Samsung E630 review: Elegant in black
Back to the old control
In closed position, we can see only a block of the function keys on the front side. After we close the phone, it automatically activates the keypad lock. When you deactivate it, you can access all the functions that do not require handling the numeric keys. In addition, it is possible to make calls like this.
Function keys positioning is not surprising. Besides two keys, controlling actual functions displayed on the bottom row of the display, you can find green and red "earphone" keys, correction key and four-way control key. Although Samsung at the E300 model proved that they could make a phone, where the middle button is used for confirmation, at the new model it runs the WAP browser only. Handling with the main button (especially moving to its four ways) is not comfortable; edges are too embedded in the surface.
Each one of four ways has assigned a function that cannot be changed: messages, voice recorder, ringing tone settings and camera. The camera has also a separate button on the right side. To access the address book you have to press two keys.
Above the side camera button there is a connector hidden under a sliding cover; the connector appears to be a USB. However, it is not a USB; it is a new port for handsfree connection that is used by Samsung at its recent models. On the opposite side we can find a volume rock switch button, an infrared port below that and in the bottom part there is a system connector that is used for charger or connecting the phone to a PC via cable. The connector is protected with a small removable plug, easy to lose.
In the corner, there is an eyelet for a wrist strap, the camera lens, a mirror and a lighting diode on the back. A Li-Ion battery is a part of the back cover, with capacity 800 mAh and the producer claims that it should last up to 240 hours in standby mode or 360 minutes of speech. Antenna is integrated; Samsung handles the frequency bands 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz (note: the American frequency band must be activated in the phone menu).
Numeric keypad appears after you slide the display up. Keys remind me the E700 model very much - they are exceptionally big and if the phone would not be so small and narrow, I would not write a bad word about the control. Key "5" is not distinguished from the other keys by a sharp protrusion as usually but the key is sinuate on both sides. Personally, I am happy with that solution, but I do not know whether people with an optic handicap will appreciate that - it cannot be found by touch. Legends on black keys are white and illuminated enough.
You will get with the phone neither a nice personal handsfree with a neck strap nor a second battery but you will find a strange black pyramid with an eyelet in the box. Do not try to burn it; it is not a dynamite, but additional loud handsfree. By pressing a safety catch, the pyramid splits in two parts and you will get a piece that you can insert to the "USB" on the side of the phone.
Is this a useless accessory? Perhaps it is so, especially if the phone offers a built-in handsfree. With the Sound Mate, the sound is louder and richer; also, it amplifies a ringing tone; but who would wear thing like this and keeps it in mind all the time. Thanks to the eyelet, the pyramid can be attached to a hanger or a strap but anyway, it is an extra useless thing. It would be usable if the pyramid would contain better external microphone. Nevertheless, Samsung is using the internal microphone of the phone all the time.
Sound of the phone is overall very good - loud, with bass grounds, you will not hear any rustling during a call. In the context menu, there is also a possibility to enhance the sound quality, but I did not notice a difference. I recommend turning off the "Connection tone", so the phone will not whistle in your ear during a dialing.
It is necessary to mention how the phones with unusual construction work do during telephony. With Samsung E630 you can choose whether you answer a call directly by sliding the display up or whether by closing the phone it switches to a standby mode and locks the keypad. You can mute an incoming call by holding a side button.