Samsung S8000 Jet preview: First look

GSMArena team, 15 June 2009.
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Samsung S8000 Jet 360-degree view

The Samsung S8000 Jet is a touchscreen device and its design is hardly revolutionary - hey, there's a big screen on the front and a few buttons. This form factor doesn't really lend itself to much variation.

Design and construction

The Samsung S8000 Jet front is quite sleek with black glass framing the display, while the surface around the buttons is made of a matte material that helps keep fingerprints away.

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Size comparison: Apple iPhone 3GS/LG Arena vs. Samsung S8000 vs. Samsung S5230

The front of course is dominated by the display. The 3.2-incher is a bit bigger than the LG Arena screen. Considering the two phones are almost the same size, Samsung definitely win this round over their compatriot rival. And with a WVGA resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, the S8000 Jet punches its weight with other devices offering the highest resolution on the market.

Samsung S8000 Jet
The display is great

The only thing that stops it from being perfect is the resistive display. Or at least that was our first thought. But when we started tapping on the S8000's screen, we instantly forgot the technology behind it.

It reacts to even the slightest touch just as a capacitive screen does, with the added bonus that you can use anything you want to interact with it - stylus, pencil, nails, gloves, etc. Writing, scrolling, typing, zooming - everything is as easy as on the capacitive screens of Samsung's M7600 and S8300.

Sadly, there is always something to spoil the party and that is the disappointing sunlight legibility.

Samsung S8000 Jet
As big a screen as they could fit, beats the LG Arena's by 0.2"

There are three hardware buttons below the display - Call and End keys obviously and the center button. Now, the center button deserves some attention and if you take a closer look at it, you'll see that it is in fact a 3D Cube.

The cube is a button that activates the Cube launcher, which will obviously be the UI focus in the new Samsung devices.

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The buttons on the front are large and easy to hit

The video-call camera and an ambient light sensor are above the display.

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Videocall camera and oversized ambient light sensor

On the left side of the phone you get the volume rocker and on the right side are the hardware Lock (or Hold) key and the task switcher / shutter key combo. The latter is not a single button as we've seen in a number of recent Samsung handsets but a rocker-style control where the shutter key is tangibly raised. This can be half-pressed to handle auto-focus. All controls are easy to operate in both single and two-handed use scenarios.

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One rocker on each side plus a hardware lock button

The top does not surprise at all - it houses a 3.5 mm audio jack and a standard microUSB port with a protective cover. The phone charges off the microUSB port - just like most of its recent siblings - and is quite useful as you can leave the charger at home when traveling if you have a computer with you. The bottom is not very interesting - only the mouthpiece is there.

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The microUSB slot, audio jack and the power button • the bottom side

As usual, the 5 megapixel camera lens is on the back of the device along with the dual LED flash. It is not protected by a lens cover but there is a slightly raised edge surrounding it.

The back of the Samsung S8000 Jet also hosts the small loudspeaker grill, which is flanked by a small nub so the speaker isn't muffled when you put the handset flat on a desk.

Both the camera and the nub are on one side, but they don't project as expected and the device remains almost flat when placed on a surface. The lack of stereo speakers is a shame, especially given that otherwise the device is a very capable portable media player.

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The back looks bare and cheap

Under the back cover you'll find a 1080 mAh battery and the SIM and microSD card slots. Typically for the latest Samsung devices the memory slot is under the back cover and even though it's hot-swappable, you still need to open the cover first. If the S8000 Jet is meant to compete with the Arena successfully, it should have much more internal memory than 500 MB or at least a conveniently accessed microSD slot.

Samsung S8000 Jet
The microSD card slot is hot-swappable but under the rear cover

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