Product Type: Samsung mobile phones
Newest Review: ... main reason for that was the operating system, in my view. It was a custom Samsung software, as these were the pre-Android days. N... more
Pretty Good iPhone Alternative
Member Name: DanB7290
Advantages: Much cheaper than the 1st iPhone on launch, with a better camera and 3G
Disadvantages: iPhone felt like a more complete package
Many people think that this whole Apple vs Samung war is a new thing. But back in 2007 is when it all started. Apple had just released the iPhone, and Samsung retaliated with this, the F490.
Back then, I wanted the iPhone badly, but just couldn't afford it. And seeing as the contract was in my dad's name (I was 17 at the time), he said it had to be on Vodafone, as the whole family used Vodafone. So I went for this. And I wasn't disappointed. It had 3G where the original iPhone didn't, it had a better screen resolution, and a better camera, plus it was a little bit smaller. It had to be said, it looked like it should have wiped the floor with the iPhone, but that didn't happen.
The main reason for that was the operating system, in my view. It was a custom Samsung software, as these were the pre-Android days. Not exactly a bad thing, I had an Android phone after this, and it felt nowhere near as slick. But the F490 OS felt nowhere near as slick as iOS, but with a £350 price difference, I was willing to overlook that. But this was meant to be a Smartphone, and therefore do everything. While I had no doubt that the camera was far superior to the iPhone, the other main thing I used (besides the phone and text functions), the music player, wasn't. I did try using it, but it just didn't feel 'right' compared to how smoothly iOS worked, so I used to carry around the F490 and an iPod for music. The only advantage was that the F490 takes microSD cards, and the memory could be expanded.
The keyboard was also a bit of a pain to get used to, it just didn't have that smoothness that Apple does. Again this ties into the OS being nowhere near as smooth, and it isn't surprising that Samsung ditched this OS after the Tocco and it's variants, and went for the safety of Android.
It does feel like I'm bashing it too much here, but truth be told, it wasn't a terrible phone, just the iPhone was a much more complete package, and the iPhone 3G launch killed off the F490. I still have mine in a drawer somewhere, thinking it'd find a use again someday, and it did briefly, when my Android Motorola was so terrible I threw it out of a window. But 5 years later on, I'm an iPhone user now, being able to afford the contract I just preferred the slick, smooth iOS software, and how everything 'just works'
Summary: Cheaper iPhone alternative, which was nearly, but not quite as good.
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