Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Samsung F480T mobile phone
The Omnia's little brother.
- Design, TouchWIZ interface, text messaging, HSDPA 7.2, A2DP Bluetooth
- Widgets aren't customisable, scrolling is mediocre, Web browser, no Wi-Fi, proprietary headphone jack
We really like the look of the F480T and the fact that it comes with a decent features list. But although the touch screen is reasonably responsive, there are too many niggling interface issues to highly recommend it.
Price$ 829.00 (AUD)
Hot on the heels of the Samsung Omnia i900 , the F480T is a mid-range, smaller version of its bigger brother. Although the Omnia utilised a Windows Mobile user interface, the Telstra-exclusive F480T uses the same widgets and customisable, drag-and-drop technology, with mixed results.
One aspect of the F480T that Samsung has definitely hit the mark with is the design. Looking like a compact version of the Omnia, the F480T is attractive and comfortable to hold. The gloss, mirror-style finish certainly attracts plenty of attention, but, predictably, it’s also a fingerprint magnet. The brushed metal finish on the back is also a nice touch, but it could have done without the chunky bottom rear.
The F480T doesn't include the optical mouse seen on the Omnia, replacing it with an ordinary selection button, flanked by answer and end call keys. The touch screen does most of the work, though, and for most part it's reasonably responsive. It's not in the iPhone 3G's league, but we like the haptic feedback (something the iPhone lacks) and the fact that you can adjust the feedback sensitivity.
Unfortunately, Samsung's proprietary interface needs plenty of work. While the widgets on the home screen are a good idea, the fact that you can't add new applications or customise the widget bar is a hindrance. It’s often troublesome to identify which widget relates to each program without dragging it onto the home screen and making it active.
Another big issue is scrolling — anyone used to the iPhone interface will be frustrated, as scrolling through lists is slow and requires you to slide your finger down the screen rather than up. The interface is temperamental when simply flicking your finger: sometimes it selects a menu unintentionally, while at other times it scrolls as intended. For accuracy, we found it best to hold your finger on the screen, though this is not the fastest method.
Text messaging is surprisingly efficient, though plenty of users will be displeased that a QWERTY keyboard is not an option. The F480T uses a regular number pad and offers T9 support. It doesn’t take too long to grasp, although the keypad is not directly in the middle of the screen, which slightly annoying.
The F480T packs in a reasonable list of features, though Wi-Fi is a notable omission. Being a Telstra phone, full access to the Next G range of content and services is available, including Mobile FOXTEL, BigPond TV and WhereIs Mobile. HSDPA 7.2Mbps capabilities ensure browsing is fast, but outside the BigPond portal normal Web browsing isn’t close to the bar being set by Safari Mobile. The scrolling issue rears its ugly head here again; despite the presence of a Smart-fit view, browsing is largely a frustrating experience.
Multimedia features are fair, headed by a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. An FM radio with RDS support and a music player are also included, but Samsung has once again used a proprietary headphone/charging jack port than a regular 3.5mm jack. Thankfully, A2DP Bluetooth allows you to stream audio wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones or speakers. A microSD card a lot handles extra storage, though there is no card included in the sales package.
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