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Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look

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Reviews of Samsung C3222 Ch@t GSM phone

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  1. In the box
  2. Positioning
  3. Design, dimensions and controls
  4. Screen
  5. Keypad
  6. Battery
  7. USB, Bluetooth and networks
  8. Memory and memory cards
  9. Operation with 2 SIM cards
  10. Camera
  11. Menu and interface
  12. Phonebook
  13. Calls lists
  14. Messages
  15. Organizer
  16. FM radio
  17. МР3 player
  18. Applications
  19. WAP
  20. Alarms
  21. File Manager (My files)
  22. Settings
  23. Impressions

In the box:

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


Samsung views the market of QWERTY models as dynamic, but doesn't try to be the leader in this segment. The Korean manufacturer was not popular here before. On the other hand, its dominance in dual SIM niche courtesy of DUOS series enabled the company to offer different models in this segment, so the announcement of an accessible QWERTY phone is a move to provide another handset in its favorite niche. 2 SIM cards support is primary, while the keypad is an addition. Leading manufacturers have no similar products and Samsung is sure in its sales due to a similar price with Nokia analogues, which cannot boast dual SIM support.

DUOS lite means that 2 SIM cards are supported in the following way: the model works with 2 cards simultaneously, but during the call only one card remains active. If somebody calls another number of yours it will be unavailable. This inexpensive solution uses a ST-Ericsson chip.

In terms of positioning this model is targeting young people who communicate a lot with the preference to SMS or Twitter. It is a good solution for 2 SIM cards, especially when the voice communication is not very important for the second card. More mature customers will not be interested in this phone, so it will not enjoy good sales in this demographic.

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Design, dimensions and controls

The model is a typical QWERTY candybar with chrome like ornament on edges and black matte plastic. The dimensions are 109.5 x 60 x 12.3 mm with the weight of 95 g. It can be comfortably carried in a pocket of a shirt or trousers.

The phone is made of plastic and though the build is good you can make it squeak by squeezing hard. The back cover can occasionally close not completely, so you have to give it a look.

The top has a microUSB slot covered by an inbuilt plastic cap. Nearby there is a 3.5 mm jack for a headset or headphones. The left side features a paired volume control button. The right side is dedicated to SIM cards switch.

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The screen has 2.2″ size with the resolution of 220х176. It reproduces up to 262 000 colors (TFT) and the picture quality is good with live and bright colors. The screen fits up to 9 text lines and 3 service lines. The fonts are large and easy to read. It applies both to SMS messages and dialing. In the sun the screen remains readable, so it almost doesn't suffer from the blinding effect.

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A traditional QWERTY keypad has buttons of plastic. The size is average with the gap between rows. To my mind the buttons are not large enough and the finger occupies a bit of adjacent space. It takes a bit of time to get used to the keypad and the text input is fast. The keypad is similar to those in rival models. For example, Nokia C3 has more convenient buttons, but they are still easy to use.

You need one touch to move between languages. There are dedicated buttons for messages and a browser.

The backlight is white. It is bright and visible under all circumstances.

Instead of the navigation key you get an optic joystick, which is quite convenient and can be customized as to its sensitivity. I was surprised by this solution in a relatively low cost model.

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The phone boasts a 1000 mAh Li-Ion battery. The manufacturer claims up to 500 hours on the standby and around 11 hours of talktime. In real life the model lasted for 2.5 days with 1 hour of talktime and 3 hours of music playback. The handset offers at least 2 days of operation with the average load, but you can get as many as 3 days (minimal load). The full charging requires around 2 hours. There is no a higher capacity battery for this handset, which is a serious drawback taking into account the presence of 2 SIM cards. Other models of DUOS series employ batteries of 1500 mAh.

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USB, Bluetooth and networks

Bluetooth. The handset supports different profiles:, Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dial Up Networking, File Transfer, Object Push, Basic Printing, A2DP, Dual Profile Bluetooth. Bluetooth - 2.1has EDR as well. The operation of a headset is traditionally reliable.

USB connection. You can customize USB modes in the menu (Kies, Mass Storage, and Media Player). During the connection the phone starts recharging its battery.

In USB Mass Storage mode the phone is easily connected without any additional drivers and you can copy all data you need. USB 2 offers the data speed of 950 Kbps.

GSM networks employ EDGE of class 12.

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Memory and memory cards

The model has around 90 MB of inbuilt memory, which is entirely available to users from the outset. The memory card is displayed separately. There is a file manager to copy files to and from cards. The latter are hot swappable with the slot under the battery cover. We tested the microSD cards of up to 8 GB and everything worked well.

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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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The handset features a 1.3 MP budget camera and you cannot enjoy its pictures. Look at samples and make your own judgment.


Video can be recorded in several types of resolution with the maximum of 176х144 (15 fps). During the recording you can use zoom and standard effects are available too.

Video sample (mp4, 0,2 MB) >>>

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Menu and interface

Main menu is represented by a matrix (4х3). All submenus have horizontal lists. In the menu latest positions are remembered (main menu and submenus). 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.

In the menu you can use the navigation with numerical sequences, but that's not enough. Quick launch menu represented by a classical horizontal bar is absent here (uMenu). Instead we get a list of shortcuts to be customized and give access to the apps you select.

