Samsung i780 review: Mouse included

GSMArena team, 04 March 2008.
Pages: 123456

Design and construction

The top of the front panel hosts the earpiece slot with its fine metallic grill. It also serves as a loudspeaker. To the naked ear the i780 sounds pleasant both in-call and when playing music, but we'll see later on how it fares in terms of loudness.

Here is how the handset ranks among some of the other handsets we've measured in our speakerphone loudness test. You can find more information about the test itself here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Samsung i78066.364.666.7Below average
Samsung E25071.964.769.8Average
Samsung i45070.7 72.775.5Good
Sony Ericsson W96072.373.576.7Very good
Samsung D90076.875.978.0Excellent

In the top right corner, next to the earpiece is the VGA video calls camera. A status LED for Bluetooth, charging and low battery is on the other side.

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The top of the front panel

The square 2.55" 65K-color TFT touchscreen display is the most unusual piece in Samsung i780 with its 320 x 320 pixel resolution. The square display is a serious handicap for the poor handling of third party applications, which are developed for 4:3 aspect ratio screens with no auto resizing posssible.

The display fares well enough in terms of legibility and brightness indoors and not quite so under direct sunlight.

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The square display Samsung i780 in the dark

The control and navigation keys separate the display and the QWERTY keyboard. Central to this layout is the novel dual mode touchpad, which got its due coverage earlier on. It's enclosed in the slightly elevated Start and OK buttons.

On both ends of that central section are the two soft keys and the Call and End keys. Again, the Call and End keys have dual functionality. A press and hold of the Call key activates the speakerphone, while pressing and holding the End key activates the software lock of the phone.

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Control and navigation keys with the dual mode touchpad

With the QWERTY keyboard of i780, Samsung departs from the numpad layout used in i600 and i320, in favor of what looks more consistent with other brands' QWERTY designs. The numeric keys are no longer symmetrically arranged in the middle of the keypad. The input switch from letters to numbers is entrusted to the Fn key. The same numpad layout can be seen in the two blackjack handsets and the fresh QWERTY-enabled Samsung i640. That's consistent with BlackBerries and Palms, as well as with Motorola and Nokia QWERTY handsets.

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The numpad within the QWERTY keyboard

The QWERTY keypad itself consists of 37 keys arranged in 3 main rows, plus a fourth one used for special function keys. Except for the black-and-silver numpad keys, the others are solid black with white symbols. Each key serves two symbols, which you switch between using the Shift button. The exceptions are the Enter, Backspace and Shift keys.

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Neat QWERTY keyboard

There are no dedicated keys for either phonebook or internet, there are ones for messages and GPS instead, placed at the bottom right of the keyboard.

The keys are relatively small to fit the dimensions of the phone, but not too tiny to compromise comfortable typing. Even QWERTY rookies will find a little practice enough to master the round buttons.

The white keyboard backlighting is strong and quite even, with only the keys in the outmost columns a tad paler.

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The keyboard in the dark

"...The square 2.55" 65K-color TFT touchscreen display is the most unusual piece in Samsung i780 with its 320 x 320 pixel resolution. The square display is a serious handicap for the poor handling of third party applications, which are developed for 4:3 aspect ratio screens with no auto resizing posssible..."

Top of the left side is the volume rocker, the reset hole is set dead center. With our test i780, the Reset turned the handset off instead, but this is a unit-specific bug.

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The left side of i780

Symmetrically positioned near the top of the right side, the headset/charger/USB connector lies underneath its plastic cap. The microSD card slot is halfway on the right-hand side. Under it, instead of the Back/Clear key found in Samsung i600, we have the Mini Player/Camera key in the i780. Another absence is the Thumbwheel, which proved quite handy back with Samsung i600.

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The right side of the phone

Topside, the i780 features a power button the stylus compartment. The power button also provides quick access to profiles. The bottom side of i780 holds no elements but the mouthpiece.

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Samsung i780 topside

The neat back panel only hosts the 2 megapixel camera at the top.

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The back panel: plenty of room for the camera lens

Almost the entire back surface is the battery cover. It holds firmly and yet is easy to slide open. Samsung i780 gets its power supply from a Li-Ion battery of 1480 mAh capacity. Samsung claims a single charge of the battery will last of up to 400 h in stand-by or up to 7 h of talk time.

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Under the battery cover

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