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Samsung SGH-E720

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    16 Reviews
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      12.06.2011 15:32
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      A cheap and reliable option

      I've decided to review another product that I must admit, I replaced without it needing to be, this is very unlike me as you may well know, however replacing this product was justified at the time as I wanted my son to have a mobile phone of his own but I didn't want to spend loads of money on a new one for him, at the time as he was only eleven years old, he was starting to hang out with his mates after school and I wanted to be assured I could get hold of him, whenever I needed to.

      ~Samsung SGH-E720~

      I first purchased this "Samsung SGH-E720" it must be about 5 or so years ago. A friend of mine had one at the time and I decided I liked it and would like to purchase one for myself. I ordered it from a catalogue, on O2 pay as you go. I can't remember how much I actually paid for the phone at the time, I think it may have been around £170.00 but I can't be sure. However as these phones are so dated now they can be picked up very cheaply.

      When my new mobile phone arrived, I was all excited and set about setting it up with all my contacts etc. The phone I had been using previously was a very basic Nokia and I couldn't wait to transfer everything over to my new phone. In the box there was the phone itself, charger, battery, earphones which are quite good quality as they are Samsung and I think they always produce pretty decent earphones and users manual, which I might add proved very useful to me, with every little thing explained in detail about what I would need to know about the phone and how it operates.

      ~What it looks like~

      The phone itself, I loved instantly, it fit perfectly in my hand, silver and black in color with the black back doubling as the battery which slot into place with ease keeping the inserted sim card nicely in place, which as I mentioned earlier, in my case was a pay as you go sim. On the front of the phone is a small screen measuring around an inch, which displays a clock, should you choose this option, but would also indicate who was calling when the phone rang, that is if the caller was in your contact list. Also on the front of the phone is the 1 megapixel camera and flash, ok so the camera wasn't up to much but it worked quite well nevertheless. The buttons for the MP3 player are also on the front of the camera. This does sound like a lot is going on, on the front of the phone and you would think it would look to busy on such a small phone, but to be fair everything on the phone looks neat and compact and fits beautifully, the phone in actual fact looks very nice and sleek. Along the sides of the phone are the usual earphone socket and charger plug socket, with volume and the button with which to take your photos.

      Now, the phone could easily be flipped open with the same hand to reveal the 2 inch screen and the nicely set out keypad. The keys are not to small as you might imagine, they are the perfect size, especially for texting. Turning the phone on is really self explanatory, this is the point where you want to abandon the user guide and dive right in and play with your new toy, even if you don't know what's what yet.

      ~Special Features~

      Special features that the phone has include, camera and camcorder, the camera I have already mentioned and the camcorder though not something I really used myself, did record well and picked up sound very well indeed, I remember when I was first getting used to the camera I accidently had the phone in video mode, that'll teach me to dive in without reading what to do first, I ended up recording my son just sitting there doing nothing, just waiting for his picture to be taken, I must be so stupid because it took me ages to realize it was in video mode, when I did realize I told my son It was ok to move or talk as I decided to video him instead, he was none the wiser so I didn't feel too stupid.
      Anyway the music player, another thing I didn't use so can't really comment on it, however it would play MP3 files, but I couldn't tell you how many files it will hold, basically because I don't know.
      Bluetooth, great feature, I think a phone is useless without Bluetooth, but that's only my opinion. By using Bluetooth you can send photo's, video's and any other personal data by connecting to another device using free wireless Bluetooth technology, I think it's a brilliant idea and I don't think I could have a phone without this feature.
      Photo caller ID, this is a good feature as it enables you to see who's calling you, this is easily set up and as I mentioned earlier, the photo you choose to use alongside a callers number, which is held in your contacts, will display on the front screen of your phone when that person calls you.
      Name card, a feature I never used but this feature enables you to create a name card which you can use whenever your introducing yourself to others, I never really understood the purpose of this so never bothered with it.
      Wap browser, allows you to access the internet for various services and current information. I never accessed the internet using this phone, being on pay as you go I decided it wouldn't be worth it.
      Multimedia messages service, this enables you to send and receive messages with a combination of text, images, video and audio. I only used this to send pictures, I myself never sent video's or music using this feature.
      Email, I'm sure this speaks for itself, you can set up your Email on the phone and use it in the same way you would on your computer, I never used this as I prefer to deal with my emails on my laptop.
      Java, games installed on the phone are all Java based and all java games can be downloaded to the phone also, Bobby Carrot was my favorite game on this phone and I would play the game religiously.
      Calendar, this helps you keep track of daily, weekly and monthly schedules. I did use the calendar quite a lot and found it a very handy feature.
      Voice recorder, I personally never used this feature, so I won't comment on it.

      ~Battery Life~

      When the phone was new, it would take around four hours to charge from dead and the battery would last anything from a day to a week depending on what I used the phone for, if I was constantly playing games and taking pictures the battery would need charging quite regularly but if I was to use it for making a few calls and sending a few text messages it would obviously not need charging as often. The older the phone got, the longer I found I needed to charge it for.

      ~Ease of use and what I personally think~

      Once a strong enough signal is found, the phone operates very well, talking and listening to people on the other end of the phone is very clear, sending text messages is very quick and easy to do, you can of course set the texting up to your own preference, I choose to go through each individual letter as I don't like the idea of just pressing the key which holds the letter you require and hoping for the best, my spelling is not that good at the best of times, so I prefer to do it the easy way.

      My experience of using this phone has indeed been all positive, I've never had an issue with it at all, I don't think I have any complaints what so ever about it. In my son's experience of using the phone, he to has had no cause to complain, he has got on well using it and with it being very simple to navigate your way around, personally I think it's an ideal first phone for a child especially as these phones are so cheap to buy now days, ok so it hasn't got all the fancy features of your latest smart phone, but thinking realistically and practically, if you wanted to make sure your child was safe when they first start venturing out on their own, it would be silly to spend loads of money on an up to the minute smart phone when all you really want is to be able to get in touch with them. This phone made perfect sense to me for this very reason and I have been very pleased with it's overall performance. The phone is still in full working order although only used as an emergency phone now days as both my son and I have a LG Cookie, which we are both very happy with.

