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      04.08.2009 11:07
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      The Samsung U800 handset from Samsung.

      I recently wrote a review on my brand new spanking phone; the Samsung Jet which I absolutely adore. However I felt it was quite unfair of me not to give some sort of mention to my Samsung U800 which served me very reliably and very well for the eight months prior to getting the Samsung Jet. The Samsung U800 was released back in July 2008 so is quite an old model to purchase now in terms of how quickly new phones are released. At the time of buying this phone I was on a sim only contract with O2 and simply needed a cheap phone after dropping my old phone in the bath and it dying on me! I had a budget of around about £80 and knew I wasn't going to get a flashy or up to date phone for that amount of money. As I've always been a Samsung girl I decided to focus my search on Samsung and in the end the U800 won... and I'm very glad it did!

      After doing a little bit of research and looking at what pay as you go phones were currently available I decided to select the Samsung U800. In terms of size it's 11cm by 4.5cm by less than 1cm in terms of thickness so it's quite a compact phone really. The screen is 2 inches in size. In terms of weight it comes in at 92g making it quite a light handset although not as light as some handsets out on the market at the time I bought it. To be honest size and weight isn't really an issue for me as long as the phone looks neat and isn't as heavy as a brick! It has a brushed stainless steel body and comes in both grey and pink although I opted for the grey as this looked much smarter. Apparently further colours have been released including violet although I've never seen them. All in all the phone is very neat looking, quite sleek and surprisingly enough quite expensive looking too.

      With regards to battery life I found this phone to be one of the best phones I've ever actually owned. It offers up to three hundred and twenty hours standby time and six hours talk time which I've found to be accurate estimations. I send between ten and thirty texts a day and make about two phone calls varying from a couple of minutes to about half an hour and found the phone only needed recharging once every three days. Of course this will depend on how often you use the phone, if you're one of these people that use it to send a text a day you'll find it may well last you about five days or so in terms of battery life. The battery is shown by small bars which obviously decrease as the battery depletes, this will also beep to warn you when you only have about half an hour left. The battery charges up from empty to full within just over an hour as well which is good.

      The phone is incredibly easy to use and I managed to familiarise myself with it within about half an hour of messing around. To switch it on and off you simply need to hold down the end call button which will initiate the phone into turning itself on and off. The main screen display shows all the usual things such as signal strength, battery life and offers a link to your phone book and your main menu as well. The main menu is very similar to other Samsung phones I've used and is presented in a grid using small icons and the name of that feature which you simply need to select. All in all the menu is extremely easy to find and to navigate around as well as featuring all the main phones applications such as call log, messages, phonebook, settings, etc. Once you click any icon you'll then be presented with a list menu showing all the different options within that icon.

      Rather than go into every single feature of this phone I'm just going to touch on the most important ones or the ones I most frequently used. Firstly making a call is really easy, you can simply click into your phonebook from the main screen and either scroll down or search for a contact. Once you've found the contact you want simply press the make a call button and then press the end a call button to end it. The same buttons are used when receiving a call as well. The speaker volume can be adjusted using a double button on the side of the phone and the volume can go up quite loud which is good if you're in a noisy setting. Next, composing a text message is straightforward too as you can type each letter or you can use the predictive text which I got used to very quickly. After you've composed it you can enter a contact or number to send it to and you're all done!

      Another feature that people are normally quite concerned about when buying a new phone is what the camera is like. The camera on the Samsung U800 is a 3.0 megapixel camera which has a digital zoom (4x) and an LED flash as well. You can alter the shot mode and the photo effects too which are nice additions but not really something I'm overly interested in. There is no autofocus control on this camera although images taken are pretty good with relatively good contrast and detail, as long as the light is sufficient. There are different settings on the phone which you can customise according to key pad tones, message alert tones and ring tones. This is all easy enough to do but my only problem is that the ring volume on this phone never went loud enough, although I could hear it ring easily if it was left in a different room in my house I often missed it.

      So onto the more technical information... The phone features a 16M colour TFT screen which seemed to me to be incredibly clear and well defined with a high resolution of 320 by 240 pixels. The keypad is a typical three by four flat, ergonomic keypad which seems to be quite standard on Samsung phones and easy to use. The phone is enabled to allow Bluetooth, Internet HTML and WAP connections although I only ever used the Bluetooth on mine which was very reliable. The phone comes with a 1GB memory which allows for roughly 500 text messages and 1000 phone book entries but you can also fit an external memory card too. Lastly the video camera records in QCIF resolution at 15fps and uses both H.263 and MPEG4 video formats allowing you to edit videos. Lastly there is a front mounted camera if you do want to make video calls using this phone to others.

      In terms of music there is an onboard music player with this phone, with the 1GB of memory there is enough to get started although you can obviously upgrade as I've already mentioned. The phone comes with a disk offering Samsung PC Studio software and a USB cable to link the two together. The easiest way to upload is to simply drag music from your computer library and drop it into the Samsung PC Studio. You can also use the Bluetooth to achieve this although I've never gone for that option as it seems much slower. Apparently Samsungs uses the Bang & Olufsen ICE power audio technology, whatever that may be, but it works well enough for me! Earphones come supplied with the phone which again allow you to take advantage of the FM radio too.

      So would I recommend this phone? Yes I certainly would! It's an ultra slim phone with all your basic features including a 3.0 megapixel camera, a music player and an FM radio too. There is the option to add email on this phone and although the games leave a lot to be desired you can download additional ones. If you want an eye catching and modern phone then this design will suit you without being too hi tech. The conventional push button style keypad is still a firm favourite with some people and this phone offers that too. If you want anything more exciting like GPS Sat Nav or Wi Fi then you'll have to look again but if you want a basic, functional and reliable phone that won't break the bank then this just might tick all your boxes! It retails at around £70 on a pay as you go basis depending on your network, it's £69.99 on Amazon on Orange or T Mobile.

      Thanks for reading.

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