- Decent in-call quality, music player, drag-and-drop file transfer, A2DP, 1GB internal memory
- No hands-free speakerphone, no memory storage slot, scroll wheel performance, swivel build quality, two column keypad, camera button in awkward place, Bluetooth only 1.2, average battery life
The Samsung X830 is a fashion-orientated phone with a unique design and quite a good music player. Unfortunately, it sacrifices too many features to deem it a worthwhile purchase.
Price$ 475.00 (AUD)
Looking more like an MP3 player than a mobile phone, the Samsung X830 is a stylish, if unconventional handset that swivels open to reveal a unique, two-column keypad. The X830 possesses 1GB of internal memory, a scroll wheel for navigation and a dedicated music player, but it has a number of issues that prevent it from being a worthwhile purchase.
The X830 performs quite well as a mobile phone with good in-call quality and loud enough volume to ensure conversations can be held in noisy environments. Unfortunately, its biggest let down is the lack of a hands-free speakerphone, a feature that is usually standard, even on the most basic handsets.
The biggest drawcard of the X830 is its music player. The handset is branded as a "phone - enabled MP3 player" by Samsung, due to the two distinct modes; one a music mode when the swivel is closed and the other a phone mode when the swivel exposes the keypad. In music mode the X830's display orientates into landscape mode and launches the music application. The scroll wheel acts as the control but its position on the right side of the screen when in landscape mode means the X830's music player will be difficult to operate for those who are left handed. Although it looks similar to the iPod's famous scroll wheel, the X830's wheel is rotated rather than touch sensitive; the end result is a slow and frustrating user experience, as it struggles to keep up with quick thumb rotations. The wheel doubles as a directional pad and we found using this to navigate instead was faster and easier. Despite the segregated modes the music player can operate while performing other functions, such as typing messages, for example.
The player application itself is fairly basic, but it does include plenty of sound tweaking options. There is a preset, eight band equaliser including rock, bass, live and dance settings, wide dynamic and surround 3D sound settings, and basic repeat and shuffle modes. The X830's music player also enables 'fade out and stop', where each music track is slowly faded towards the end before stopping. Unfortunately the external speaker is average and the included headphones are uncomfortable. Although there is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the handset itself, an adaptor is included in the sales package, so you are able to use your own set of headphones if you wish.
The music player supports MP3, WMA and AAC file formats, and transferring files is quick and easy thanks to a drag-and-drop interface. Users can also use Windows Media Player to transfer music from their PC and a proprietary USB cable is included in the sales package for data transfer. The X830's connectivity options are reasonable thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 1.2 (although we would have preferred the newer 2.0 interface), while A2DP is included for streaming music to a compatible pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones or other accessories. There is also rather generous 1GB of internal memory to store files, but disappointingly, no memory storage slot. Other features of the X830 include a web browser, world clock, calendar, voice recorder, alarm, timer, stopwatch and converter. Also present is an offline mode for use during air travel, and the ability to send an emergency SOS message by pressing the volume button four times when the phone is closed and in idle mode.
Despite its miniscule size, the X830 manages to squeeze in a 1.3 megapixel digital camera. Naturally, images produced suffer from most of the problems synonymous with camera phones; high levels of image noise, poor colour reproduction and a lack of sharpness. Strangely, there is no dedicated shutter button on the side of the handset, so the camera can't be used horizontally. Pressing the dedicated camera button above the keypad tends to block the camera lens, so you'll have to hold the phone in an uncomfortable hand position to take photos.
The X830 measures 84mm x 30mm x 19mm and weighs just 72g. It features a swivel design, but we weren't impressed with this aspect of the phone for a number of reasons. Firstly, the build quality feels questionable, as the top half of the swivel doesn't feel stable enough to withstand any rough treatment. The swivel isn't easy to open and close, and is particularly awkward to do so one handed; we needed to use two hands to open and close the phone during testing. But the biggest drawback of the design is the keypad, which has been reduced to two columns rather than the usual three. Although the slightly raised keys are quite comfortable to press, text messaging on the X830 is a nightmare, and after a full weeks use we still hadn't grasped the layout enough to type a remotely quick message.
The small size of the phone also means a small display, but although the screen is tiny, it's quite bright and clear. With a resolution of 128 x 220 pixels and 262k colour, the LCD is good enough to perform most of the X830's tasks with a minimal of fuss or problems.
According to Samsung figures battery life is average. The X830 is rated at up to 3.3 hours of talk time and 256 hours of standby time. We were forced to charge the handset every two days, with only moderate usage, so if you plan to use the music functions heavily, you'll most likely need to charge it every night.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSupport Engineer Level 3QLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCProject Manager - Grant managementNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperQLD
- TPIT Training OfficerQLD
- CCWCEM DeveloperACT
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- FTData ScientistACT
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- FTPeopleSoft Technical Campus Solution DeveloperNSW
- CCWintel Server EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Digital BANSW
- FTSenior Security Engineer x 3NSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTTest LeadACT
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- FTWintel EngineerACT
- CCJava Developer - IntergrationQLD
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD