Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review Samsung X450
It seems that all phone manufacturers decided to find out which of them can build the most phones on one and the same model with minimum design changes. Design change also means different targeted segment and successful sales once again. No really, it’s possible to release and the same phone in clamshell and monoblock designs and both of them will be popular. Take Samsung X100, Samsung E100 for example – these models are twins, and the form factor is the only difference except for small software changes. E100 is considered as a middle-class, not very expensive clamshell phone and will be released very soon. Samsung decided to present another model; it will be even cheaper in order to conquer larger market segment.
Samsung had to remove external screen in order to decrease the price. Such clamshell phone looks rather weird nowadays, since most of us got used to the external screen which is very useful. Let me remind you that Samsung was the first company that presented clamshell phone with two displays on the European market. On the other hand modern day mobile phone consumer wants to get the cheapest phone from the famous brand. The presence or the lack of external screen is not the deciding factor for them, the main requirements are phone’s quality and its price. X450 is the ideal solution for such users.
The designers made this phone similar to a bestseller like T100 on purpose. When you open the phone it becomes alike T100, even more. Another thing besides the lack of external screen was discovered as well – this phone has UFB-type of the screen. Basically the picture looks grainier; you can see it on the photo below. However, it looks better in real life since our consciousness fills the lacking pixels by itself. The screen is similar to first generation STN displays and to the UFD display used in X100.
The screen’s resolution in 128x160 pixels, this is a standard resolution for Samsung phones. Up to 6 lines and two extra lines for service needs can be shown at once (header, soft-keys titles).
The keyboard is standard and made of plastic. The buttons have average size and are placed nicely which makes the work with them more pleasant. The backlight’s color is blue, however it’s more bright for side rows. The four-positional navigational key can be assigned various shortcuts for the menu items. Unfortunately and traditionally for Samsung phones you have to press the left soft-key in order to access the menu item. You have to move your finger for quite a distance which length is from the navigational key to the soft-key. The navigational key also has the key for fast access to the WAP-browser.
Let’s get back to the design. You can see black setting in while the phone is closed. It doesn’t have any functional value; it was made just for decoration. Service LED is located on the right top of the phone; various colors can be applied.
Handsfree connector is located on the top, right near the hole for strap. The joined volume control button is located on the left side; meanwhile system connector is located on the bottom. This phone doesn’t have IrDA however this doesn’t come as a surprise since it’s a budget model.
The battery plays the role of back cover, it’s capacity is 720 mAh. Samsung claims that this should be enough for the phone to work 150 hours in stand by mode and up to 3 hours during the talks. We tested this phone in Moscow and it worked for 2 days with 30 minutes spent for talks and 30 minutes spent for other functions daily. It takes 1 hour and 40 minutes in order for the phone to charge up.
This phone fits the hand nicely; its sizes are typical for modern day models – 83x46x21 mm, 77 grams.
Both main menu and sub-menus have special numbers assigned this means that the fast shortcut number navigation is supported. The user can choose one of the two ways the menu will be presented. It can be either slide-style or a list of all items. All sub-menus are presented as horizontal lists. The menu is similar to the one used in Samsung V200, P100.
Phone book. Up to 1000 names can be stored in phone’s memory. One entry can have up to 10 phone numbers and e-mail address. Each group can be assigned with custom icon, ring tone and SMS sound. On the other hand you can’t do such things to simple entries.
Names from SIM-card and phone’s memory are displayed simultaneously. Name search is present; enter the first letter in order to see the result.
Nine entries can be set for fast dialing.
Messages. SMS and MMS are divided into two different groups. 200 SMS can be stored in phone’s memory. The user can also create nine templates. Since this phone supports EMS custom pictures and sounds can be added as well. The set of pre-installed files is typical for Samsung phones and doesn’t offer anything new.
MMS are created from Picture Messaging menu. Several slides can be created and filled with files. Everything is rather simple and typical. 700kb of memory is dedicated to MMS.
Call list. The phone can store 20 last missed, dialed and received numbers. Date and time are specified for each of them. Here you can also see the time of last call and the time of all incoming/outgoing calls.
Sounds. This phone has 40-tone polyphonic sound that sounds rather nice. Several types of incoming call alert can be selected including “sound only” and “vibrating alert followed by sound”. Other settings are typical, settings for SMS, MMS alert, setup of one minute beep during the talk and silent mode.
Settings. You can set greeting message here, however display’s settings deserve bigger attention. Animations can be set as wallpapers (the phone has 5 preinstalled ones). Plus you can setup font’s style during the stand by mode.
The fact that you can setup the length of backlight is rather interesting. A wide selection of available variants is impressive – from 15 seconds till 10 minutes. The maximum setting is for those who love to play games on their mobiles, pressing a button in order to turn it back on will not be necessary furthermore.
Screen brightness can be chosen from one of the 23 variants.
Organizer. You can enter a note instantly; the maximum length is 40 symbols for each. There aren’t separate categories for the entries. You just enter the note for definite day and that’s it. Several appointments can be assigned with one and the same date. Fast access to the needed date is present. Calendar can show current month as well.
The phone has world time function present, however it doesn’t have anything special. The same can be told about the calculator and the unit converter.
The alarm clock can be set for definite days of the week. You can also activate special function when the alarm clock will still be active even if the phone is turned off.
To-do list allows defining priorities for the entries, everything is rather typical.
The dictaphone can record short (30 seconds) conversations; the number of possible stored voice memos depends on the amount of available dynamic memory.
Network services. Settings related to call forwarding and stuff like that is located here. An interesting fact is that this phone is actually tri-band and not dual band, as the manual says. The third frequency (GSM1900) has to be activated manually.
Fun Box. WAP-browser v2.0 which allows viewing color images is located here. The phone supports GPRS (4+2) which makes the surfing nice and comfortable.
Sounds, images and photos are located in the Sounds and Images folder correspondingly.
Four games are pre-installed in this phone, they are: BubbleSmile (my favorite variation of bubbles), Fun2Link (logical game), Ultimate Golf, Mobile Chess. These games can not be deleted from the phone’s memory.
512kb are dedicated to Java applications, and 1945kb are saved for pictures and messages.
This phone has average vibrating alert, however the 40-tone polyphonic rign tone’s volume is more than enough. The phone runs smoothly in the city, and no problems were encountered. Speaker’s volume is enough in almost all conditions.
Phone’s targeting strategy is the most interesting part. This will be the cheapest clamshell phone from Samsung among the new models. Really high ales are not expected, however they will be big enough. The lack of external screen and the bad quality of the internal one may reject some of the potential consumers and will force them to buy a more expensive model. This phone will be released by the end of February or the begining of March (in case it will not be canceleed like some other models were). At the moment test shippings were made to the Italian market and the phone’s price out there is 275 euros, which doesn’t seem rather reasonable since it’s a budget model after all. The first shippings to the other countries will begin in February, like I said before. The price will be about 245-250 dollars that is still too expensive considering this phone’s functionality. The 150-175 dollar price seems the most suitable one for a model like this, in that case it will become popular without looking at some disadvantages.
Published 13 January 2004
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