      ~Other information~

      I'm not going to write a huge list of this phones specifications, because I think if your are indeed interested as I was, in purchasing one of these phones then you will do what anyone else would do and check out the product more closely by visiting the Samsung website or similar. I have written what I hope has been helpful to you in deciding whether or not you would be interested in looking further into the product.

      I'm not sure exactly where you would be able to pick one of these phones up now, but I'm sure a good Google search would point you in the right direction, you definitely can't go wrong with one of these little phones and are worth thinking about if you are debating getting a first phone for your child.

      I have to give this little phone 5 stars because it has served me well all the while I used it and continued to do so when my son used it and still it continues to work, durability and reliability are excellent and I can highly recommend the Samsung SGH-720, for me it has no faults whatsoever.

      Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on other sites.

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        13.05.2011 12:53
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        A great phone for it's time!

        I am going to lay my cards down on the table here and let you know that this phone is FANTASTIC. OK, it's not one of the fancy touch screen affairs with facebook and twitter and what not but if you're looking for a reliable, feature-packed phone which you can pick up online for next to nothing, then I can't recommend it enough.

        **Price**

        The Samsung E720 is available online for around £20, this is an absolute steal, as it's far better than many phones available on the high street at the same price point.

        **Box Contents**

        You get the Samsung E720 handset, the li-ion rechargable battery, wall charger, USB charger / data cable, software CD, stereo in ear handsfree kit, full international instructions, and the warranty card.

        **Networks**

        As the phone is available only second hand or very rarely new online only, chances are you'll be buying it unlocked, but do check. Mine was an o2 version, which meant the start up screen displayed the o2 logo, but as it was from Carphone Warehouse, it was actually fully unlocked.

        Though it has a front-facing camera, this is not a 3G phone, and is therefore not compatible with the 3 Network.

        **Specs**

        The phone is feature packed for a model released way back in 2005 - in fact it's quite a relic, but it has aged splendidly, by being a fairly top of the range phone for it's time.

        I won't go through every single specification (these are easily available online, on the GSM Arena website), but it does boast:

        - A 256K main screen and 65K external screen
        - Vibrate alert and polyphonic / mp3 ringtones
        - 1 MP Camera with flash
        - Java Games
        - WAP 2.0 Browser
        - Bluetooth

        It also features an alarm clock, mp3 / mp4 (video) player, an organiser feature, and a voice memo function.

        **Looks**

        I think the phone looks pretty smart for it's time. Styled as a clamshell flip phone, it is modelled in robust silver and navy plastic making it suitable for male or female owners. The external closed view includes the camera, and a 96 x 96 pixel display with three buttons for the mp3 player (back, play/pause and forward).

        Once opened, the larger 176 x 220, 9 line display is revealed, with the Samsung logo to it's base. The keys are modelled in hard navy plastic (rather than rubber) with a directional keypad, function buttons to the side and full keypad.

        The sides offer a charging slot, and volume control rocker button for use with all phone sounds.

        Even now I think it looks a decent phone and hasn't particularly aged badly. It's very professional looking and smart, with a matte rather than gloss finish.

        **Feel**

        The phone is 80g in weight which means it is not too heavy, and is very easy to hold in your hand and make a lengthy phone call. The phone's hard plastic feel is one in the mid range of phones nowadays, and it's very pleasant to use - not getting to hot, or allowing your hand to get sweaty, which some cheaper phones can do.

        **Battery**

        The Samsung E3720 benefits from excellent battery performance from it's li-ion rechargable battery. The standard battery provides up to 200h of stand by time, and around five and a half hours of talk time. This can be upgraded if you wish with the installation of an extended 1000 mAh li-ion rechargable battery, which offers 260 hours of stand by time, and around seven hours of talk time. I never needed to upgrade the battery as in the five years I have owned this phone I have only ever, on regular use, needed to charge it more than once, occasionally twice a week at most. Even with it's age, the battery has never degraded in any way and holds a charge well even if I have not used the phone for a day or so.

        **Use**

        I cannot stress more - this phone is an absolute doddle to use. Simply open it up, dial a number, or press 'down' to access your contacts, and press 'dial'. Done. Every single feature of the phone is accessible via a main menu which is very easy to navigate, and the function buttons (buttons to the upper left and right of the keypad which feature three dots) are easy to use and understand. The phone stores 1000 phonebook entries and allows photo calls (ie, the picture assigned to the person who is calling you is shown on the outer screen when they call).

        The phone's text functionality with predictive text is both easy and comfortable to use. Same with the java functionality, the games, organiser, calculator and so on are a joy to use and use them often I did.

        The Bluetooth is easy to scan and send / receive files, and means that rather than having to use the admittedly rather fiddly USB sync cable and associated cumbersome software, you can simply transfer files to your PC or laptop using Bluetooth, something I do with my Apple Mac all the time. I'm impressed still at the clarity of the photographs on the 1MP camera, probably because the phone features a flash, which is something not all modern phones (certainly around £20) offer. It means I have taken photos on my phone at evening events and gained decent results where my friends with iphones have not! Result. You can also use the flash with the video camera for similar excellent results. Moreover, the sound recording is of a high quality too - better than a flip video!

        The mp3 player was a great feature at the time of this phone's release in 2005 and though nowadays phones feature much more advanced players, this mini version with it's equaliser display on the outer LCD is pretty decent, though it is let down by the lack of expandable memory - this phone would be pretty near perfect as a mid range phone with the addition of a mini SD slot. But for a walk, or the gym, it still has it's uses.

