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The Samsung S7220 Ultra b is among the first Samsung handsets to have a flash-based UI (which is kind of similar to the Sony Ericsson interface). The new Samsung user interface differs from the one on previous models by its wealth of colors and new background animations.
Unfortunately only the home screen and the main menu are animated. If you go deeper in the menu, you'll see the old and familiar menu structure (which isn't bad by any means).
There are three very nice preinstalled themes on the Samsung S7220 Ultra b, though only two of them are flash-based. Unfortunately, there's no way to create your own themes.
Pressing the left soft key launches a submenu of 12 configurable shortcuts - quite nice indeed.
The S7220 Ultra b music player managed to impress us with its ability to sort tracks by a wide variety of filters. There are also a lot of equalizer presets but you can't create your own.
Naturally the music player can run in the background with a mini player appearing on the home screen for easier control.
A handy feature is the music recognition service, which allows you to look up an unknown track by simply recording part of it and sending it for recognition. We've already seen this feature in other Samsung handsets as well.
Also on board is an FM-radio with RDS and recording capability. It can run in the background, too - a mini player appears on the home screen with handy controls.
The 5 megapixel camera user interface of the S7220 Ultra b is well known from the other cameraphones of Samsung. It's very user-friendly - the settings are arranged in tabs and browsing them is quick and easy. The camera features include Face and Smile detection beside the regular run-of-the-mill stuff.
The S7220 Ultra b unit we tested produced good quality images with balanced colors and reasonably mild sharpening. The noise reduction is very gentle, which also helps emphasize detail in the image. In macro mode you can take very sharp and "clean" images. The dynamic range is very good too, easily seen if you look at the paper clips in our macro shot.
Here are some image samples. As you can see the results aren't bad at all.
Sadly, we couldn't manage to make this unit record video clips but the retail version will be capable of taking QVGA videos.
The gallery doesn't bring any surprises either, but it's still very useful and easy to use. Images can be viewed both in portrait and landscape mode. In portrait mode the next/previous image is displayed after pressing the D-pad, while browsing in landscape mode adds a fun new dimension to photo viewing: using the built-in accelerometer you can see the other images just by tilting the phone to the left or to the right. That's the so called Motion image viewer that Samsung pioneered on the Samsung Pixon first.
As usual for Samsung there's Google integration offering you shortcuts to Google Search and Mail, plus the Google Maps application is preinstalled.
The first impressions of our brief encounter with Samsung S7220 Ultra b are more than positive. This sleek performer rides on minimalist elegance and ticks almost all the boxes on a phone user's wish list.
The well balanced feature set is matched by the amazingly friendly handling and our guess is the users who will be tempted by the character of this handset are very unlikely to regret following their impulse. The looks and ergonomics alone will pay off. But just in case, you also get a vibrant OLED screen, updated interface with a touch of Flash, a pleasing 5MP shooter and premium data speeds.