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I'm currently on Orange PAYG, and prior this had only bought Sony Ericsson phones - I had the W610i right before this phone. I was looking for a more up-market phone though and received this as a Christmas present, along with the printed Louis Vuitton leather cover. If it had been my choice, I do not know if I would have bought this phone - it is initially very user unfriendly, especially due to the lack of a keyboard and the initial confusion as to which way is up (most people seeing it for the first time assume that the dial is the end which you speak into!). What is more, I was disappointed at the inability to customise your ringtone or even your wallpaper - the home screen is a very dull (though very B&O, I suppose) black and blue split screen. However, for all these misgivings, the phone's sound quality is, admittedly, unparalleled - the speaker is very handy, whether allowing for an impromptu music session in my office, or letting me carry on phone calls via speaker phone when I'm preparing dinner. Many have commented on the quality of the sound, and when used as a personal MP3 player (using the included B&O headphones), the sound quality is unparalleled. But even this has its drawbacks - the phone's memory capabilities are limited, even when compared to an iPod nano. Also, you can only use Windows Media Player or the B&O software to transfer music - your music must be perfectly labelled, or your artists/song names will all be 'Unknown'. This is incredibly frustrating, especially if you're used to the ease of using iTunes! As a phone, it also has a habit of freezing after I finish calls, necessitating a re-boot of the whole thing. I would only buy this phone if you are a true music lover or a big fan of B&O - any more casual admirers would grow frustrated quickly at the user-hostile design!
The first, and to many people the most important, question about the B&O Serenata is: "Is it worth it?". Well, the answer is both a Yes and a Maybe. If you desire a mobile phone that is has terrific sound quality (both through its in-built speaker and through the powerful "cans" which are supplied), has 3G capability and which your friends and colleagues repeatedly ask "what kind of 'phone is that", then the answer is a resounding yes. If, on the other hand, all of your friends have iPhones that are crammed with every application that Apple thinks might be useful, plus some others that are just plain daft then you might feel slightly left out... and lacking in cash. I have owned my Serenata for just over a year and can honestly say that I have never had any problems. I have used both T-Mobile and Vodafone as a provider and the 'phone works perfectly. The Serenata is more about style than cutting edge, which pretty well sums B&O up.
Two icons of excellence come together in Serenata, a music player and mobile phone in one. It's high quality on a higher level, with the advanced acoustics, interface experience and design ingenuity of Bang & Olufsen combined with the intelligent mobile phone engineering of Samsung. Experience unparalled pleasure in a sublime design - in the palm of your hand.
You can connect with the world via high-speed 3G data transfer, synchroniz your Outlook calendar or stay in touch with a EarSet 2 Bluetooth headset. Or you can switch to music mode and 'unplug' to recharge your mental batteries. Serenata has ample internal memory to hold a library of compressed music in various formats or even uncompressed tracks. It is very easy to connect to larger active speakers or use with the included EarSet 3 when traveling. Let yourself get lost in the music by switching to the PureMusic mode, and your mobile phone and text messages will still reach you - without interrupting you.
Serenata's large aluminum wheel makes menu navigation on your phone easy and comfortable. It is combined with a context-sensitive touch screen that can be letters for texting, numbers for dialing or album graphics when Serenata is playing music. When you gather family members or colleagues for a quick speakerphone call, they will appreciate the clarity of sound and the excellent microphone. The same applies for hands-free calling at your desk where the integrated foot provides secure footing at the perfect angle. The back section slides up softly under light pressure like a precision instrument to reveal the music speakers.
While half of Seranata is devoted to music and the other half to the mobile phone, the built-in speaker will deliver an outstanding sound for both. Advanced audio engineering and top-notch speakers are only partly to explain for the impressive performance. Bang & Olufsen's ingenious acoustics are the other reason, featuring two high-quality speaker units which, controlled by advanced digital signal processing, deliver precise reproduction of what's being said at the other end of the line - or played from your list of favorite tracks. That's in addition to ICEpower amplifiers, which enable a surprisingly powerful sound to emanate from such a small space.