        The phone quality in terms of build is very high and therefore I'm happy to report it has survived numerous drops, a few bounces, and even a bath! (Not that I recommend you do any of these things of course!!)

        The sound too is excellent, in normal use, with the stereo hands free kit, and on the speakerphone option. Samsung have really surpassed themselves with this little phone, it offers so much.

        I don't use the WAP browser all that much, but it will get you on to Google, Facebook, Yell, and the news, albeit a bit slowly, but if that side of things doesn't bother you too much then it's not really a problem. If you're wanting to poke and tweet at super speed, then of course, you'll need a 3G bells and whistles touch screen at ten times the price ;)

        **Overall**

        Of course we have to take into account this phone is now unbelievably six years old, I cannot fault it for what it offers, in terms of quality and value for money. If a casual user asked me 'should I get this?' then yes, I'd absolutely recommend it. The Samsung E3720 has now been relegated to our 'car phone' for emergencies, but I haven't forgotten it's quality, as I have replaced it with a few models up which I am just as happy with (and the menus are all exactly the same so I didn't have to relearn anything!)

        It might have it's downsides now - lack of touchscreen, a decent browser, or a card slot, but for the price it offers so much - an mp3 player, Bluetooth, a decent camera with flash, that I really cannot complain.

        If you're in the market for a second hand phone that has a few extras, then absolutely consider the Samsung E3720. It's a very very worthy four stars out of five from me :)

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        • More +
          04.09.2006 17:57
          1 Comment

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          Overal a very good phone to have

          I have had my Samsung SGH -E720 for just under a year. When I first got the phone I was extremely happy with it. The phone's MP3 player was of a good quality although it could only hold around 19/20 full 3 minute songs which was ok to start with but is no rival to even the ipod nano as it takes time to delet the reload your new songs. The sound quality was pretty good and the were many functions, certain things took a while to get used to as my previous phone was a nokia and they still are the most simple phones to use but nether the less I got to grups with is pretty quickly and have just upgraded to another Samsung, the D900.

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            10.07.2006 12:09
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            This is a good phone and easy to use .

            I got my Samsung at the end of July 2005. Because I have a contract with O2 I didnt have to pay for the mobile as it comes free. I have been happy with this mobile the only problem I have had is that sometimes people have a problem understanding what I am saying when talking to them on the phone. My step-son also has the same problem with this phone, other than that I dont have any other problems.

            ----------Look of the phone ----------

            This phone is approximately 9cm long and 4.5cm wide and weighs aprox 80g. The phone is dark grey and silver colour. The front of the phone has a camera at the top with a light either side which is your flash, under that is the external screen (96by96 pixels), under the screen it says 'SAMSUNG' under that there is three keys: back, play/pause and forward. On the right side of the phone there is a button which when pressed takes you to the camera mode, you can use this feature when the phone is opened or closed by pressing and holding. On the left side is a the up and down buttons which also control volume and a place to plug in ear piece. The bottom of the phone is where you plug the charger in. I think this is an attractive looking phone it is quite hard wearing too as I have dropped my phone quite a few times and somehow still havnt scratched it.

            ----------Features ----------

            When you open the phone There is your main screen (176by220 pixels) In the top left hand corner shows your signal and the top left hand corner shows the amount of battery you have, unless you have the bluetooth on all the time the battery seems to last a long time, I usually charge my phone every second or third day depending how much I have used the phone. You can have the date and time displayed on your phone just under where the signal and battery is shown. In the bottom left hand corner you can access the menu and the left bottom corner you can access your contacts. Through the menu you access call records, phonebook, applications, browser, messages, file manager, calendar, camera and settings.

            -----Call records-----

            When you enter the call records there is six options:
            1. current contacts - this lists all your calls, dialled, recieved and missed.
            2. missed calls
            3. dialled calls
            4. recieved calls
            5. delete all - this allows you to delete all your call records.
            6. call time - this shows your last call time, total sent and total recieved, you can also reset all your call timers by entering a password (00000000)

            ----- Phonebook -----

            There are seven options when you enter the phonebook:
            1. contacts list
            2. add new contact
            3. group
            4. speed dial - you can set different people to different numbers (2to9) to make it easier to call them.
            5. my name card
            6. own number - you can add up to three numbers here
            7. management

            You can save up to 1000numbers on your phone and 250 onto your sim card.

            ----- Applications -----

            1. java world
            2. O2 music player
            3. voice recorder
            4. world time
            5. alarm (snooze/once/daily/weekly) - There are three alarms on this phone: morning call, alarm 1, alarm 2.
            6. pim sync
            7. calculator
            8. converter - currency, length, weight, volume, area, and temperature
            9. Timer
            10. stopwatch
            11. 02

            -----Browser -----

            1. home - this takes you to O2 active homepage
            2. bookmarks - this gives a shortcut to different web pages
            3. http:// - here you can type in a web site you want to go to
            4. wap profile
            5. clear cache

            -----messages-----

            1. create message
            2. my messages - this is where you access all your messages, inbox, drafts, out box, sent, email box and my folders.
            3. templates - you can add templates for quicker message writing.
            4. delete all - you can delete all your messages in one go or just select so many messages which you want deleting.
            5. settings
            6. memory status - you can save 20 messages on your sim and 200 on your phone.

            -----file manager -----

            1. images - here you save all your images: photos and downloaded images
            2. videos - here you save all your video clips and downloaded videos
            3. music - this is where you save all your MP3 music
            4. sounds - this is where all your polyphonic ringtones are saved
            5. other files
            6. memory status

            ----- Calendar -----

            You have a full calendar that you can add things to: schedule, anniversary, memo and to do. You can set a hundred of each type of memo.

