Samsung F480 review: Touchdown!
Samsung F480 360-degree spin
Design and construction
Samsung F480 is definitely among the most compact handsets on the market. It stands at 95.9 x 55 x 11.5 mm, which is by far beyond the powers of any other handset with a similarly sized screen. In addition, it's very sharp, the metallic accents giving it a sleek and expensive look. The glossy plastic on some parts and the front panel also look very cool. When they are not covered in fingerprint smudges that is, which sadly is the case quite often.
Contrary to the first official statement, Samsung F480 will not be offered in two different versions. Instead, the two alternative looks will come in a single package. Switching from leather case to case-free is as simple as refitting the battery cover. As the leather case itself is attached to the rear cover, so there is no other way to remove it.
The ergonomics of the Samsung F480 are very good, even if not the best we have seen. The reason for this is that the phone is a bit too small to comfortably hold in larger hands. However if your hand is smaller you'll probably find all the controls to be perfectly placed.
The earpiece is located in the middle of the front panel, about half a centimeter under the upper edge. Next to it is the video-call camera. Naturally the 2.8" screen is dominating the front panel, leaving space only for three keys underneath. Those keys are finished in stylish bronze-colored plastic and are a nice highlight designwise. They are also large enough and comfortable to work with.
The three keys in question are the call and end keys and a confirmation key in-between. The latter brings out a shortcuts menu similar to the one of the Croix interface we saw on Samsung Armani and F490. With Samsung F480 this key is a very convenient way of switching between tasks. For example, you can now switch between the internet browser, messaging and music player without having to close one and go to the other.
The left side of Samsung F480 hosts the volume rocker and the microSD slot. As you probably know from our preview, the volume rocker now offers a handy implementation in the web browser, rather than being limited to adjusting volume levels only - you can dynamically resize the web pages (The LG Viewty Jog Wheel serves for the same purpose for example).
Switching to the Samsung F480 right side, we come upon the universal USB port and the dedicated camera key. Once again Samsung have put the all-in-one USB port in charge of data transfers, connecting headsets and charging. This solution has both its pros and cons but the limited headset compatibility aside, we are willing to accept Samsung's choice. As far as the camera key is concerned, we find it a bit too stiff and hard to work with, but getting used to it is achievable.
The top of Samsung F480 features the lanyard eyelet and the hold button. The hold button is used for locking the screen and the keys of the phone. It can be very convenient if you want to avoid unwanted presses. Those are hard to produce anyway, as the screen is sensitive to fingers only, but we guess you can't be too cautious.
The mouthpiece is all there at bottomside. It is slightly to the right, as with most recent Samsung devices.
|"...Samsung F480 is definitely among the most compact handsets on the market. It stands at 95.9 x 55 x 11.5 mm, which is by far beyond the powers of any other handset with a similarly sized screen. In addition, it's very sharp, the metallic accents giving it a sleek and expensive look..."|
Most parts of the back panel of Samsung F480 are made of metal. As already mentioned, this greatly benefits the design and, as far as we can guess, durability too. In the top left corner of the back panel are the 5 megapixel camera and the LED flash. We will discuss those two in the dedicated camera chapter of our review.
Removing the battery cover is done by simply sliding it down. The slightly lifted lower edge is of great help here. Beneath lies the battery, but unfortunately details about its capacity are not available at this stage. As far as we are able to tell, the handset is capable of making it through two days of moderate to heavy use with one full charge. When used rather moderately, the phone achieves five days of stand-by without a problem. Knowing what most handsets with similarly-sized screens are capable of this is a decent achievement indeed.
We are delighted with the build quality of Samsung F480. It is obvious that high-quality materials have been used. No creaks are to be heard anywhere and, save for the fingerprint vulnerability, the handset is brilliantly finished. We for one did have some trouble getting used to handling it, due to its small dimensions but this might not be the same for everyone.