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Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

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Home screen - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Home screen

Software/Features:

Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 is used to power the chic looking Samsung Propel Pro i627. With its glitzy looks, we found the same standard home screens also featured on the Pantech Matrix Pro with the exception of the one named Wizpro. It showcases a rotating carousel of five icons on the bottom that can easily access a variety of stuff without having the need to go through all the standard menus. They are the home, contacts, organizer, photo, and music icons. When selecting the home icon, it will display a large digital clock, date, and quick access to some applications such as e-mail, text messaging, and web browser to name a few. You can add up to eight people to contact via text messaging or phone call when you select the contacts icon. The organizer icon will show you the calendar for the entire month as well as any appointments and tasks to complete. You can view all the pictures on your phone by selecting the photos icon. Lastly, when you choose the music icon, it will have a mini media player on the home screen for your music pleasure. The Wizpro home screen runs smoothly because it lacks animations when making selections or just navigating. It’s still very functional because you can do just about anything through it.

Contacts - Wizpro home screen on the Samsung Propel Pro i627 - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Organizer - Wizpro home screen on the Samsung Propel Pro i627 - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Photo - Wizpro home screen on the Samsung Propel Pro i627 - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Music - Wizpro home screen on the Samsung Propel Pro i627 - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Contacts

Organizer

Photo

Music

Wizpro home screen on the Samsung Propel Pro i627



As with other Windows Mobile phones, you can store as many contacts as the phone’s memory can hold. From more traditional pieces of information such as phone numbers to obscure things like children, you can put in a lot of information for a single contact.

You can add an assortment of e-mail addresses and sync over the air using Microsoft Exchange Server. There is nothing different with the messaging options when compared to other such phones.

Contacts - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Adding new contact - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Contacts

Adding new contact



We were pleased with the overall results of how well photos were taken by using the 3-megapixel camera. Pressing the dedicated camera button took three seconds to get the application up and running. The interface provides icons on the top portion of the screen for different functions such as white balance, resolution, and shooting modes to name some. Four different resolutions are available from 640x480 to the maximum 2048x1536. There is a square border in the middle of the screen which is used to focus in on an image. You can either press down on the joystick or camera button to have the camera automatically focus and take the shot. It took roughly seven seconds for the picture to come up from start to finish. Photos are adjusted by the phone to get the best representation of what you shot. Brightly lit areas are well represented with colors matching up with great detail found in the photo. Conversely, low lit shots came out bland with a slight fuzziness haze with each picture.

Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Camera samples - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Camera samples - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Camera samples - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Camera samples


We were hoping to see a bump in resolution with the video recording on the Propel Pro. Instead, we were limited to record at a resolution of 320x240. Yet, we were surprised to see some steady frame rates and good detail when recording. The phone does not adjust lighting conditions when you go through different areas. However, we did like how you can shoot, stop, and shoot again all on the same recording without it being broken up. Audio quality was reproduced perfectly without any hint of distortion.

The Propel Pro is a Video Share capable handset, but we were unable to test out the feature. It allows you to place a phone call while sending real time video to the other person at the same time.


Music playback - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Music playback

MusicID - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
XM Radio - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

MusicID

XM Radio

Just like the Samsung Epix, we find that the Windows Media Player utilizing the Samsung skin only. Icons are small with this, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue with a non-touch screen phone. It will display the title of the song, cover art, and audio length. The joystick is used to pause, play, reverse, or fast forward a song. And just like other recent Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 devices we’ve reviewed, you can use the mini media player via the home screen. Music will continue to play until you actually stop it. You will also find additional music oriented programs such as XM Radio and MusicID under the AT&T Music application. The single speaker managed to produce vibrant audio without any crackling or distortion. It was easily heard when placed on the highest volume, but still isn’t as loud as we would have hoped for. If you’re a music buff, you’ll be shocked on having to buy an adapter to use your own pair of headphones. Luckily, stereo Bluetooth is available to provide you a wireless option.


Thanks to the bump in screen resolution, the Samsung Propel Pro i627 displayed some nice looking videos. There was no lag when we played a trailer in 320x136 H.264 format. The frame rate was steady throughout the video with astounding detail. The device will automatically play it in full screen unless you change the settings. Audio accompanied the stellar playback without any issues as well. Additionally, we were able to play the same trailer in 640x272 and 720x306 H.264 with some choppiness though. The audio started to outpace the video and was just out of sync between one another.

Video playback - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Video playback - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review
Video playback - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

Video playback



Using the device internationally for both phone calls and data will be no problems thanks to its global quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100 MHz). The Propel Pro i627 uses Bluetooth 2.0 which gave us no issues pairing it up with a headset or laptop for wireless file transfers. 

IM client on the 
Samsung Propel Pro i627 - Samsung Propel Pro i627 Review

IM client on the
Samsung Propel Pro i627

For now, we’ve come to grasp that Pocket Internet Explorer to be the sole option for web browsing on devices running Windows Mobile Standard. Mobile sites with minimal photos came up fine without any hiccups in load times and scrolling. On the other hand, complex sites like ours took well over two minutes to fully load. Equally as horrendous was the painful duty of having to perform vertical and horizontal scrolling. Images were not placed in the correct locations with noticeable lag accompanying our scrolling nightmare. You can always install an alternate application such as Opera Mini or Skyfire for a more enjoyable experience.

Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 allows you to view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files without the ability to edit them. For travelers on the go, using AT&T Navigator will provide good turn-by-turn directions while offering plenty of local points of interests. The IM client on the Samsung Propel Pro i627 is powered by OZ Messenger to allow you to pick from AIM, Windows Live Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. There is a great Voice Commander software installed as well which you can to do a variety of things from phone calls to running programs. It managed to pick up what we said without having to repeat ourselves.

The smart phone comes with 95.2 MB of storage memory and 67.6 MB of program memory. You can supplement the storage memory with microSD support for cards up to 16 GB. The Propel Pro is loaded with 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM, and is powered by a 528 MHz processor. We can’t say we experienced any major slowdowns with the device. Menus loaded up really quick even when scrolling through the home screen.

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Samsung Propel Pro

Samsung Propel Pro

OS: Windows Mobile Standard 6.1
view full specs
Display2.5 inches, 320 x 320 pixels (177 ppi) TFT
Camera3 megapixels
Hardware
528 MHz
128 MB RAM
Size3.90 x 2.40 x 0.60 inches
(99 x 61 x 15 mm)
4.83 oz  (137 g)
Battery1440 mAh, 6.5 hours talk time

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