occupied by battery section, its fixation is reliable, there is no backlash and probability of its introduction afterwards is unlikeable. Handset has li-ion battery with 800 mAh capacity. We were testing out this handset in Moscow and it worked for about 4 days in average with about 20 minutes of phone calls, and up to 20 minutes of other functions usage daily. It takes around 2 hours for battery to charge up completely.
Main menu is presented as 3x3 matrix, icons are well-drwan, highlighted item will be displayed as animated image. Submenus are presented as vertical lists, there is fast number navigation support.
You can assign shortcuts for navigation key to different menu items.
Phone book. You an access it only by pressing right function key in stand by mode or via main menu. There can be 1000 contacts stored in phone’s memory. Each of them can be assigned with unlimited amount of phone numbers (you can select its type: cellular, work, home) and email addresses (up to 50 charatecters). Contact can be added to one of 10 groups.
Each group can be customized with a name, ring tone for call and message, as well as custom image (total 10 of them).
Information in phone book is displayed as list. Phone book search is done via letters or via groups. Information is displayed from both SIM-card and phone memory, there is quick dial support for up to 8 numbers.
Capabilities of x160’s phone book are enough for most users.
Messages. Handset’s memory can store up to 200 entries. Handset supports EMS standard, and there is set of preinstalled small images, animations and melodies. Besides there is a set of emoticons, they might be useful in case person whom this message is sent to has no EMS support. You can create up to 5 custom templates.Pressing right soft key during message input will allow you to change input language and input mode. Handset supports predictive text input (T9).
MMS editor is easy and simple to use. Maximal amount of outgoing MMS message cannot exceed 95b. There are 700kb of memory dedicated for storing MMS.
Call lists. Standard lists (up to 20 events in each) of received, missed and dialed numbers. Calls from identical phone numbers do nto get summed, instead the are displayed separately. When pressing name/number you will get information which includes phone number date and time of call. There are also call timers in this section too.
Sound settings. Here all settings related to sound settings of handset are stored. Unfortunatley this handset is missing profiles, this is why all settings should be done via this menu. You can select several call types: light only, only vibra, vibra followed by ring tone, only ring tone.
Organizer. Alarm clock. There are three independent alarm clocks: single, daily and morning. Each of them can be customized in terms of melody.
Calendar has only monthly view. Those dates that have entries for will be highlighted with color. Each event can have up to 40 characters of information and sound notification enabled.
To do list. Similar to events in calendar, you can only select priority.
Dictaphone allows recording sound during stand by mode and phone calls too (activated only via menu). Continiouty of recording is limited with 30 seconds. Voice tags have 100kb of memory dedicated for them.
Date and time. Here you can setup date and time and select time format display (12/24). World Time function is located here as well.
Besdies above mentioned menu items you can also find calculator and currency converter.
Fun box. WAP. Here is where WAP-browser v2.0 is located.
JAVA world. Handset supports Java MIDP 2.0, 512kb of memory are dedicated for applications. There is only one preinstalled game – COM2US Bowling. Additional applications can be only installed via WAP.
Folders with images and ring tones are located in this section too, there are 600kb available for them.
Network. Here all settings related to network are stored.
Settings. All standard handset settings are found here. You can install wallpapers (one of 8 preinstalled images, or one of your custom ones), besides display brightness can be modified together with its contrast level. Here you can also select digit color when number is dialed.
Network reception quality is not that good, it was missing network in places where most handsets were working flawlessly. Perhaps this were peculiarities of our sample. Loudspeaker volume and microphone’s sensitivity are on good level. Playback of 16-tone polyphonic ring tones are moderate, you can install mmf ring tones too. Volume is higher than average level. Vibrating on the other hand is weaker than you’d want It to be. There is loudspeaker function and it works flawlessly, although it requires two key presses instead of one (second pressing is confirmation which is unavoidable), it is not that comfortable, really.
Handset is a pretty interesting budget clasmshell, which is mostly targeted for female audience. Four case colors with drawings on front panel allow handset to be singled out of masses of grey and dull budget solutions. This model will fit users who are not that demanding in terms of functions, who prefer using their handset for voice calls and text messages. Perhaps some users will find it inconvinient to use only 512kb for Java applications, however this should be enough for majority of them, especially if you take the fact that applications can be downloaded only via WAP into consideration. Lack of mp3 ring tone support dissapoints us a little too.
Right now average price for Samsung X160 was around 115 USD. As for competitors – there is Nokia 2652 which has similar functionality and several case colors, however it is cheaper than X160 for nearly 20 USD.
Published 13 September 2006
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