            ----- Camera -----

            There is a built in mega pixel camera with flash. There is three different shooting modes: single shot, multi shot or mosaic shot. There is 4x digital zoom so you can zoom in and out. You can also add different effects to your picture (grey scale, negative, sepia, emboss, antique, moonlight, fog), there is also 31 frames which you can choose from to add to your picture. There is also a video where you can record for upto 60 minutes, this has all the same effects as the camera but you cannot add frames. The camera takes really good picture except for when its a bit dark - even if you use the flash when its dark the pictures are still very bitty, The sound quality on the videos is also quite good - i recorded my daughter laughing and my saon saying 'da-da' for my boyfriend to see as he had not heard them before. I will add 4 photos taken by my camera at the end of this review.

            ----- Settings -----

            1. time and date - here you set the dat and time for the phone and choose whether you want a 24hr clock or 12 hour clock.
            2. phone settings - here you access languages, short cuts and extra settings
            3. display settings - here you can choose your wallpaper for your main display and cover display
            4. sound settings - here you can set the different tones for your phone: incoming call (polyphonic or mp3), keypad tone, message tone, power on/off, folder tone or turn it to quite mode (vibration or mute).
            5. network services
            6. bluetooth
            7. security
            8. connection settings
            9. reset settings

            ----------Price ----------

            This phone costs around £199.99 but you may be able to get it frr on contract.

            ----------What I think of this phone ----------

            I think this is a good phone, I always have a good signal, the picture quality and sound quality is good and it is easy to use. I would recommend this phone to people and I waill more than likely get another samsung when I change my phone.

            Thanks for reading

            Claire x

            (Have also posted this on ciao)

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              20.06.2006 15:08
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              excellent design and value for money

              this mobile phone is recommend as value for money because of its advantages:

              Main display: TFT, 262k colours, 176 x 220 pixels
              External display: OLED, 65k colours, 96 x 96 pixels
              Megapixel camera (1152 x 864 pixels) with digital zoom (x4), effects and flash
              Video recorder with sound (352 x 288 pixels; up to 1 hour)
              Voice recorder
              MP3 player (supports AAC/AAC+ formats)
              64 voice polyphonic ringtones & MP3 ringtones
              Messaging: SMS (with learning T9), EMS, MMS, E-Mail (POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, SSL, TLS)
              Games: Bobby Carrot, Airship Racing, Arch Angel, Freekick
              Downloadable Java™ games
              Wallpapers & screensavers
              Personal organiser functions
              Phonebook (1000 entries)
              Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, SyncML
              WAP 2.0, GPRS class 10
              Memory: 88.5 Mbytes total (80 Mbytes for images, sound & video; 4 Mbytes for Java; 3 Mbytes for email; 1.5 Mbytes for MMS; 200 SMS)
              Triband
              Size: 91 x 45 x 23 mm
              Weight: 80g
              Talktime: 5.5 hours
              Battery standby: up to 200 hours
              however the mobile phone does not have a lot of memory and could have a better screen.

              why i like it:

              good look
              front screen
              flip front


              why i didnt like it:

              not a lot of memory
              not that good screen

              but i rate this mobile phone as value for money and i recommend it to you for purchase

              thanks for all your comments and ratings

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                08.06.2006 19:22
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                Simle, stylish and very lively, doubt i'd recommend

                I purchased the phone approx 1 year ago. It was new out and no-one had any horror stories about it. I loved the looks, the features and found it easy to get on with, then the camera begun to grow a mind of its own, taking random pictures without me touching the phone!!! Then the MP3 Player began to play tunes without me being in the same room. Last straw with this phone was the idea of the speaker not working, so in order to make or recieve calls you need to be constantly plugged in to my blue tooth headset. Frustrating. So now the E720 sits in my bed side cabinet switched off, dead battery but still taking pictures, playing music and generally making noises.

                The phone in itself is easy to use, I found it to have a good camera once the pictures were transferred to PC, Video's were a bit dubious, especially if you zoom in or out the key presses can be heard so clearly. Music wise, I thought the speaker was very hush hush, and could do with being slightly louder as certain tones cannot be heard when out and about. I loved the front display with pictures, clock and other things.

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                  03.02.2006 04:01
                  1 Comment

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                  Nice

                  I love this phone Its got what i need lol For collage and all!
                  Mp3 player, Video, Games, And more! So what can you ask for?

                  The screen is nice and big! So you can see ok on it,
                  It as got 2 screens one in side, And one on the out side for the Mp3 player and Cam! The Music player is nice and the sound!

                  You can put on 25 Mp3s on it!!

                  I love the buttons on the top of it for the music player and Cam

                  The cam as got a nice zoom on it lol And you can make cool videos what can go up to 3 mins or something like that!

                  Its has got good video play back on it! Like some phones as lol Some of you may say its Sh*t or ulgy, But i like it any way lol :')

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                    02.02.2006 19:39
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                    i love and hate but its all bad yes that dont make sence

                    i have got one of thesse on contract on the moment and i hate it it is really bad design the buttons are to small for me cas i have larger hands it may look atracctive but thats were the good points end completly! i like my easy to use nokias yes this is a flip screen and yes it has 262k screeen wich i must mention is really nice and i carnt coment on price before anyone complains because it on contract but yeh i'm looking at changeing my phone to a nokia hopefully something better than this total pile of dokey dudu lol i carnt beleive i said that but for this phon anything goes all in all i hate it this is really a rant review
                    regards
                    smedrick

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                      26.12.2005 11:27
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                      Popular, easy to use phone but not one that I kept for long

                      For me, the Samsung E720 was something of a step in mobile phone history. Up until I obtained this handset, I'd always been a stalwart of Nokia and never really believed that I would convert to anything else. But times change and whilst Samsung and Motorola are designing genuinely attractive handsets, Nokia seems to have released one weird and unattractive phone after another. So, sorry Nokia - it's time to move on.

                      The E720 is currently one of the most popular and easily obtained handsets on the market. Most service providers are giving these handsets away when you set up a new connection and unlike many other handsets, this seems to apply on even the most basic of tariffs. A fairly extensive advertising campaign across the UK has also ensured that the phone is quite familiar with (even if not particularly admired by) the phone-buying public.

