Samsung U700 review: Ultra fit

Jiř Kuruc, 21 July 2007. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 1234

Well-sized and comfortable keypad

A combined port for charging, data cable and headphones is situated under a plastic cap at the bottom part of the left side. The same side hosts a dual volume-control key, which could have been way more convenient if placed a little higher. In the current setup, the volume control key is easier to reach by middle finger rather than forefinger. That's not all, though. If the headset is plugged into the phone, the volume control keys get fully covered by the odd-shaped connector. On the ri ght side panel is the microSD memory card slot and, a little over it - the camera release button. Shooting with Samsung U700 requires a horizontal orientation of the handset.

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Right side: slot for microSD cards and release button left side: headphones connector or a cable and volume control button 

The rear panel is less interesting, but we should not forget the thumbs-up to the battery cover for fitting perfectly and causing no creaks. The SIM card is inserted beneath the battery, as usual. When the keypad is slid open, on its back side you will see the lens of a digital camera prepared for self-portraits with a highly powerful LED and a mirror.

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The camera cannot be used unless the phone is open the cover hides the battery

The keypad is accessed by sliding the phone open. All 12 keys are covered in plastic. The gridline, that separates the keys, is surprisingly not illuminated, only numbers and letters are. The keypad is illuminated in white with a light violet shade, while the backlighting of the touch-sensitive keys is bright, somewhat greenish, white.

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Touch-sensitive orientation is not the best, but on the other hand the keys are quite spacious

Keys are not fully separated, but are big enough to make typing errors a rarity. Tactile feedback is just right thanks to a special membrane ensuring great typing response. To sum up, the Samsung U700 keypad is one of the most comfortable and practical ever made.

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The jut at the bottom of the phone provides for a better grip

Behind the Mirror

The Samsung U700 sports a 262K color TFT display with a QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) resolution. The display offers superb brightness levels, vibrant colors, and good contrast. Nevertheless, these pros get completely lost in twilight, under artificial light or on cloudy days due to the glossiness of the front plate. In bright sun you'll be forced to use your other hand to shade off the screen.

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Stand-by display instant application menu main menu

The appearance of the display is fully user-configurable. Service icons provide information on signal strength, network availability of the supported technologies, battery, as well as info about the inserted memory card. Several clock styles are available. You can set a photo or other image as a background, and even use two or more alternating images. The proprietary Samsung uGo feature automatically updates the screen background to display landmarks of the city or country you're in. The scenery even changes when night falls.

Neither the menu, nor the controls (except for the now scroll-enabled navigation key) have undergone any modifications in comparison to previous models. The menu lacks a white theme with black font, which would have been handy in bright days. A surprising addition to the grid menu of 12 icons is the Google item, though its functionality is limited to simple references to the Internet browser.

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Sample setup options

See you when you call!

Samsung U700 works in 3G networks with support for video calls. Nonetheless, a major number of your calls will probably be executed in GSM networks.

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Samsung has finally adopted ringing profiles

The loudspeaker is quite good, but a slightly higher volume capacity would have made it even better. The microphone is conveniently placed so the opposite side will surely be enjoying good audio quality. Calls can of course be received with the phone closed, but sound tends to be better when the device is open, which is the preferred option in a loud environment. We're happy with the tests of both the headset included in the retail package and the wireless Bluetooth earphone.

The phonebook can store up to 1000 contacts with multiple fields. It can display the names from the phone memory only or all names from both the phone memory and the SIM card at once. Searching employs gradual typing. Samsung U700 does not search by name and surname separately, unfortunately.

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Phonebook group list the context menu of the phonebook offers 19 functions

The contact context menu may surprise you a bit: it contains a total of 19 entries. A map of the phonebook can be sent via Bluetooth as well as in a message; contacts can be copied from and pasted into the SIM card and even printed via Bluetooth. When a new contact is added the phone prompts the most frequently used fields. If you want to add more details, you'll need to use the contact's context menu. Each contact can be assigned a specific ringtone and picture; contacts can be organized into groups, but calls cannot be filtered on the base of created groups or ringing profiles.

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Inserting a new contact adding more details

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