Samsung S3850 Corby II preview: First look

GSMArena team, 08 March 2011.
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Samsung S3850 Corby II 360-degree spin

The Samsung S3850 Corby II measures 109.9 x 66.6 x 11.7 mm and weighs 102g. It’s a medium sized handset, though it’s a tad wider than most. That’s not unusual for phones with a 4:3 screen though.

Design and construction

A descendant of the Corby, the Samsung S3850 Corby II has curvy lines and bright colors to break away from the monotony line of black touch candybars. Everything’s centered around the display – which is decently sized at 3.2” – as opposed to the 2.8 incher on the original Corby – but the resolution won’t win any awards.

The 3.2” QVGA capacitive touchscreen is bright but the colors are a bit dull and the viewing angles are very limited. Sunlight legibility is not the display’s redeeming quality either, the coating is just too reflective.

Samsung S3850 Corby II
The 3.2" touchscreen is the main attraction of the S3850

There’s not much going on above and below the display. The earpiece is alone on top, with no ambient light or proximity sensors around. Below the display, there are three hardware keys – the two receiver keys on the sides of a big menu key.

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Earpiece and Samsung logo above the display • The hardware keys are big and solid to press

The keys are big and easy to hit, with a good click.

The right-hand side of the Corby II houses the Power/Lock key and the microSD card slot (cards of up to 16GB are supported). The card slot is covered by a plastic flap. There’s no hardware camera shutter key – you’ll have to make do with the virtual one.

On the left, there’s the lanyard eyelet and the volume rocker. The rocker is rather thin but fairly usable.

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The Power/Lock key and the microSD port are on the right • Volume rocker on the left

The 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port are found on top of the Corby II. The microUSB port is covered while the audio jack is exposed. The bottom of the phone has just the mouthpiece.

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microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack on top • the mic pinhole on bottom

The back panel of the Samsung S3850 Corby II is the home of the 2MP fixed-focus camera lens and the loudspeaker grill right next to it. The curve of the back keeps the camera a millimeter away from the surface but that’s all the protection against scratches it gets.

This curve also keeps the loudspeaker from getting muffled when placed on a level surface.

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A look at Samsung S5260's back • A basic 3-megapixel snapper

The S3850 Corby II comes in bold colors – our test unit came in yellow, which was quite the attention grabber. The dimples on the back do little to improve the grip but are nice to touch and more appealing than plain smooth plastic. Fingerprints are all but invisible there too. The Corby II will probably have no Fashion Jackets, which were a key feature of the original Corby.

Removing the back panel uncovers the 1000mAh battery and the SIM compartment. The official numbers put the battery life at 9 hours and 30 minutes of talk time and just under 26 days of standby. The unit didn’t feel finalized so we’ll have to put the battery test off until the review.

Samsung S3850 Corby II
The battery and SIM card slot are under the cover

The Samsung S3850 is a fairly compact phone – thin, light and pocketable – but its screen aspect ratio makes it wide. It’s not uncomfortable to hold, but narrower phones sit better in the hand.

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Samsung S3850 held in hand

Even though it’s plastic all over, the S3850 Corby II feels solidly built and exhibited no creaks. The controls are well positioned and easily reachable as are all points on the touchscreen.

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Samsung S3850 Corby II and Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 side to side – look familiar?

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