Samsung U700 - Martin's Quick Review

By Martin Fortus

More Than Meets The Eye

At first glance, you could be fooled into thinking that the Samsung U700, also known as the Samsung Ultra 12.1, is just another fashion phone which is big on glitz and sparing with functionality.  But you’d be wrong, because the slender, glossy slider phone from Samsung has excellent functions which will satisfy users long after the shiny surface gets scratched.

Excellent build quality supplements the sleek lines of the Samsung U700.  The sliding mechanism is sprung, meaning you need only to push the phone halfway before it opens itself completely.  The most noticeable feature of the closed phone is the circular navigation button.  Four directions and a central confirmation button lend simplicity to browsing your phone book, messages or web sites.  Samsung has also incorporated touch sensitive keys beneath the U700’s display, which react to gentle pressure from the fingers.  These buttons are automatically locked during calls.  Opening up the phone reveals a standard keypad, whose 12 keys are plastic-covered and back lit.  Although the keys are not fully separated, they are large enough to use easily.

The Samsung U700 sports a 262K colour display, with QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) resolution.  Unfortunately the vibrant colours and brightness levels are lost in twilight, artificial light or on cloudy days because the phone’s front plate is so glossy.  You will be able to configure your own display, and the user-friendly menu system is similar to older editions of the phone.

Other notable features of the Samsung U700 are its 3.2 megapixel main camera with autofocus and macro mode.  Images are sharp with little noise, and results are good even in low light.  Whilst the phone allows video recording, the format is out-dated (QCIF) and low resolution.  The phone also has a second camera which is used for video-conferencing.  Storage is on microSD memory cards, so there is plenty of space for your photos, videos and your music.  The in-built music player is reliable and can store your music by album or by artist.  Music can be downloaded using a memory card reader, or through direct connection with your PC.  A downside of the entertainment component of the phone is the absence of a universal headphone jack and FM radio.

Much credit is due to Samsung for the U700’s incredible download speed over UMTS + HSDPA: up to 3.6 Mbits/second.  If your provider doesn’t support HSDPA, the phone is also speedy on GPRS too.  You will notice the phone synchronizes seamlessly with Outlook and Outlook Express, meaning that out-of-office checking of your email is hassle-free.  The phone uses NetFront 3.4 for internet browsing, and is able to resize complicated websites for better display on smaller screens.  An RSS reader also comes standard with the web browser.

The Samsung U700’s glossy exterior (which may become easily smudged or scratched) belies a feature-packed, super-functional interior.  Despite a few small oversights, this phone should satisfy even the choosiest of customers who look for a phone that satisfies the criteria of both form and function.

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