                      Look And Feel

                      Personally, I suppose the most "instant" appeal for this handset was the size. Overall, the E720 is certainly one of the smallest "clamshell" handsets (that's a "flippy phone" to you or I) on the market. It's only about 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide when shut and therefore slips neatly into pretty much any pocket or handbag. Unlike the Nokia 8210 of old, this doesn't mean that everything about the phone is microscopic. It's still easily navigated and simple to use but is also comfortable to carry, hold and use. The aesthetics are simple too. An average sized display screen on the outer shell is set amidst a matt, grey plastic surround, bordered further in plain silver. It's unfussy, uncomplicated and modern - although not impressive enough, I suspect for real gadget freaks who would feel the need to have something rather more "cutting edge". It's durable too - I've dropped it several times and it never seems to cause a problem - it doesn't even switch itself off.

                      The exterior window can display a picture of your choice (downloaded to the phone) or can simply the show the time in digital output or as a traditional clock face. Initially, I quite liked the clock face image, which gave a strange combination of modern and traditional but have favoured the subtler digital output more recently because it keeps things simple. Within this window, you can also easily see icons identifying the battery standby time remaining, the strength of network signal and (when appropriate) the little envelope that tells you a text is waiting.

                      Making / Receiving Calls

                      In many ways, I find this handset rather infuriating and whether or not I have fully explored the settings, I'm not entirely sure, but there are some glitches with this phone that drive me mad.

                      An incoming call is alerted according to your preference by a ring tone, vibration or combination of the two. The exterior window clearly displays who is calling (if recognised) but if you then wish to reject or silence the call, you are unable to do so if the handset is flipped shut. Even at its lowest volume, this means that the handset makes a noise at a time when you might not want it to. Only when the phone is flipped out in full can a call be rejected. This is a major downside for me - I will often reject calls for several hours if I'm engrossed in something but I don't want to turn my phone off completely in case a particular person that I DO want to speak to calls me.

                      Next up, is the call waiting feature that I have activated on the network. Whilst I'm on a call, if another call comes in it will park itself behind my current call and alert me to the presence of the caller in case I wish to swap calls. For whatever reason, if at this time, I press the volume increase or decrease buttons on the side of the handset, the call automatically swaps to the other caller placing the current caller on hold. This is hugely frustrating, particularly as you won't have told the first caller that this is what you are about to do. On a good day, you suffer nothing more than embarassment but on a bad day, you lose both calls. This happens rather a lot as a result of my next gripe.

                      The volume of other people that I speak to on this handset seems to vary wildly, regardless of which of the four speaker volume settings I have selected. Sometimes, I simply cannot hear them, even at full volume, but more commonly, I find that people are so loud that the line is distorted and that to speak to them for any length of time is a real nightmare. (I must get myself a Bluetooth headset). Other people often complain that they cannot hear me properly or that there is a strange clicking noise on the line and I've pretty much concluded that it's my handset that is causing the problem.

                      One more thing. The default display setting is such that if your call lasts longer than a couple of minutes, the screen goes blank and you can no longer see the time or your battery power.

                      These things are a real shame because the good points of the handset are fairly strong too. The keys are a good size, even if you have big fingers, which means that dialling up is quick and simple. The size and dimension of the handset is pretty good too - it's very comfortable to use when making a call. The speaker and microphone are logically located such that you can rest the device on your shoulder if you have no hands free without making that horrible rasping noise down the other end of the line. The weight of the handset means that you can make quite lengthy calls, without starting to feel as though you are holding a brick.

                      Nonetheless, it's the negative things that stand out most in my mind. Isn't that always the way?

                      Sending / Receiving Text Messages

                      It's a similar situation for the text messaging capabilities. I'll start with the good bits first.

                      Your inbox is laid out in a very logical fashion, with a list of messages showing the sender and the first line of the message in a long list. This makes it quick and easy to find and open a particular message if you so need to and your sent messages are displayed in exactly the same way. When you first receive a message, a text box pops up in the window showing you the name of the message sender, their number and the time of the message. Once again, the keys are a good size for sending messages and I don't find myself making loads of mistakes and having to start again.

                      But it's not all rosy. The default settings for text messages cannot be permanently adjusted which means that you have to switch from capitals to lower case or numeric input according to each message that you send - and during each message to send a mixture of inputs. If you wanted to send "I am in a really FUNNY mood - it's as easy as 1 2 3" you would need to switch the input method three times to account for each of the input types. This is not good - I'm used to the simplistic world of a Nokia handset. And I've yet to find the apostrophe anywhere in any of the various inputs allowed by each button. Accessing the phone book also takes too many clicks (according to the method of selection). I'm used to being able to send to a contact with only 1 or 2 clicks at most.

                      None of these gripes are show stoppers - I'm not an avid text sender anywhere and usually keep my messages short and sweet but these things do still manage to bug the hell out of me.

                      Menu Navigation

                      The menu is simple and intuitive to navigate. From the main screen, you use four cursor buttons and an OK button to navigate your way around. You soon learn what each of the nine menu icons refers to, but a brief description at the top of the screen helps this along. I certainly wouldn't propose to run down the full menu structure here, but in all cases, I do find it much easier to find things than on some of the more recent Nokia phones. Everything "feels" as though it is in the right place - and that's got to be a good thing. My only gripe / moan is that when changing some of the settings you seem to need to select a menu option, then change it, then confirm it, then exit it. It feels long-winded - or is it just me?

                      The MP3 Player

                      In keeping with the rest of things, the MP3 player on this phone is very simple to use and a has two major selling points when compared to other phones on the market.

