Reasonable features and more than reasonable value.
- Compact size and weight, ease of use, reasonable features list
- Display has mediocre viewing angles, no MicroSD card included in package
Samsung’s E740 isn’t outstanding, but it’s reasonably impressive for the asking price.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
Featuring a 2-megapixel camera, an FM radio, microSD storage and a multimedia player, you might be surprised to find that the Samsung E740 is an entry-level prepaid handset. Offering a reasonable number of features for a low cost, the E740 is definitely worth a look.
Exclusive to Vodafone, this stylish slider is similar in design to many previous Samsung handsets. Its compact frame feels reasonably well built and the glossy, mirror-style finish surrounding the display is a nice touch. The controls are fairly straightforward. They consist of a large five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer/end call keys and a clear button. Conveniently, the navigational pad doubles as a scroll wheel that can be spun using a quick flick of your thumb. Despite the compact size of the unit, Samsung has still managed to include dedicated volume, camera and music buttons, negating the need to delve into the menu to access these applications.
Slid open, the E740 reveals a well-laid-out keypad. The keys are reasonably flat, though despite this they provide good tactility and are comfortable to type on for extended periods. The display is what we expected from a handset in this price range: it’s far from outstanding but it's definitely acceptable considering the feature set and limitations of a prepaid handset. Our main complaint is with its viewing angles and performance in direct sunlight; both are less than satisfactory.
It's certainly user friendly, with Samsung’s proprietary user interface the main attraction. The main menu consists of a simple 4x3 grid of menu icons, while the submenus are in a list format, numbered with shortcuts to make it easy to access commonly used functions. This is a handset that will definitely appeal to first-time users.
Considering the price tag, the E740 is reasonably well-equipped. A 2-megapixel camera with self-portrait mirror (but, unfortunately, no flash) is one of the main highlights, though don’t expect quality photos; it’s definitely good enough for wallpaper images, but little more. The music player is a nice touch, and the fact that this unit includes A2DP Bluetooth is excellent when you take into account the bargain-basement price. In addition, the issue of not being able to play music while accessing other applications — a problem with many previous Samsung phones — has been resolved. An FM radio is also part of the multimedia package.
Files can be stored on microSD cards; the slot is located behind a plastic flap on the left side of the handset. There is no card included in the sales package, but their price has dropped rapidly over the past 12 months, so it’s not a big issue.
Vodafone offers the Samsung E740 on a Prepay Maxi Cap for $149. $49 per month gives you $340 worth of calls, text messages and voicemail, while you can choose between $5, $12 or $25 Vodafone live! and Extras credit to access a range of downloadable content.
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