Samsung F480 review: Touchdown!
Phonebook is at a good level
The phonebook of Samsung F480 is just like what we are used to seeing in this manufacturer's devices. It stores up to 1000 contacts with multiple fields. It can display the names from either the SIM card or the phone memory, or both can appear simultaneously. Searching is done by gradual typing of the desired contact's name.
Quite a number of different information fields are available for each contact. You can store up to 5 numbers, 4 email addresses, URLs and so on. Each contact can also be assigned a specific ringtone and picture, as well as a note. You can even set a video as "caller's image" - a feature that is now becoming pretty common.
Contacts can be organized into groups, which can then have their own ringtones and pictures. There is also a birthday field, which can be synced to the calendar upon a few clicks. This is quite a convenient solution. Contact details or your whole contacts list can be sent via Bluetooth, email or text message.
The Call Log application keeps track of the user's latest calls. Both the Call key in stand-by and the call log icon from the menu give you access to the same application. It has four tabs - recent contacts, dialed numbers, received and missed calls. Those tabs were somewhat inconveniently separate between two applications in some of the previous Samsung models but luckily this is not the case with F480. Finally, there are also data and call time counters and even a call cost feature can be enabled if you provide information about your subscription plan.
Messaging without keyboard
As you might have expected all common types of messages are handled by Samsung F480. The handset has a common editor for SMS, EMS, MMS and a separate one for emails. A rich T9 dictionary is at the user's disposal too. In case message sending fails, the message is automatically saved to the outbox, so you can try sending it later.
The input method is only one - a 12-key keypad appears on the screen and the user gets to type as if on a regular handset. The keys are all large enough but typing on touchscreen is usually not the best experience. Haptics help but are still short of the good out press feedback of regular keys. Nonetheless, the not so heavy texters will probably enjoy the messaging capabilities of Samsung F480 (you should know that the LG Viewty has an on-screen QWERTY keyboard).
If you like you can also activate a delivery report for the SMS and EMS. MMS can have a preset size limit of either 30, 100 or 300 KB.
There is room for 500 SMS, 30 push messages, 200 broadcast messages and 30 configuration messages in the phone memory. As far as emails and MMS are concerned, they are not limited in number and storage depends on the free memory only. There is normally plenty of space available for those, as the built-in memory is a good 228 MB. Incoming messages, like calls, can also be blocked based on a user-defined black list.
|"...The input method is only one - a 12-key keypad appears on the screen and the user gets to type as if on a regular handset. The keys are all large enough but typing on touchscreen is usually not the best experience. Haptics help but are still short of the good out press feedback of regular keys..."|
The email client is very good. It can manage up to five accounts - POP or IMAP; download is user-defined, opting between headers only and entire messages. Not only any files from the phone memory, but also business cards, calendar events, tasks or notes can be emailed as attachments. The client can be set up to check mail at a chosen interval (options vary from 30 minutes to 1 day). There is even a built-in filter that allows you to block email based on address or subject.
Finally, Samsung F480 also features the SOS message feature. It allows you to quickly send an SOS message to up to 5 pre-defined numbers. The message text can also be customized. After setting up the feature, all you need in case of an emergency is to press the volume rocker 4 times with the keypad locked to send your cries for help.
File management improved
The Samsung F480 file browser is a nice upgrade to what the previous Samsung handsets used to offer. It has two tabs - one for the phone memory and another for the memory card, in a layout reminiscent of Nokia smartphones. There are folders for different types of files - images, video, sounds, which allow the handset to sort the memory contents. However, you are not obliged to follow this structure and may place you files around as you wish. There will be no problems handling them.
The functionality of the file browser is one of the best among non-smartphones. You can copy or move files - both one by one or in bulk, and you can create and delete new folders (save for the root ones).
Files can also be sent via Bluetooth or email one by one or in bulk. Throughout the whole file manager, you can pick files you would like to lock to prevent accidental deletion. Having tested quite a few Samsung handsets recently we are now happy to see that the problem with the slow memory card reading seems gone for good. Reading from the memory card is fast enough and this won't bother users at all. Listing thumbnails of the pictures stored in the respective folder on the memory card now happens very quickly.