Samsung S5260 Star II review: In the making

Stefan Vazharov, 25 February 2011.
Pages: «12345678»

Tags: Samsung, Touch UI

Telephony is good, but smart dialing is limited

The Samsung S5260 Star II is very good at its main job – making calls. We tested it in a location with very poor coverage and even though there were drops in the audio, the Star II is good at holding onto signal. The in-call sound is clear but not as loud as we would have liked.

There's not much to say about the dialer. You dial just like you would on any touch phone. There are both hardware and on-screen buttons to handle calls. Annoyingly, the on-screen End call button requires a press and hold to work. The Hash key can mute the call sound and can also activate the Silent profile upon a long press.

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The virtual keypad • Smart dialing is limited

Samsung S5260 Star II supports Smart dialing – type in the first few digits of the number and a suggested contact will pop up. It will look only at the numbers and won’t try to match contact names, which in our opinion would have been the better option.

As for loudspeaker performance, the S5260 Star II scored an Average mark, doing slightly worse than our preview unit. You can find more details about the test itself as well as the full list of tested devices here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Nokia 523065.8 60.366.7Below Average
Samsung S5260 Star II68.366.770.7Average
LG GT400 Viewty Smile72.666.277.9Good
Nokia C6-0175.066.377.8Very Good
LG Cookie 3G T32075.270.579.9Very Good
LG GD510 Pop76.676.285.0Excellent
Samsung S5230 Star82.776.080.2Excellent

Messaging and email ward off spam

The Samsung S5260 Star II can handle all common message types. The handset has a shared editor for SMS and MMS and a separate one for emails. Text messages are viewed in conversation mode, which uses contact photos and speech bubbles in an IM chat layout.

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Conversation mode • composing an SMS

An interesting feature is the scheduled message – you can set a time and date for the message to be sent automatically.

Another cool feature is the Spambox – spam has crept into SMS too, it’s no longer limited to email. You can create rules to filter certain messages – based on the sender’s number or subject (if it’s an MMS).

The rules can either match the field exactly or parts of the number (e.g. block numbers which start with a common prefix, like country codes or special operator numbers that send automatic messages).

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Spam filter • Delivery reports • Scheduled messages

The native email client automatically retrieved the correct settings for our test Gmail account. The email client also supports push messaging and you can add multiple accounts too (but there’s no combined inbox).

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The native email client

The attachment limit for sending is 10MB, which is enough for most file types. If you receive an office document as an attachment, you will be able to view it as well thanks to the integrated office document viewer.

Text input is handled by a portrait phone keypad (with T9 prediction) and a landscape QWERTY keyboard (activated automatically, thanks to the accelerometer). The phone keypad is OK for punching in a word or two but the keys are too small for anything longer.

The keys on the landscape keyboard are not much bigger so you might want to enable the predictive input here too – it will reduce the number of thumbos.

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The portrait phone keypad and landscape QWERTY keyboards

The Gallery is built into the file browser

The S5260 Star II gallery is an inherent part of the file manager and launching it is as simple as opening any folder that contains images. You’ll want to switch to Thumbnail view though (it aligns the thumbnails to a grid).

Once you’ve opened a picture to view, you can browse the complete collection by finger sweeps across the screen without having to return to the image list. The accelerometer-based tilt browsing is enabled too.

Browsing the images is fast and responsive and zooming into 3MP images is no problem.

There’s no pinch zooming despite the fact the Star II has a capacitive display. Instead, you have the one-finger zoom.

Browsing images in landscape mode is also available and the rotation is automatic thanks to the built-in accelerometer.

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List view • Thumbnail view • Viewing a single image

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