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I suggested this phone, then it suddenly appeared in the Dooyoo Most Wanted section, so this is my first Most Wanted review, please let me know if you think this is any good.
(+) BUILD QUALITY:
I've had this phone almost a year and so far so good, build quality is much better than previous Samsung phones I've had, and I didn't need the warranty. The casing is rock solid and the clip at the back that keeps the battery in place is held in place nice and firmly. Dropping the phone gently onto a surface doesn't cause the clip to fall off or align itself out of place. The screen absolutely perfect build quality wise, rubbing keys over it won't cause scratches unless you press hard, I've got no scratches on this phone in almost a year and that's without using any screen protectors!
(+) SOFTWARE & EASE OF USE
The Android software is familiar to other phones from Samsung using Android, simplistic design and unlike Apple, doesn't have millions of menu's and sub menu's in settings. I personally found this phone easier to get used to than my old Motorola, (which wasn't even a smartphone might I add) simply because the icons are clear and chunky. Menu's have lots of different bars of text per line but they have icons next to them, relevant to the contents. So rather than reading "wireless network & settings" you just click the little signal icon. Job done less time spent faffing around!! Using the buttons such as the menu button and the home button does take some getting used to because they each do different things depending on where you are within the phone so pressing the menu button on the home screen will bring up a different menu to the one when you're in an app. Holding the buttons and holding the screen can do different things depending what apps you've got open. I got very confused working this out for the first time but after a good 3 weeks I got the hang of it. Remember, if in doubt, Home button.
(N) SPEED, WiFi & RAM:
Speed is not that great when running a few applications like games and music. The FM radio is heavy on the RAM so to clear this and keep it fast you can either hold the home button to open task manager or just hit ram from the system menu, and clear memory. This usually closes 13 applications and drastically improves both battery life and speed. These applications are usually network or system apps which can't be accessed in the task manager menu, unlike the messages app. Network and wifi speed is above what i'd expect from a phone of this price bracket, I expected it to have latency issues when connecting to the network when starting up like my old phone did, but this connects within 3 seconds. You can begin calling or texting immediately and it doesn't leave a gap between pressing the ring button and actually connecting your call.
Wifi quality is very good, it picks up even the faintest of signals from a distance. It keeps the signal well and drops out only when there is serious interference. The wifi speed is pretty quick for a phone, i haven't experienced any latency issues once the internet browser is opened. It has never crashed when browsing the web.
(-) FM RADIO:
This has an FM radio built in but it's quite frankly the worst i've ever seen. Worst not just for a phone, but worst out of all the radios i've ever used. It's almost impossible to use. The signal is absolutely terrible, even the strongest stations in my area like Heart 100.7, Capital 96.2 and Radio 1 97.9 are really distorted and sound quality is poor. It can't pick up these stations despite excellent signal from the nearby transmitters. I live very close to the Capital transmitter and really struggle to pick it up. Disgraceful is an understatement. Oh and guess what? On top of all that it only has 4 presets (not that you'd need them, it can't pick up a single station) AND can't play through its speaker, it has to play through headphones. I was not pleased with this, and it has to be, by far, the worst feature on the phone.
(-) SCREEN & GRAPHICS:
The screen graphics are poor. Then again, when you've had an iPad with Retina Display, it does look pretty terrible. The pixels are chunky and loading youtube videos looks disgraceful. The screen lacks colour depth and unless you have the brightness turned right up to the max (kills battery life) you won't get anywhere near the clarity and colour depth you get from an iPhone. Something good to say about the screen though, it hasn't glitched or broken, so at least it's built to last.
Sound coming from the speaker is not bad for a phone with only a few watts of power behind it. Bass is lacking (as expected, all phones have this issue) but it can get up to fairly high volumes when pushed. Ringtones don't sound distorted but for those who have vocals in their tones, this isn't that great. It makes Cheryl sound like she's singing underwater. It's just all muffled when she's screaming out a high note; Mid's and lows from her sound ok. Again, not distorted, but slightly muffled. Imagine putting the phone under the carpet, that's essentially the same effect. Through the headphone jack though things are excellent, sound quality isn't compromised and even with a bad pair of buds the sound comes through crystal clear, lovely stuff.
(+) CALL QUALITY:
Call quality is excellent, I have no issues with volume or sound here, everything comes through nicely and the speaker isn't strained. When people shout at you down the phone or play loud music the speaker does have a clipping limiter and it sounds like it's trying to hold the noise back. It goes quieter for a little while before coming back to the normal volume.
Voices don't sound distorted and even when signal quality is poor it does maintain this level of sound. The microphone is just superb, when recording voice memo's and listening to my voice back it has definite clear levels and depth. It's not perfect, and again it will clip and hold back your shouting or music on its own. My advice, don't shout into it. There is no distortion and so far so good, the microphone isn't too badly affected by wind so blowing into the mic isn't picked up as one long fsssshhhhh noise, because it holds back the clipping at high volumes. It all comes together quite nicely doesn't it? Clipping limiters work, take note of that Apple!!!
(+) BATTERY & OVERALL:
The phone has it's own battery monitor in the main menu's which tells you time since last charge and estimated time to next charge. The estimated time really is a rough estimate and I often find it inaccurate. It can't predict me spending the evening on the phone or using wifi at the pub, so it's all to be taken with a colossal pinch of salt. Right now its got full charge after a day, so 26 hours since last charge and still showing green on the main menu. It has a battery warning light and message on the screen when it gets low. It lasts for about 3 days usually, that's with phone calls and texts left right and centre with screen brightness turned down low, and being on standby (screen off) when not in use. Charging takes around 30-40 minutes from flat, and it gives you a tri tone ding ding ding noise when it's done. This is also the same tone used for incoming texts, so a little confusing!
This is an excellent phone, top quality and really easy to use. The menu's are just the tip of the iceberg. When you get into the technical menus and start clearing ram, installing applications and things like that it becomes second nature to just turn stuff on and off. I highly recommend this phone, its been a great companion for work and personal stuff this past year and i hope, for many years to come.