                      For starters, the control buttons for the MPs music player are on the outside of the phone, which means that you can control it without opening the phone. Secondly, the memory seems to be significantly higher than some of the competition and although built into a mobile phone handset, is genuinely usable every day in this capacity. The keys on the outside are easily located and simple to use - play and stop on one button and then two direction buttons to move forward or backwards through your playlist. It's simple stuff! You also get a cool graphic equalizer display on the outside.

                      The Camera

                      The 1152 x 864 megapixel camera is pretty good - I've yet to take what I would call a really oustanding photo but for general usage its not bad at all. You can zoom in and out, adjust the lighting and use the flash (as required) and on picture messages at least, the photos look great.

                      Other Features and Applications

                      Like most modern phones, the E720 can be customised. You can download the latest (shudder) ring tones, wallpapers and screensavers and you can have a polyphonic ring tone, real music or downloaded sounds according to your choice. There are also four games tucked away (bizarrely) in a menu option called Java world though I have to say that like most mobile phone games, they drive me up the wall. There's a calendar, a voice rcorder (for about 60 seconds anyway) and of course the handset is WAP and Bluetooth compatible. Bluetooth is easily set up but its not something I use. I quite like the idea of the headset but otherwise it strikes me as a bit of a security risk.

                      Reasons To Recommend

                      Lots of features - MP3, camera all built in
                      Great size - very portable
                      Attractive, sleek design
                      Free on most networks
                      Easily customised / personalised
                      Fairly simple to use

                      Reasons To Reject

                      Sound quality is poor
                      Text default settings are a pain the ass
                      Everyone's got one

                      My Verdict

                      I'm generally satisfied with the phone - it pretty much serves its purpose. Unfortunately, it isn't REALLY good. There are too many bugs and glitches that, as time goes on, infuriate me.

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                      • More +
                        20.11.2005 15:21
                        Very helpful
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                        Advantages

                        • Reliability

                        Disadvantages

                        An easy to use phone with a lot of features

                        As with all contracts, a week ago my T-Mobile one had ran out - which veterans of the mobile phone game will know means one of two things, you’ll either get yourself a new contract or you’ll get an upgraded handset. I ended up doing both, but not without reason - However the main thing is that I ended up getting the Samsung E720 as the latest phone for my mobile telecommunications needs.

                        * Style *

                        Building on the uber-success of the Samsung E700 which was released back in late 2003 the E720 stays with the popular clamshell design with the aerial hidden inside of the phone rather than sticking out and into your leg when you’ve got it in your pocket. Colour wise the one I ended up with is in a black style with a silver outline to it, and its not too flash whilst still looking ‘cool’ enough that people won’t think you’ve got a ‘naff phone’.

                        Screen-wise you end up with a fairly large outer-screen, which can be used to see what the camera’s shooting (more on that later) and an even bigger inner screen which is extremely clear. Then there’s the key-pad, which again is extremely easy to use, you can access all the major functions on your phone with a couple of button presses on the D-Pad, which leads me to what I think the main need in a phone keypad is - sensitivity, if a key-pad’s touch is too soft you’ll find calling and texting a nightmare as you’ll always mistype things, yet if its too hard you’ll just end up frustrated - the E720’s key-pads just about right.

                        * Features *

                        1 Mega pixel Camera

                        MP3 Ring tones

                        MP3 Player

                        Bluetooth

                        MP4 Player

                        Video Camera

                        Games

                        Other Stuff

                        + 1 Mega pixel Camera - If you’re buying a handset now it’s more than likely you’ll end up with a camera on your phone and the E720 is no exception, boasting a 1 Mega pixel Camera - on this camera you can zoom in and zoom out, and you can make the picture lighter or darker, whilst also being able to change the effect on the picture to a lot of groovy different things. The pictures instantly get saved into ‘My Photos’ but if you want you can set up folders for different picture groups (Say College, Family, Work, etc).

                        A feature that is handy yet also annoying, is the ability to take photo’s whilst the phone is shut, there’s 3 small buttons underneath the outer-screen that are used for both MP3 Playback (More on that later) and taking photo’s - and your outer screen becomes your photo-viewer, which does mean that because the lens is above the outer screen you’ll struggle taking photo’s with it, but its handy if you don’t want to be constantly opening and closing your phone.

                        The annoyance in it is the Camera Button quite often will get pressed whilst you’re keeping your phone in your pocket, so as when you take it out there’ll be a lot of black pictures saved in your memory for you, but this is only a minor set-back.

                        + MP3 Ring tones - A lot of phone’s boast this but this is the first phone I’ve noted that has the true meaning of the name - if you’ve got a song you’d love to have as your ringtone, just download it from the internet (yeah we all know its illegal but is that really stopping anybody?), and transfer it to your phone (you’ll need a Data Transfer Cable or a Bluetooth Dongle which can set you back anything from £10-£35 depending on the quality of hardware you want) then you can set it as a ring-tone, at the minute I’ve got the A-Team theme-tune as mine and the sound quality’s as good as it would be if it was playing through my computer or MP3 Player.

                        + MP3 Player - first thing that really took my attention was that you don’t need your headphones plugged into the phone for the MP3 to play which is different to any other phone I’ve had that has MP3 Playback technology. To actually use the MP3 player is extremely easy, you just go into it via the required D-Pad button push and then you have a list of MP3’s stored on your phone, ready for you to play. You can also play the MP3s whilst the phone’s closed. As there’s a small key-pad where you can skip to the next track, stop and play an MP3 - again a handy feature if you’re using the headphones, as you don’t have to open the phone and mess around with the controls to change the songs.

                        + Bluetooth - This was a big flaw in the Samsung line of phone’s for a long time - the lack of bluetooth, it meant that a lot of other phone manufacturer’s gained a lot of followers and Samsung were seen as second-rate, however in this range of phone’s its been introduced, and as with any other phone that has Bluetooth it means that you can now transfer information between many devices such as other phones, your computer, certain printers and your digital camera. This is handy if you want to back up any pictures or information you’ve taken, plus with certain printers you can actually print off the photo’s you take with your camera.

