One of the cool features of Samsung S7220 Ultra b is its built-in GPS. It also sports A-GPS for faster initial lock acquisition. Unfortunately the Samsung Mobile Navigator (a rebranded Route66 product) application we saw in some of its relatives isn't anywhere to be found.
Instead, the users get Google Maps, which unfortunately doesn't offer voice-guided navigation and needs to download the maps in real time over the air. This means that heavy data charges will apply if you aren't on a flat data rate. The cool part is that Street view is finally available, and that certainly is one of our favorite Google Maps features.
We went for several 3rd party Java alternatives that are touted to offer voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation but it our experience with Java software is always a hit-and-miss and this was the case with S7220 as well.
Some of the free Java software we tried included Amaze, Skobbler, and WeTravel. Some of them worked well but not 100% of the time. At times we didn't get any satellite lock, we had various installation and setup issues, a lot of hangups and bugs, and most of the applications required downloading the map data live on the go. So your mileage will most certainly vary with Java GPS navigation and you are in for quite some disappointment if you picked the 7220 Ultra b expecting to get a flawlessly working GPS navigation device.
So unless Samsung decide to offer the Mobile Navigator as an option to Ultra b owners, you'll most likely do without the navigation stuff anyway.
The Samsung S7220 Ultra b offers a huge number of game titles but as usual for the brand starting them brings some heavy disappointment. The fact that only trial versions are included means that you won't be able to enjoy any of them properly unless you spends some extra cash on it.
The titles include Asphalt 3, Brain challenge 2, Midnight pool 2, Tetris Mania and World Series of Poker Texas Hold'em game.
Once you get used to the awkward soft keys, the Samsung S7220 Ultra b is actually a pretty nice handset to have. It has a capable camera, a spectacular screen and pretty stylish classical design. The embedded GPS a great asset as its use is limited to getoagging and a handful of location-aware Java applications. We really hope Samsung will supply the Samsung 7220 with a more capable navigation solution.
The 7220 Ultra b fares pretty decently in terms of value for money. In its market segment though, it's hardly a winner-takes-all scenario. In the crowded midrange there's always a piece of the action for everybody. With a nicely rounded feature set and solid looks, the Samsung S7220 Ultra b is ready to stand its ground to Nokia 6700 classic, Sony Ericsson C901 and the likes. It even earns bonus points with its amazing OLED screen.
The twist is though that yesterday's high-end is today's midrange. So, along with keeping an eye on the contemporary rivals, the S7220 Ultra b will have to keep quite a few veteran players off its back. A potential bitter rival is the Nokia 6220 classic, which seems to get the upper hand with smartphone capabilities but lacks the OLED screen and the sharp exterior of the Ultra b. Not to mention another time tested performer - the N82, which will even throw in Wi-Fi for probably the best bang-for-buck ratio.
So from where we stand, the Samsung S7220 Ultra b might have just struck the balance between looks and skill, and secured its corner on the market. However Samsung might want to make a better job of promoting it. It sure needs a confidence boost against what looks like quite a bunch of rivals.