Samsung M3200 Beat s review: Never miss a beat

GSMArena team, 24 September 2008.
Pages: 1234567

Tags: Samsung, Beat

Samsung M3200 Beat s 360-degree spin

Samsung M3200 measures 96.5 x 46.9 x 16.9 mm and weights 101 grams. The neat and simple slider casing is all straight lines and clean shapes. The perfect hand fit, dedicated music keys and user-friendly keypad provide for great phone handling. The handset is offered in two colors: Gray-on-Orange and Gray-on-Lilac.

Design and construction

A 2" display is definitely not the top choice in a slider. The form factor provides plenty of space and a 2.2" diagonal just couldn't have blown the budget out of proportion. The screen fares well enough both outside and indoors, though sunlight legibility still lags behind Nokia transflective displays.

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The display of M3200 Beat s - not much to praise or pan

While there's nothing above the display but the earpiece, underneath is the real deal in the M3200 Beat. The three dedicated music keys will always start the player, no matter what application or menu you're in. The two soft keys and the D-pad complete the minimalist layout of the front. The rest is the brushed metallic surface with orange accents around the context keys and the D-pad center. The soft keys and the navigation pad are solid to press and pleasingly responsive.

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Loudspeaker grill Dedicated music keys and navigation combo

Sliding the phone up reveals the main alphanumeric deck topped with the Call, End and Clear knobs. Each key is well defined, tactility is excellent and there is no reason to fear typos or frown at the neat and simple layout.

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The old-school keyboard does a good job

The left side of M3200 Beat s features the volume rocker and the music player shortcut key. A long press of the same key starts the web browser. The other two elements here are also music-related: you get a loudspeaker at the very top and the 3.5 mm jack right under.

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M3200 Beat left side view: loudspeaker grill, 3.5mm audio jack, volume rocker, Music key

The right side of the handset has the other loudspeaker grill symmetrically placed at the top, the universal port for charging, data and connecting the stereo headset. The camera key completes the list of controls.

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The right-hand side: loudspeaker grill, connectivity port and shutter key

The M3200 Beat slider features no keys or apertures at the bottom. The top is also free from controls, the lanyard eyelet only placed on the right.

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The flush bottom and top

Rearside, amidst concentric circle patterns, we find the 2-megapixel camera lens, Samsung logo and the Bang & Olufsen ICEpower acknowledgment. A lot has been speculated about the integration of the Bang & Olufsen ICEPower amplifier into the latest Samsung handsets. Some claim it's giving Samsung handsets a definite edge in terms of sound quality. Well, this speculation has been completely disproved by our audio lab tests. All the ICEPower gives Samsung is reduced power consumption, not better audio quality.

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2 megapixel camera lens rearside

Removing the back panel reveals the 800 mAh Li-Ion battery. It's officially quoted at 400 hours of stand-by and 7 h of talk time. In reality, 3 days of moderate use is pretty much an adequate estimation. The SIM card holder is right under the battery, along with the microSD card slot.

Handling the Samsung M3200 Beat s is a pleasure. Though neither thin nor exceptionally compact, it feels nice and solid in hand. The slider action is smooth and stable, and ergonomics are more than adequate. Our only concern is the slippery back cover, which makes the handset a bit too easy to drop.

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M3200 Beat s in hand

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