                        + MP4 Player - Very much like the MP3 player, only this time its for downloaded video’s and video’s recorded by yourself, once again the handset has an easy to use interface, and everything is accessible within a couple of quick button presses, needless to say because of the size of the screen don’t be expecting to watch full-length movies on your phone any time soon and the video’s aren’t the greatest quality, but it’s still a neat little feature.

                        + Video Camera - Following on from the MP4 Player, you can also record your own video clips, all you need to do is press a button whilst in camera mode and your phone becomes a video camera. The picture quality is a little bit worse than that of the photo camera, but its still good enough to record a decent video, and once again you can record it when the phone’s closed, and save your recordings into whichever folder you see fit.

                        + Games - The phone comes with 4 games, Bobby Carrot., Arch Angel, Free Kick and Airship Racing, all of these are played using the D-Pad of the keys.

                        Bobby Carrot: There’s 2 different versions, firstly you need to walk around different locations collecting Carrot’s whilst avoiding traps and then there’s the version where you need to pull eggs out of the floor, it’s very similar to the carrot game except once you’ve got an egg you can’t walk on that square again.

                        These are probably the better games on this phone and they’re good for wasting time when you’ve got a spare few minutes.

                        Arch Angel: I’ve still not understood this game yet, it seems to be a type of plane shooting game but yet every time I’ve played it I’ve never lost a life or moved on another level, and with a lack of instructions - its a bit confusing.

                        Airship Racing: Guide your airship along the screen avoiding stars and clouds and trying to get enough air for your ship to make it to the end of the course. Once again it’s an interesting time-waster but nothing more.

                        Free Kick: choose where to hit the ball, what direction and what power you want to hit the ball, then hope that your ball goes in the net, this one is great fun, working out the right place to hit the ball, and how much spin to put on it to get it round the wall - along with Bobby Carrot this is the best game on the E720.

                        If these games don’t interest you you can download more onto your phone if you want, but of course that's going to cost you a bit.

                        + Other Stuff - as with all phone’s nowadays there’s an internet browser, which is fast and easy to use, plus there’s the standard calculator and calendar along with a handy little feature to leave yourself a voice memo on the phone, always comes in useful when you need to remember something.

                        There’s also quite a hefty memory on the phone - especially so considering there isn’t a memory card slot on it, in total there's 90 Megabyte which if you imagine an MP3 only takes up about 3.5Megabyte on average means you could end up with a full album of songs on your phone - which is handy for long journeys, but keep in mind that that 90 Megabytes is for everything, pictures, videos and MP3’s too.

                        * Functionality *

                        On sending texts you’ll originally find that it’s a bit hard to get the hang of it, but once you do as with most phones it becomes second nature to actually do it. Phone-call wise its really easy to use and in every call I’ve had on the phone the sound quality has been absolutely top notch, not a second of interference or crackling.

                        Battery Charge: The phones a bit confusing on this - the actual information given states that the phone has a standby time of 200 hours and an actual talk time of 7 and a half hours.

                        The confusing part is when it comes to charging the phone, instead of having a little battery symbol that’s gradually filling up, the battery symbol shows as full, and you need to keep an eye on a light on the charger - if its red, its still charging, if its green the battery’s full.

                        * Price *

                        I ended up cancelling my old contract and taking a new one out to get this phone for free, but they were talking of charging me £80 to upgrade to it (all this being on T-Mobile), of course you could always threaten to go elsewhere and see what they’ll offer you then.

                        Looking around online, if you don’t want a contract phone then expect to pay around £200 for either a sim-free version (you can use any sim-card in sim-free phones) or a Pay as you go version.

                        All in all, this is the way mobile phones should be, functional, easy to use, with enough features to shake a very big stick at, whilst the E720’s working, I don’t think I’ll be changing my phone for a long time to come

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                        • More +
                          01.11.2005 21:52
                          Very helpful
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                          The sound quality on this sound is so poor, I can't recommend it.

                          I "upgraded" to this phone recently because I wanted to try a clamshell phone, having previously spurned them. I should have stuck to my first instinct. If you'd like to know why, read on.


                          Appearance
                          -------------------
                          This phone looks great- smooth and sleek. It's also really small when closed, which to me is a big plus. The outside has a small screen, which you can personalise with a clock (3 different designs are provided) or any other picture. Once closed the screen on the front turns off within a few seconds though, leaving a blank black square, saving on battery power, but meaning you don't get to enjoy your carefully chosen, personality reflecting design. One other downside of the appearance is that it only comes in slate grey. Providing other colour options might have been a nice touch.

                          The inside screen is a good size, and the resolution is quite good. It's spoiled though, by the tacky looking meny down the left hand side, which you can't seem to hide. You can change the colour of it, which is something I guess.

                          Features
                          -------------
                          This phone comes with all the standard features expected of a mobile phone these days, ie.:
                          -Megapixel camera (1152 x 864 pixels) with digital zoom (x4), effects and flash
                          -Video recorder with sound (352 x 288 pixels; up to 1 hour)
                          -Voice recorder
                          -Games: Bobby Carrot, Airship Racing, Arch Angel, Freekick
                          -Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, SyncML WAP 2.0, GPRS class 10
                          -Size: 91 x 45 x 23 mm
                          -Weight: 80g
                          -MP3 PLAYER

                          I'm not going to go into detail about all of these features, I'll just tell you a little about some of them, to give you an idea of why I feel the way I do about this phone.

                          Camera
                          ------------
                          Using the camera is pretty straightforward, the same as with most phones. It has some nifty features, like a flash and the ability to add different effects to your photos.

                          The resolution on this camera is fantastic. Pictures look great on the phone screen, and seem to maintain that quality when transferred to another phone. I didn't try uploading any to my computer or printing them so I can't tell you how they turn out.

