Samsung E720 review: Design and functionality

David Polesný, 27 April 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 12345»

Tags: Samsung

Samsung has created the new E720 model by picking up the design of the celebrated clamshell E700 and the complex equipment of the D500 slider. The new clamshell phone is boosted with functions; it has two color displays, megapixel camera, Bluetooth, huge memory and MP3 player.

Key features

  • Internal display with resolution of 176×220 pixels and 262K colors
  • Outer OLED 65K colors display
  • Attractive design
  • Megapixel camera, which also shoots good quality videos
  • MP3 player with control keys on the front cover
  • Bluetooth

Main disadvantages

  • No memory card slot
  • No infrared port
  • No ringing profiles


When Samsung launched its E700 model in September, 2003, its design was so successful that the phone received praising comments from both experts and customers. The latter, by the way, have been buying the phone ever since. It is no wonder; this attractive clamshell phone with a hidden antenna allures and thus makes the bewildered customer ignore the disadvantages in the equipment and the controlling.


Samsung E700

Let's now turn to the present and take a closer look at the latest D500 model. The phone is very well equipped; it has an extension construction and a top quality display, a megapixel camera and Bluetooth, and the last, but not the least: it looks very good. This time, Samsung designers have gone for black color and have eliminated many minuses in the control system.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Samsung D500

If we combine the best features of both phones mentioned above, we will get the new Samsung E720. This elegant clamshell mobile has two color displays, a megapixel camera and Bluetooth. It also has a built-in MP3 player, which is controlled by special keys on the front cover. Even though the blue color of the E700 model has been substituted by the somewhat monotonous gray, the new image suits the phone perfectly.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
The new Samsung E720

The well smoothed path

In terms of design, Samsung E720 walks in the direction set by the original E700 model. I am sure you recall the blue-silver clamshell with no antenna, which was decorated with sharp edges and a good quality OLED display set on the front cover. Its design was dateless, so it is no wonder Samsung still draws inspiration from it. No wrong moves, so to say…

The unusual and original blue color, which was E700's reserved mark, has been substituted by anthracite, dark gray. The color together with the steel silver frames make the phone look harmonized and quite "industrial" - giving clear signals that what we are having in front of us is not just a toy.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Thanks to its design the phone will certainly win a lot of fans

The most attractive element of the front cover is the constantly beaming small display defined by a solid silver frame. In the upper part of the frame is embedded the camera lens, surrounded by the lighting diode; in the bottom part you will find engraved the manufacturer's logo and a set of three control keys for the MP3 player. The rest of the front cover is made of anthracite; its surface is matt which makes fingerprints invisible. The design of the margins is dark silver.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Front cover; details

The joint area from the side of the front cover is quite rounded. The joint is remarkably solid and shows no contra reactions, no matter if open or closed. The moving portion moves fluently, with its upper part gently bottoming its final location. Due to the accentuated grooves between both its parts, the phone can be easily opened with one hand only. The phone is relatively small, with a size of 91×45×23 mm. Its weight - 90 g - is also standard for a clamshell phone.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
The top edge is rounded from the front • the joint is remarkably solid • size comparison

Phone's sides are silver and dark. On the right one there is an oblong button that starts the camera; on the opposite side you will find the standard swinging volume button and a connector for the earphones which is secured with a cover. Do not have any fears about the cover for it is mounted to the phone with two rubber bands. The connector is not a standard jack one, which is a pity for the jack is usually an asset for any mobile equipped with a MP3 player. Instead, you will find an atypical Samsung connector which slightly resembles mini USB. The standard system connector is placed on the bottom edge of the device and is also secured with a cover.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Details of the elements placed on both sides of the phone

The back cover is a part of the accumulator and is also anthracite colored. It is decorated with the plastic logo of the manufacturer and its internet address: www.samsungmobile.com. The eye for interlacing a strip is mounted in its upper part. Battery is said to support up to 330 minutes of phone calls or 200 hours of stand-by work. Unfortunately, we have not had the chance to check this information yet. While we were making intensive tests with the phone, however, I had to sometimes charge it twice a day. The charger delivered with the phone has a diode, which notifies you about the charging process of the accumulator.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Phone's back side is boring

Welcome to Star Trek

I was overwhelmed by the futuristic outlook of the inside part of the phone, mainly because of the unusual keypad and the non-traditional design of the main control key. The latter consists of four buttons - one for each direction - and a central-located confirm button. Perhaps, Samsung could consider certain steps for improving its function in stand-by mode, in which it should evoke the main menu instead of the WAP browser.

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Keypad, with its futuristic design, is very comfortable

The rest of the keypad consists of three columns. Two of them - the margin ones - start with the context keys, placed just next to the control button. Then come the keys marked with receivers and used for call control (their symbols are non-traditionally white) and the numeric keys. The middle column is separated by thin dividing lines; the numeric keys are accompanied by the correcting C key placed in the upper part of the keypad.

All keys are the anthracite shade of the dark grey. The main control button is set into a thin glossy chromium frame. The border lines between the keys and the confirming button are glossy as well.

The keypad is very comfortable and is among the best I have ever held in my hands. The keys are big; the dividing lines between them are accentuated enough. The uplift is extremely low, but the press is sure, due to a clear click. Yet this clicking, with its typical sound, may be considered a minus by certain users. The backlighting of the keypad is white; it is intensive enough and perfectly even.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Keypad backlighting

Let the colors play

As far as the display is concerned, Samsung is one of the masters. The main display of E720 can show up to 262K colors in a resolution of 176 × 220 pixels. The picture looks like a painting. Yet, with so much space around, the display could have been a bit bigger. For comparison, the D500's display was bigger. To sum up, I did not run into any major problems when testing the display, even in daylight.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Display is brilliant

Samsung did not spare a thing when creating the outside display either. It is made with OLED technology and can illuminate with 65K colors. It is divided into two parts - a top line with a digital clock and state icons, and a graphic part in a 96×96 pixels resolution. The top line of the display is constantly illuminated in turquoise blue. In terms of technology this illuminating does not lead to any bigger energy loss.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
Display is a bit difficult to read in daylight • a view at the clock when the phone is closed • the display illuminates constantly

I would like to take a closer look at the outside display. Incoming calls are accompanied by a picture of the caller and his or her name and number. Incoming messages are announced by a picture on the graphic display, which disappears in a few seconds. Afterwards, the message is indicated by a tiny icon situated in the illuminated blue oblong. As for the missed calls, here the situation is somewhat different. They are also announced by a picture on the display, but when it disappears no icon shows to keep the alert visible. The outside display allows for taking self-portraits as well.

Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom Samsung E720. Click to zoom
An alert on the outside display

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