I have been lucky enough to give the new Samsung i780 Smartphone a test run. I have never really been a fan of smartphone’s until recently when I got a HTC P4350 and completely fell in love with the idea.
This 115.9 x 61.3 x 12.9 mm smartphone only weighs in at 120 grams which is pretty light as far as I’m concerned. The TFT touchscreen supports the now customary 65K colours and is 320 x 320 pixels in size. As per the status quo, this smartphone has QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth and supports Wireless Lan. What impressed me was the HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps internal modem.
The i780 comes with Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional installed, however, if you do decide to get one have the service center make sure the firmware of the phone and all Windows Mobile 6 updates are installed.
Its safer to have the professionals do it purely from a warranty point of view although I had no problems updating Windows Mobile 6. Supported messaging formats are SMS, MMS, EMail, Instant Messaging. It also comes with Opera web-browser installed which in my personal opinion is still the best mobile web browser.
It also comes with a basic 2MegaPixel camera and a secondary camera for video calling. I unfortunately did not get to test the secondary camera so I cannot pass judgement on that but the photos I took with standard camera were more than acceptable for a business mobile phone. Taking photos in a dark area is not recommended though as the photos tend to look slightly grainy.
The built in GPS navigation with A-GPS support works stunningly well with full South African maps. The great news is that the phone also comes with a Garmin Full Navigation solution for life. To complete the business side of things the i780 comes with Pocket Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), it can also view PDF documents.
As smartphones go, the i780’s battery life is pretty decent. The battery lasted me almost three working days with my usual amount of text messaging, however, I do not spend a lot of time making or receiving phone calls. My main uses for this phone was Texting, Email, Twitter (through Opera) and playing with the GPS every now and then.
I did notice however that when I used the GPS for extended periods of time the battery power would drop significantly so if you’re planning on using the mobile on a long drive, I would suggest you invest in the car charger.
The official numbers suggest that the battery should last for around 7 hours worth of talking time or 400 hours on standby. Unfortunately I couldn’t test that 400 hour statement as I only had the phone for about 120 hours (about 5 days).
Using the GPS was fun and it worked exceptionally well. Trying to get lost was great fun and thanks to the A-GPS support, your position on the GPS is updated extremely quickly. Only after giving it back did I realise I never check if geotagging of photos was supported.
The office solutions work brilliantly, especially connecting to the Exchange Server at work to get my emails and meeting requests so that they with me all the time.
It was effortless to setup and I didn’t even need to labour through the manual to set it up. I messed around with Word and Excel but didn’t do anything hectic in them but they seemed to work great.
Being a true South African and social type person I had to get mxit installed ASAP. That was about how far I got unfortunately. I’m sure however that the guys over at MXiT will make sure the i780 is supported really soon.
The phone has only just been released here in South Africa so I really can’t blame them. If you’re a Shozu user you can install Shozu onto the using the shozu application for HTC Touch. It seems to work quite well.
If I had the cash right now I would get the smartphone with out a second thought. I would even choose this over the HTC Touch which I messed around with a while back. The response I got from the mobile was excellent and doing anything on it was quick and easy. The interface is exceptionally user-friendly and the GPS is absolutely brilliant. Looking at it from a business point of view this smartphone is excellent.
The only negatives I had was that the Home screen looked a bit busy and if you’re outside the its not very easy to look at the screen. However, I don’t normally normally walk in public using my mobile as I’m scared it gets stolen so its not really a problem.
The Samsung i780 is currently available from Vodacom on Business Call at R185 per month with a R699 cash pay in.
If I used any terminology above that you’re not familiar with, get in contact with me and I’ll be sure to help claify anything. Here are links to reference some of the terminology I used in the review: