The Symbian S60 3rd edition user interface is quite well known but Feature Pack 2 brings a number of novelties in both performance and visuals.
One of the most important benefits of the new version of the UI is the new Active standby layout, which now allows quick access to a lot more features. The standby screen is organized in vertical tabs scrollable with the D-pad. Other than that, its functionality basically remains the same.
Much like the Samsung i8510 INNOV8, the i7110 auto screen rotation feature doesn't work in the menus. But that's pretty much the only place it's not active. Other than that you can rotate every screen in any application.
At least the screen rotation in Samsung i7110 is rather attractive. Much like on the Samsung Omnia, the screen of the i7110 first zooms out nicely then rotates to landscape and zooms back in. Some eye-candy won't hurt, right?
The whole menu system of Samsung i7110 is quite fast with almost instant response. Even at these early stages our unit looks pretty stable, suggesting that lags and holdups aren't quite likely in the retail version either.
The image gallery of Samsung i7110 holds little surprises. Besides the auto screen rotation, there is nothing really extraordinary about it. It is far behind Nokia N-series standards in terms of looks but its functionality is good enough. We have to admit that we did experience some lags when opening photos but we do hope that this has something to do with the pre-release status of our unit.
There are no traces of the cool picture gallery we saw on the i8510 INNOV8 flagship.
Samsung i7110 has the regular Symbian music player, there are no news in that department either. You can sort tracks by artist, album, genre and composer and searching tracks by gradual typing is also available. Album art also gets displayed and a nice mirror effect is added too.
The player comes with numerous equalizer presets.
There's also an FM radio with RDS support. The i7110 can record radio broadcasts too. However, no equalizers are available for the FM radio.
It's time for one of the most interesting features of Samsung i7110 - the built-in FM transmitter. It allows you to broadcast your favorite tracks over a radio frequency of your choice. Those can then be picked up by any device with an FM radio receiver in the vicinity.
The signal strength of the i7110 is relatively good but trouble-free streaming is usually guaranteed over short distances only (car usage).
The FM transmitter application has a really nice and simple user interface and might do the job of a CD changer in your car. However it fails to transmit the artist and track info over RDS like the Sony Ericsson W980, which also had that feature.
Video playback is among the highlight features of the Samsung i7110. It's said to support quite a wide range of video formats, even including DivX and XviD. We managed to confirm that the i7110 plays superbly VGA videos@30fps in all the supported formats.
Videos can be played in both portrait and landscape mode with the first one quite naturally being the default one. You can also fast-forward and rewind videos as you please.
Browsing the internet on a Samsung i7110 is on par with the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 experience (read: awesome). Thanks to the great page rendering, content fits perfectly on screen and text is no problem to read.
There is full flash support integrated in the browser. This means that you can watch videos from the desktop versions of YouTube (and the likes) straight on your mobile.
The i7110 optical trackpad in combination with the web browser virtual mouse cursor (not visible on the screenshots) really takes browsing a great step up. The trackpad lets you control the mouse pointer as freely as you like - just as on a desktop computer. And pushing the pointer to any of the borders of the visible window makes the webpage pan in that direction.
Unfortunately, the web browser doesn't have a true fullscreen view mode, but offers an interesting overlaying toolbar (not visible on the screenshots) with several shortcuts that can be operated with the mouse pointer, much like the Samsung i8510 INNOV8.