Samsung G800 review: Camera with a phone

GSMArena team, 14 December 2007.
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Samsung G800 360-degree spin

Oversized phone or compact digicam?

Samsung G800 surely catches the eye but don't expect an awe-inspiring impression when you take it out of your pocket. If it fits there in the first place, as it really is on the large side. The officially announced dimensions of 101 x 51.1 x 18.8 mm don't sound disheartening but in reality the phone seems quite a handful. The metal-like finish makes it really sleek and stylish.

At the top of the front panel is the earpiece, positioned right in the center and slightly below the top edge. On the right of the speaker grill is the secondary video-call camera, which can also be used for taking pictures in VGA resolution. Under it is the 2.4" 256K color display with QVGA resolution.

Next on our journey of the phone's front is the D-pad, with a soft key on each of the oblong navigation button's sides. The last three soft keys on the navigation pad are located right above the lower rim of the slider - the Call key, the Clear key and the End key. All of these keys are large enough and comfortable to use. Luckily, the confirming center of the navigation key no longer launches the web browser, when the phone is in standby mode.

We do hope that Samsung has given up this layout for good, as it often resulted in unwanted web browser activation and even generated (more or less) costly traffic.

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The loudspeaker and the video-call camera are hardly visible on the glossy surface All the keys on the front are very comfortable to use

Sliding the phone open reveals the keypad. The keys are completely flat but, thanks to the thin metal grid separating adjacent rows and columns, touch orientation is very good. Besides, the keys are very large and that surely results in very fast typing without looking at the keypad. Well, if you are used to that style of typing anyway. All in all, our point is that Samsung G800's keypad will be largely appreciated by texters of all ages.

Under the keypad is the microphone pinhole, placed almost on the very edge.

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The flatbed keypad of Samsung G800 is a pleasure to use

Moving to the top of the G800 we see nothing but the couple of loudspeaker grills.

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Nothing but the loudspeaker grills topside

The left side of the handset hosts the USB port and the microSD card slot. Each has a protective cap, so the phone's side looks unspoiled. At the bottom is the neck/wrist strap eyelet, slightly projecting from the otherwise almost completely even surface.

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The USB port, the microSD memory card slot and the neck/wrist strap eyelet on the left side of Samsung G800

On the right are the keys that are meant to be used mostly with the camera - the dedicated camera key and the zoom rocker. The zoom rocker also acts as a volume controller, as usual.

What's unusual is the shape of the dedicated camera key. Well, unusual for the camera phones, as round buttons are quite frequently seen in digicams. Maybe that's another way to make the phone stand out from its rival devices.

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The camera controls on the right

The bottom side holds no functional elements at all, so we are switching to the phone's back. Sliding the stylish cover open we see the 5.0 megapixel camera lens and the Xenon flash.

"...Samsung G800 surely catches the eye but don't expect an awe-inspiring impression when you take it out of your pocket. If it fits there in the first place, as it really is on the large side. The officially announced dimensions of 101 x 51.1 x 18.8 mm don't sound disheartening but in reality the phone seems quite a handful..."

Opening up the battery cover reveals the Li-ion battery. Unfortunately we are unable to provide any details on it at this stage, as there is no clear official information on the matter. In our case, under moderate usage (about an hour and a half of using the different phone features a day and a few calls now and then) the phone was able to last for about two days. Not a Guinness world record but with all the features offered this is no surprise.

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The bottom of Samsung G800 is completely plain

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G800 rear side starring the 5 megapixel camera When the slider is closed, the resemblance to a digicam is obvious

Finally, removing the battery you can see the SIM card slot. There are no lock mechanisms for it here but it doesn't need any as it fits perfectly in its place.

The phone feels great in hand and is very convenient for both single and double-handed operation. The build quality is also adequate, the slider mechanism as stable as a rock.

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The phone feels great in hand and is a joy to operate both with one and two hands

The backlighting of Samsung G800 is not the most even we've seen but brings absolutely no obstacles to usability. It is strong enough so even in the darkest environment you won't have problems working with the handset. Furthermore, there is enough light on each key to make distinguishing them an easy task.

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Backlighting is strong enough so usability in darker environments won't suffer at all

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