Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review GSM phone Bird S688
Model S688 by Bird is known to many of us by an advertisement that tells it is the thinnest colour screen phone (115x45x14 mm). It is possible to be so with many reservations, it is really one of the thinnest phones and this parameter is a strong point of the phone. The device is comfortable to hold in the hand and has no any side buttons, there is only an interface connector in the bottom. That all gives it away as a representative of low-end devices with minimum functions and minimal price. It's not very heavy, the weight is 79 grams.
There are various colour solutions, the plastic looks cheap but considering the price it is all right. On the front panel there is a small screen, it shows 4096 colours, STN. The resolution is 128x98 pixels (30x22 mm) and it may display 5 text lines and one service line. It is impossible to call it acceptable in any way because it is inferior even to the ones in two-years-old models, for instance Motorola C350. In general it is a typical low-end solution with the screen fading in the sun.
The keypad is made of plastic and the keys have a terrace like disposition. The keys are comfortable to work with due to their size, there is a blue backlighting. As for me, it is seen well not in all the conditions.
A battery that also serves as a back panel is Li-Ion, 660 mAh. According to the manufacturer the battery provides up to 2 hours of talk time and up to 120 hours of standby time. In Moscow the device worked for about 4 days in case of 5-7 minutes of talk time and minimal time of using other functions a day (one, two messages). Full charging time is less than 1.5 hours.
A SIM-card holder is very inappropriate, it is almost impossible to move a catch out with a finger it is very tight. And one has to use a pen or a battery itself. It will be a disadvantage for those who change SIM-cards often.
It is possible to get into the main menu by pressing the right soft-key. The menu looks like a list with a vertical row of tags and an image of the chosen item is animated. There is a fast navigation along the menu with the help of digital series. Let's consider the items of the menu.
Phone book. It is possible to save up to 300 names in the internal memory with only one number for a name. Entries from the internal memory and SIM-card one are displayed separately and search works the same way. Names may be assigned to various users' groups.
Messages. Everything is very ascetic, you may only create usual messages, there are no any extra capabilities in the phone. Users' groups help to send mass messages.
Settings. Here a menu language and call melody are chosen from (look through the list, choose a melody and only then it will play). It is interesting that a melody doesn't play at the same time with vibrating alert working except preset ones. There are several profiles in the menu, it is possible to change a volume level for a call signal, a loud speaker, turn on or off key press sound, battery discharge signal. For example, it is impossible to choose a call signal from a profile. There are three graphical headbands in the phone.
Security. Here are the settings connected with security codes, everything is traditional.
Network. Redirection settings, choosing a network and so on.
Tools. An alarm clock is set for a certain time, no any expanded possibilities. A calculator is ordinary. Also it is possible to set a time period for screen backlighting (10, 15 and 20 seconds).
Games. There are three games in the phone, they are Gargador (game for logic), Russian (a version of Tetris), Snake (a well-known Snake).
The phone is average as for the quality of connection, strange noises may be often heard during a conversation. Having set the loudspeaker volume for the maximum you may get deaf, it is extremely powerful and that is a plus. The device works well in the loud speaking mode. The level of polyphonic melodies is not enough sometimes, the sound is average and the notes are selected not well. Unfortunately, a user may use only preset melodies and also may not choose a melody and the vibrating alert at the same for the whole list. The power of the vibrating alert is higher than average and that is not bad.
The device is interesting as a low-end solution with the price of 100 USD. And really, it is hard to find a phone with a colour screen with this price, there are too few of them. The manufacturer promotes the model as a miniature solution and really the device is very small. At the same time the phone has rather a high price for its segment and functionality, there are no any functions that would let us call it interesting, it only can call. And that is why it is possible to say that it will be attractive for only those who need only to call and want to have a colour screen (as for me a colour screen is excessive in a low-end model). Any attempts to represent it not as a low-end model are interesting but not right. Considering the whole list of parameters we may say that the model is not attractive and may be bought if you are interested in nothing in a phone, not in a quality of the present functions, not in a price, not in a brand.
We are grateful to Alt Telecom for the provided phone.
Published 21 September 2004
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