- Great design, MP3 support
- Flip mechansim could be smoother
A great, all-round mobile handset that provides basic music playback and combines it with solid functionality and a slim, attractive design.
Price$ 629.00 (AUD)
Samsung's E770 is yet another impressive entry into the mobile phone market. It combines a classy yet compact design with a quick interface and a good list of features. If you want a mid-range handset with music support that is an all around solid performer, the E770 is a great choice.
The most impressive elements of this model are the dual screens, both of which are of exceptional quality. The internal 256,000 LCD offers brilliant, vibrant colours and smooth motion rendering. It also looks great in direct sunlight. The external screen on the other hand is a 65K OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) which, while not quite as bright, is of a similar quality. It can display one of a variety of analogue or digital clocks stored on the phone, or downloaded wallpapers. It also displays the time, battery life and reception along the top, and we particularly liked the fact that this section of the screen remains backlit whether the phone is in use or not. This means that when you pull it out of your pocket to check the time, you don't need to hit any buttons - this information is always visible.
The smooth, gun-metal exterior of the E770 opens to reveal a fairly basic but extremely tactile matte black keyboard. It has a dim white backlight that is effective without being obtrusive. The flip mechanism is not quite as smooth in operation as some other Samsung models we've looked at recently, but it does the job. Measuring just 90mm x 46mm x 20mm and weighing 85g, this is quite a small handset and easily rests in a small bag or pocket. It is comfortable to talk on and can easily be opened with one hand. The keypad follows the traditional Samsung design, with a five-way directional pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys as well as a clear button. Overall, the E770 is a very well designed handset, combining an attractive aesthetic with practical, sturdy construction.
The E770 utilises Samsung's now quite well established interface, with a nine square grid arrangement. The colourful, animated icons look great on the E770's vibrant screen. The menu operates quickly and we experienced only minor delays when the phone was loading a large application such as the camera. Aside from this, it was speedy for everyday use. There is also the option to use what Samsung call a 'Flash Menu', which uses the same arrangement of menu items, but the currently selected icon is zoomed in. This does look a little better, but it is also noticeably slower, and we'd recommend users stick with the regular interface.
The E770 includes a 1.2 megapixel camera, which performed about average. Our shots had noticeable issues in all departments, including sharpness, colour and image noise, but this is to be expected from such a low resolution sensor - it is only recommended for the odd quick snap. The camera did however come with an unexpected list of features which somewhat make up for the low quality of the images. Effects such as Sepia, Monochrome and Black and White came as no surprise. However the 15 shot burst mode was quite useful and combined with the ability to adjust ISO and white balance, gives the E770 a feature set to rival a basic compact camera.
The other noteworthy feature of the E770 is its MP3 player. Accessed via the menu, or by holding down the play button on the phone's face, the music application has a lot of the basic functionality you'll find in an MP3 player. This includes things like shuffle and loop play, as well as some equaliser presets such as rock and classical. Unfortunately there is no way to manually tune the equaliser settings. Sound is delivered via included headphones that plug into a proprietary port - a 3.5mm jack is not supported.
The phone comes with 80MB of internal memory but thankfully Samsung provide a MicroSD slot for extended capacity. This is located on the right hand side of the unit, rather than hidden under the battery, as seen on many competing models. The MP3 player can be controlled via the main interface, or the three buttons along the front which give access to the basic controls including play, pause and track skip.
We found the E770's call quality to be great with no noticeable distortion or lack of clarity. It was loud enough to be heard properly even in noisy environments. It supports most of the usual functionality, including T9 messaging, Bluetooth and infrared, as well as SMS, MMS and email messaging. Samsung rate the battery life at 200 hours standby and 5.5 hours talk time, which is slightly above average for a unit in this category.
Overall, the E770 is an excellent option if you are after a solid mobile phone that performs well for most day-to-day functions.
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