Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Review Samsung T100
Samsung SGH-T100 is one of the folder types phones that were launched on the market. This model was produced to show all over the world the capabilities of the phones of the new generation from Samsung. For the first time much attention was paid not just to the construction and design of the phone but to the software as well and interface in particular. It is a typical folder type phone while on the subject of design. The dimensions of this model with a slim battery are 88x50x22.9 mm (thickness of the phone with the battery of external capacity is 5 mm more), it weighs 94 g. with a slim battery and 108 g. with the battery of external capacity. SGH-T100 is produced in silver colour, other colours are not available. When the phone is closed the user can see only an external display which has a blue backlighting and rather a high resolution. It allows to show up to 3 text lines, a power status, date and time, and what is not usual - dates of calls and reminders in organizer. If the phone number is not fully displayed on the screen, it is scrolled. Lower one can find several holes, it is a loudspeaker which reproduces music while incoming calls or other events. The separate loudspeaker is connected with a support of 16-tones polyphonic melodies. It wasn't used in the folder types before, so Samsung is number one here.
A double volume key is placed on the left-hand side and a portable handsfree connector (which is included in the standard kit) is positioned on the upper side.
You can also see an external antenna connector on the rear part. It is covered by a rubber cap.
Let's open the phone. It is rather easy to do it, the construction is quite reliable, all the parts fixed well. I think that there would be no problems over time. First thing that you see when you open the phone is a screen, which has a resolution of 128x160 pixels and shows up to 4096 colours. Up to 6 text lines (16 characters each), one line with a title and tips to the soft-keys are displayed on the screen. My previous tests showed that colour screens are not always highly visible in sunny weather and I tried to use SGH-T100 as often as possible in such conditions. The results showed that the information was not of the high quality but it was quite readable. By the way, you can always use the second screen, where the information is clear in all lighting conditions.
We can tell about the screen for a long time. Colour is a wonderful thing. Those, who think that it is a luxury, are not right. First colour TV sets were not perfect and lost to their black-and weight brothers. But time elapsed and everything changed. Now when all technologies are quickly improved, the color screen will be a permanent feature of any mobile phone. T100 is a first series model, which has a color screen and a successful realization of the construction. For example, the display is always at an angle and the information is more visible. But it's enough about the screen.
The alphanumerical keys are made of rubber. The keys are large, rather well-spaced and easily to type. The 4 directional navigation key is placed under the screen. It enables to enter several menu items (tones and messages). Soft keys, send and reject keys and C key are placed around the navigation key. They are all made of plastic and positioned deeply in the phone, what is not always convenient.
You can see rubber seals under the screen. They protect the display from the keys touching and vice a versa.
As always some words about the battery. We've written earlier that the main problem of the phones from Samsung is a short autonomy (with a standard battery).I thought that it would be worse with a colour screen. My suspicions became stronger when I found two batteries in the kit, slim one and a battery of the external capacity. But thanks God, all my suspicions were wrong.
According to the manufacturer declarations the phone can work up to 110 hours in the standby mode and up to 4 hours in the talk mode with the lithium-ion battery of 900 mAh capacity. In reality the phone worked about 3 days in case of 40 minutes of talking and active using of other applications (alarm-clock, organizer, games (45 minutes)). It's not a perfect result, of course, but not bad one at the same time. Don't forget about the colour display and polyphonic ringing tones that consume much power. The time of full charging is about 2 hours.
The second battery is a reserve one. It is a lithium-ion battery of 720 mAh capacity, time of full re-charging is 1 hour 20 minutes. It can provide only one day of work in case of 30-35 minutes of talking, you need to re-charge it in the evening. If you talk less the phone can work about two days.
In the beginning of the article we said that engineers paid much attention to the interface of the phone. It's really so, the menu structure of T100 changed considerably. When you open a main menu you can see a title of the menu item on the upper part of the screen and a small nice animated picture near it. Lower you can see several first items, when you activate some of them you can see a window with selected settings. Shortcut number navigation can be used here.
Call records. Here you can store traditional call lists, each of them consists not of 10, but 15 phone numbers. Here you can view the duration of dialed and received calls. When you press the send key you can see a joint list of calls with the indication if their types (received and sent).
Messages. This item gives an access to the settings connected with SMS messages. These messages can be kept only in SIM-card memory. When it is full, you'll see an icon of blinking envelope. To receive a new message you should delete some of the old messages.
SGH-T400 supports Nokia Smart Messaging (not EMS), what allows to send pictures and melodies to all new phones produced by Samsung and almost any phone from Nokia. 10 pre-default original pictures (in black-and-white) are set here. Also you can make up to 5 templates (they are empty by default). Furthermore, you can set special options to receive broadcast messages.
Voice functions. Here you can view, edit or delete voice tags and command tags (up to 19). Menu items, which can be voice dialed, are included in one list. The phone has a dictaphone which can save 3 records (35 seconds each), but it works only in standby mode.
Tones. Here all settings connected with the melodies are collected. For example, you can select one of the 37 polyphonic ringing tones, one of 4 tones and the singing of birds. You can download up to 3 melodies from the Internet or create two melodies in the music composer. Here the type of incoming alert is set (vibrating call, ringing tone, vibrating call + ringing tone). When mixed mode is setup, first, the vibrating call works 3 times and after that you can hear a ringing tone. You can choose one of 5 tones for SMS message which are different from the ringing tones. You can set a signal before the connection.
Settings. We are not going to tell about all settings in the phone, only about the most interesting. Firstly, you can activate a voice dial or a voice access to the menu while opening the phone. Secondly, you can set one of the 5 animated screen savers. What is more interesting and very convenient, the calendar with all notes can be used as a screensaver. Finally, there is one empty slot for the image which the user can download himself.
Organiser. Here you can set different types of events and reminders. The organizer has a monthly view, the day with events are underlined. Only one event with a description can be displayed on the screen, short list is not available. There is a separate item - Calendar, which shows the current day and the month. In my opinion the main sense of this feature is not to show days with events to other people.
You can also use a to-do list, select a priority (low or high), sort all notes and mark those which are done. Everything is very convenient.
The alarm clock, which works even when the phone is switched off, can ring once, daily or weekly. One of 4 tones can be chosen for the alarm-clock.
The world time function is simply realized, on the contrary, the calculator is really handy.
Games. There are 3 games (AirShooting, SpaceWar, MyPet) in the phone, they resemble to those which were on the first PCs. Colour, vibration, polyphony! In one world - you should see it. The last game is a real Tamagotchi and it lives in your phone.
WWW Services. Just wap browser (1.2.1).
In standard kit you could find software for syncronization and downloading extra pics and tones to phone. .
The sound quality is standard, nor good nor bad. Despite a polyphonic ringer it is rather loud. When it is noisy around the vibrating alert can be very helpful.
The total impression after using SGH-T100 is very positive, but you should remember that it is a fashion phone with rather simple functions (primitive phonebook, no Irda, GPRS, MMS or EMS, the dictaphone doesn't work in the talk mode). But the phone has a magnificent screen, and it has no rivals today. The great advantage is a wide standard kit which includes a portable handsfree with a holder, the second battery, cable for data transmission and a CD with a software. The polyphonic ring is one of the best today. So, the price of the phone is about 450-500 USD.
As a conclusion I'd like to say that this model is an excellent representative of the fashion phones. But if you like to obtain a phone with advanced features, it is not your choice, SGH-T100 is an ordinary phone, which is realized as a beautiful but not useless toy.
Eldar Murtazin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published 28 October 2002
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