Samsung i200

A smartphone without the extra weight.

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Samsung i200
  • Samsung i200
  • Samsung i200
  • Samsung i200

Pros

  • Slim design, Wizpro home screen interface, control and keypad layout, HSDPA capable

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi, no GPS, mediocre camera, little extra software included, proprietary headphone/charging jack

Bottom Line

Samsung certainly deserves credit for the i200's design. This smartphone is compact and easy to use, but the lack of Wi-Fi and GPS will force many users to look elsewhere. Overall, the i200 is a credible but certainly not inspiring handset.

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A smartphone that looks nothing like a smartphone, Samsung’s i200 is a PDA-phone targeted at users who wouldn’t normally consider purchasing a smartphone. Running Windows Mobile 6.1, the i200 boasts most features expected from a business device but is still largely unremarkable.

Samsung deserves points for the design of the i200. At just 11.8mm thick and weighing a little over 100g, this is one of the slimmest and lightest smartphones to hit the market. It’s still slightly larger than most regular mobile phones, but consumers who have previously avoided smartphones due to their size will definitely find solace in the i200.

Finished in matte black, rubber-style casing on the rear, the i200 has a touch of class thanks to gloss black edging and a reflective mirror-style display. This is accompanied by a straightforward set of controls consisting of a comfortable five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys and dedicated home and back buttons. Our only complaint with the design is the navigational pad: it works well enough but could have been slightly larger.

The i200 lacks a QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen and instead uses a regular keypad. The buttons are well spaced and provide good tactility, so messaging and e-mail aren't issues. Heavy mobile e-mailers may prefer a full QWERTY keyboard, though, so the i200 isn’t for everyone.

The i200 is easy enough to use despite the absence of a touch screen. Particularly impressive is Samsung’s alternative home screen layouts, including Wizpro, a home screen menu system that allows you to access commonly used features by simply using the navigational pad. Menus include contacts, settings and shortcuts as well as a redesigned home screen with large text and icons for easy viewing.

The i200 features most tools synonymous with Windows Mobile 6.1 including Excel, PowerPoint and Word Mobile applications, Windows Media Player and a range of PIM functions. It's easy to configure for use with Microsoft Exchange, and you can also use standard POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts (for example, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail). A suite of Windows Live applications includes Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail, and a ClearVue PDF Viewer, video player and Microsoft ActiveSync — for synchronising the device with a PC — are all included. While many other smartphone manufacturers install their own applications on top of the standard Windows suite, the i200 is fairly bare in this regard.

Perhaps the biggest issue with the i200 is its lack of Wi-Fi and GPS. Although it is reasonably priced without these two features, Wi-Fi is an essential component for many business users; Samsung is alienating plenty of potential users by not including it here. In addition, the mediocre camera with no flash or autofocus doesn’t impress, nor does the proprietary headphone and charging jack — you have to use the included headphones and can’t charge the phone and listen to music simultaneously. Thankfully, the presence of Bluetooth with the A2DP profile means you can wirelessly stream music to a compatible set of headphones.

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