                          MP3 Player
                          ---------------
                          These seem to be almost as common as cameras on phones these days, so while it's a nice addition it's probably not the feature that will make you choose this phone. The cool thing about the MP3 player on the E720 is that you can use it while the phone's closed and it shows a little graphic equaliser type graphic. The downside is: the sound is tinny, and just not up to the standard of some of the Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones around. Another problem I had was that it kept telling me I had no files, and yet I had mp3's on my phone. I couldn't seem to find away to get the player to recognise and play them (There may be a way, so this could be me, not the phone).

                          Games
                          ----------
                          The games included are listed above. They're all Java games so they look greet. I found them a lot of fun to play, although they do use a lot of battery power (to be expected I guess).

                          They are stored in a strange place in the menu though, I think it was called Java world, and then you have to look in applications.


                          Ease of Use
                          --------------------
                          Figuring out how to use the phone was easy, especially after reading the manual :-). Nothing's much different from your standard phone. Rather than the nipple or joystick provided on some phones, this one has a 4 button scrolling system.

                          I found the menu a bit annoying, it just wasn't designed for simple one touch operation, so it's always a matter of scrolling through and choosing numerous other menus before you finally get to the one you want.

                          As a phone?
                          --------------------
                          OK, there are two reasons I like to have a mobile phone- so I can talk to people and so I can text them. The e720's performance in both of these areas is what lets it down.

                          Calling
                          -----------
                          Making calls is easy enough. Geting them is easy to. Understanding what the person you are talking to is saying? Well, that's another story. I read reviews of this phone before I bought it that said it sounded as if you were talking through a sock when you used it. I'm here to tell you, it's true! The sound is muffled which makes it difficult to understand what the person you are talking to is saying. I kept having to ask people to repeat themselves.

                          Texting
                          -----------
                          OK, there ARE some cute message alerts that sound great. Sending texts is easy enough- although the flat keypad is a bit difficult to use (but then I had trouble with my K700i when I first got it as well, so I think the keypad is something you get used to)

                          What I didn't like about texting on this phone was the number of keypresses required to enter a recipient. My K700i neatly stores the names of people I've most recently texted and automoatically shows them when I go to send a message. While the e720 also does this, you first have to choose recent recipients, scroll through, choose a name, press select... Maybe I've been spoiled with the k700i but I found this so frustrating it was one of the main reasons I sent the phone back. Ok, I may have lived with it if: the mp3 player worked properly and sounded good, and I could hear what people were saying clearly when I was talking to them but given the other downfalls of this phone, this one really was the straw that broke the camels back.

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                          • More +
                            21.10.2005 18:25
                            1 Comment

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                            A unique phone delivering a solid perfomance while looking fantastic

                            Having owned a Samsung v200 for two years I was keen to stick with the brand when I switched phones as I found my old one very easy to use. With the e720 I found the same user friendly layout and quickly got used to it. Other more popular brands often produce phones which are fiddly and awkward to get to grips with but this one was highly satisfactory.

                            With Samsung you get a reliable phone that performs well and the e720 delivers not only great sound quality on calls but a superb mp3 player which can be activated using the external buttons. While this phone does not use a memory card, preventing the storage of large numbers of songs at once, it is perfect if you only need to have a few favourites stored at any one time. Other phones released at a similar time have included a 2 mega-pixel camera, and although the e720's 1 mega-pixel is not quite as advanced the picture quality is still very good, particularly when transferred to computer. Videos can also be recorded and the bluetooth feature allows these to be easily transferred.

                            A key aspect of the e720 is its looks and if it's an aesthetically pleasing phone you're after then this should certainly be on your shortlist. If however, you are basing a decision on specifications alone then this phone could still be the one, as it performs extremely well, but there are others on the market which outdo it. For its price the e720 is a solid phone and neither I nor anyone else I know who owns one has experienced the sound difficulties concerns have been expressed over.

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                            • More +
                              11.10.2005 19:01
                              1 Comment

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                              a wicked phone for young and hip people

                              Its small and has everything you need in a flip phone. it has a huge memory capacity and is easy to use and understand. The only disadvantage with this mobile is it has a camera button on the side of the phone so you can take pictures of yourself when the phone is closed, but if you leave the phone in your bag, and it knocks against something, the camera can turn itself on and therefore waste battery life. ringtones are slightly dull but can download music from other bluetooth phones to play as your ringtones. A good camera phone too.

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                              • More +
                                02.10.2005 11:38
                                2 Comments

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                                Usefull and exciting handset

                                This is the 2nd samsung I've had, having been converted from a nokia user. I find this phone a lot more exciting than than the e700 mainly because of the bluetooth function and mp3 player.

                                The only small drawback I have found is that the navigation keys are quite close together and I often press the wrong button. However the pluses far outweigh this small difficulty.

                                This is the first phone I have used with bluetooth and can not live without it know.

                                The main functions of this phone are:

                                1.0 camera, mp3 player, bluetooth, tri band, games, dual screen ( enables you to upload a photo onto the front screen), colour screen.

                                Most deals these days offer the phone for free, so what could be better.

                                Hope this review helps you decide. I will not be changing any time soon.

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                                • More +
                                  30.09.2005 16:56
                                  2 Comments

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                                  Excellent phone and well worth the price! Best phone I've Ever Owned!

                                  I have owned this phone since it first came onto the market, and have had no significant problems. The colour screen inside is excellent and you can also display your own pictures on the outside screen. There are 20 built in ringtones and loads of room for extra ones, and this phone also has the capacity to assign a ringtone to an individual person. You can also get realtones, sound effects and video ringtones for this phone on certain websites. You can also use the built in calculator, currency converter and the awesome MP3 player. The 1.0 mega pixel camera takes brilliant photographs and the phone also takes very good quality videos. The only small problem I have encountered with this phone is the shortcut button on the side for the camera. I have on occasions taken pictures of the inside of my pocket so that is one thing I would warn you all of!! Happy buying!!

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