Hands on: Samsung i7110 review
21st Oct 2008 | 15:43
Candybar phone packing dynamite under the hood
Samsung simply will not stop producing new smartphones... it's as if it's addicted or something. Hot on the heels of the i8510 8MP powerhouse and the all-encompassing Omnia comes the i7110, which should be dwarfed in comparison.
Well, that would be unfair, as it's a very decent handset, and doesn't deserve to be in the shadow of any other device.
The first thing you notice about the handset is the 2.6in AMOLED screen. For those of you not versed in the benefits of OLED, you have to see one to really get a taste for it.
The colour saturation is very deep, and the resolution pin sharp, thanks to the lack of backlight and the super-fast refresh rate. Watching movies or viewing photos is a real treat, as you feel for the first time like you're getting a proper HD experience on a mobile handset.
It also consumes a lot less power than the conventional LCD, so this handset should last longer than many other mobiles.
The S60 platform means the UI is very much as you might expect, in fact it runs the same as many Nokias and the Samsung i8510, among others.
Mouse back in the house
The optical mouse has been recessed, which we assume is to stop it constantly changing what you want the phone to do at the last minute. While we laud the idea of having an optical mouse, and in web use it really works, the fact it's also the 'enter' button means the option you press is liable to change at the last minute as the mouse flicks up or left.
Which is annoying, and although it has been minimised on this handset, still happens and means its presence is a little irritating.
The handset is chunky without being overbearing... it's a little large for a traditional candybar design, but when you choose a powerful handset you know what you're trading off: pocket space.
The brushed metal exterior feels very nice though, and the buttons are all where they need to be, with a shortcut key available for quick navigation, which we found to be a nice touch.
The look of the menus has been upgraded to make use of the fantastic OLED resolution, meaning the icons all look nice and scream 'click me' when you hover near them (they don't actually scream... or make any noise. That's just us adding effect).
The 5MP camera takes some decent snaps, however it pales in comparison to the i8510, which is possibly the best phone camera out there at the moment. That said, it takes a lot of cues from its bigger brother, and would hold its own easily against any other handset in the 5MP category.
Google Maps, Mail and Search are all baked right into the handset, along with ShoZu, Yahoo Go!, DNLA connection and two games.
In fact, there's even a racing game, Asphalt 4, on there. Asphalt 3 was packed onto the recently released i8510, and was a great game, but 4 seems even better. Not much of a plus point, but it got us excited...
As mentioned above, the media was a joy to use, and all laid out in the obvious way that S60 brings. The OLED screen means video is a little easier on the eye, despite the small screen, and overall we were impressed.
The internet browser was standard, full-HTML fare, and as said above, the optical mouse makes it a lot easier to use. However, you'll probably want to get a-fiddling with the sensitivity settings, as otherwise you'll constantly miss the link you want to click, which will annoy the bejesus out of you.
Overall, we were very impressed with another Samsung offering. While it's hardly earth-shattering as a handset (though the screen is worthy of an honourable mention), it does everything right, something which only Nokia used to be able to do consistently.
Well, Nokia better start looking over its shoulder... Samsung seems to have worked out how to make a pretty decent smartphone and perhaps the dominance of the Finns could come to an end in the next few years.