Themes. We see 3 preinstalled themes. There is no built-in 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 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 or your pictures 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 limited. The phone has two fields for name and family name (only the first field is 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, including an mp3 track 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/MMS, e-mail or via Bluetooth. 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. Buttons get the notes in the form of the selected contact, but not the phone number type. If a contact has its picture, it will be displayed, but the name of this contact will not be shown. If you have two different numbers for one contact this feature becomes inconvenient as you cannot differentiate between them. 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.

All phonebook entries can be stored on a memory card.

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Calls lists

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. 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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Similar to other manufacturers Samsung abandoned an artificial division of messages into SMS and MMS: you create a message and then depending on its content the message is considered as SMS or MMS. In the menu you have an option to turn a message into MMS in a compulsory way (when you need to send a text to an e-mail address and avoid the in-built mail client).

The phone memory can store up to 300 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. For e-mail the blocking targets not only particular addresses, but the topics as well.

MMS messages are limited to 500 KB, while the incoming messages have no size limitations. Among additional settings we can mention the blocking of ad messages, the type of message receiving in the roaming and in the home network. The messages are stored in the dynamic memory. The same applies to e-mail.

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.

The in-built mail client is quite traditional without anything special. You can customize up to 5 accounts with the number of messages limited to 100 for each account. Attachments are enabled with the size of no more than 500 KB for outgoing and 5 MB for incoming files. Received files can be viewed with the help of an in-built browser.

There is no HTML support in messages, which disrupts the formatting for the majority of messages and the viewing is far from being comfortable. The mail client in Samsung models starts losing out considerably to that of Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

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In the phone memory you can save 1000 entries for different event types – meeting, anniversary and event. 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. /p>

To do list may keep up to 100 events with different priority.

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.

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FM radio

FM radio. The phone memory stores up to 99 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 a stopwatch to start the radio playback at a designated time.

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МР3 player

The handset has an inbuilt MP3 player with random, consecutive and cyclic playback. MP3 files can be downloaded directly via Bluetooth or by means of synchronization app or Windows Media Player. Files may have all types of names and tags, including the ones in Russian, which are easily understood. Files bitrate is not very important and the model understands all popular formats. WMA, AAC, eAAC and eAAC+ are also supported.

During the playback you see the name of the current track and the overall number of tracks. The equalizer is not adjustable. You get 11 variants, including an automatic one, which can be adapted for a particular track. Fade Out option allows the sound to die at the end of the track. The playback is possible with the stereo headset or in a hands free mode. 14 levels are available for volume. Users may create their own playlists. The player works in the background mode. At least the screen shows tracks titles and tips for controls, which is convenient.

The visualization is effected through Album Art or animated equalizer. Filters deal with all tracks, recently played, most frequently played, performers, albums, genres, and composers. There is a support of Album Arts.

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Dictaphone. You can record up to several hours of voice notes and the number of such notes is unlimited. In theory the length limitation can be chosen by a user and may equal 1 hour. In memory all notes are located in one folder. The recording quality during lectures and round table negotiations is decent. The notes can be transcribed afterwards. The model can be used as a digital dictaphone. It can be activated during the conversation.

SIM budgeter helps to track separate SIM cards. It is a usual alerts manager. You enter an account balance and the date. It cannot work automatically.

Games: there are several games represented by demo versions and you have to pay if you need full ones. The amount of memory for Java-applications is limited only by free space in the phone. All games can be uninstalled. New games are downloaded wirelessly (through wap) and from the phone memory. The heap size is limited to 2 MB and the apps cannot exceed 1 MB. Applications cannot work in the background mode.

From preinstalled app we can mention Palringo.

Stopwatch and countdown timer are fairly standard.

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The handset has wap-browser 2.0 (NetFront 3.5). Apart from JavaScript support, fonts scaling (3 types of text), Smart-Fit (web sites display in one column), full scale images (with hidden controls) and pages caching we receive a mouse like device or a virtual cursor. Similarly to S60 products from Nokia and Opera Mini you can display pages with a mini navigation window. The browser is nice and will be enough for the majority of users.

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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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File Manager (My files)

All files are collected here: music, pictures, video and sounds. All downloaded files get here first. One of the drawbacks is the fact that at times a file in the common list may not be visible straight away. You have to exit and open the list again.

Files can be viewed as a list and as icons. Select one or several files from the list. The following operations with files are supported: copy, delete and transfer (phone memory – memory card). The files can be sorted by time, type, name and size.

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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.

Communities. In this section you can find an IM-manager – Palringo, Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger (depending upon the market). The model also has a Bluetooth chat to exchange files and text messages with another phone, which supports such an app.

There are inbuilt Twitter/Facebook clients with the appropriate information to be displayed on a desktop. These clients are not the most feature rich, but they are decent enough for the product.

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

The phone has a good build, is easy to use and meets the demands of its target audience. Taking into account the price of €120 it can compete with Nokia C3. The solution from Nokia has an advantage due to the presence of WiFi, better camera and several unique Nokia features coupled with metal in the body. C3 has only one SIM card support though. Its keypad is slightly superior to that of Samsung C3222. Overall these two solutions are equal, but if you need dual SIM support then you have no choice. C3222 is one of the rare few handsets from a leading manufacturer with a QWERTY keypad. If you employ 2 cards then you should definitely pay attention to this model.

SAR is 0.73 W/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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Review of Nokia 1280 GSM Phone

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 22 December 2010

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



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