Samsung SGH-F700 Preview
Samsung F700 is one of the first non-smart phones of the brand that utilizes a touch-sensitive display. It is the first to use the Croix-named interface created for such phones, which also appears in other models like the F520, Giorgio Armani phone, etc. As we are acquaint to Samsung’s line, we are not surprised seeing that the Croix interface shares much with the standard software used in other phones, including the G800, G600 and the Ultra series for example. It is different, optimized for finger-based input through the display, but still is very similar, personalizing predefined modules. The Croix supports landscape interface orientation which in this model is used when the keyboard is opened.
While by default the home screen looks pretty boring, there are a few things that make it look as one of a modern phone. All options are visualized over semi-transparent background: on the top is a standard service line, followed by four shortcuts, carrier logo, a shortcuts button in the center and date/time line at the bottom.
four shortcuts lead to silent-mode, main menu, dialing screen and calling history and their functionality cannot be personalized. Considering the size and resolution of the display, we’d prefer seeing more and bigger buttons.
The shortcut in the center (or the only hardware key on the front) opens a screen with 5 buttons, arranged in two lines that cross each other in the centre. This is made to match the interface name (“Croix” means “Cross” in French).
While the line at the bottom has small text characters with the date and the time by default, taping on it will expand it, occupying much greater area. As this is the tool for both date and time, there are two options: calendar of the month or a large clock, changing from one to the other by scrolling a finger from left to right or vice verse.
all of its 3.22 inches. We are happy that Samsung preloaded a few gorgeous images for this purpose but also F700 is one of the first Samsungs coming with option called Photo Slider. It is a variant of a feature which we saw in the G800 and creates a slideshow out of up to 9 images with a few options for duration and transition type.
main menu is visualized either as a grid of 3x4 icons or as a vertical list. The first view comes as default and is what the Croix interface is characterized with, as each icon is highlighted by two lines (horizontal and vertical) crossing at the current selection. The icons in this menu are in the same style as the one on the homescreen. As this is touch display and tapping on any icon will activate it, you should move a finger around it and the icon under it will be highlighted. Once you tap to confirm the selection, a slight vibration will indicate this has happened. This is instead of the tactile feedback you would receive from most standard hardware keyboards and can be set at one of 5 intensity level or can be turned off.
If the list view is selected, each will show with its label (name) but none of them has icon. This isn’t what we should see in such type of device as it looks really plain. The same visualization is used for the sub menus.
We’ve already mentioned that the software shares many similarities with other Samsung phones. The phonebook is example for that, being the one we’ve seen in the Ultra U700 phone – saves up to 1000 numbers and unlike most other Samsungs can have lots of numbers (for example 3 mobile-private phone numbers) attached to each contact. Other fields offer options like emails, address, caller ID image/ringtone, notes, etc.
The phonebook is displayed as vertical list, and when a contact is selected its number and very small image (that is useless) show. Searching finds results only in the first name, which is very unpleasant problem of most non-smart phones. The contacts can be sorted in groups that allow for common image and ringtone.
The Dialing screen is one of the shortcuts on the home screen . It visualizes a virtual numeric keypad with numbers and letters, four shortcuts and an area where numbers are visualized. As those four shortcuts are in the style of all other buttons in the phone, their function is not really clear to the customer but here you cannot scroll over them to see it. The keypad works almost as a normal flat one, but in the cases the display doesn’t react, you just have to press again.
The phone is a tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) and, unfortunately, only one frequency can be used in America, which means that its use will be restricted to some areas only. F700’s CDMA-variant is expected to launch on the market in the beginning of the next year, under the name of Samsung SCH-U940 (upcoming with Verizon); the rumor show it has similar design and we suppose that part of the functionality will be the same, but the camera will be 2-megapixel, instead of 3-megapixel. The interface will most probably be different.
However, let’s go back to SGH-F700. It can also be used in 3G networks, thanks to the fact that it maintains UMTS/HSDPA 3.6 Mbit/s., but only at 2100MHz frequency, which means that its 3G use is only possible in Europe and Asia, not in America. Unfortunately, the phone is not equipped with Wi-Fi.
There are two ways to connect the unit to a computer: Bluetooth 2.0 or a cable.
As a modern high-class phone and one of the first Samsungs under the “Internet” category, the F700 surely has something to show when it comes to browsing. It has full HTML browser that offers two displaying options: “Smart-fit” and “Desktop” view. The first renders the pages optimized to fit on the display width, delivering only vertical scrolling, while the second shows the page as on a computer.
The moving (scrolling) around the page is done by sweeping movements over the touch-sensitive display. In order to see more of the page, Zoom (out) function can be used (the volume rocker is a shortcut to it) or you can activate Page pilot option, which will fit the whole page over the display with option to zoom on selected area of it.
honestly, a jump from 3 to 5 megapixels would make virtually no difference in image quality. Unless you are planning to crop or print large pictures (neither of which are recommended for a camera phone), then id say 3 megapixiels is sufficient.
2. RobK (unregistered)
Hi, I have an iPaq hw6910 currently which as a phone is dreadful, but does pick up my email over https which is great. Does the F700 support this?
3. joao (unregistered)
m8's, in the samsung official page they say the mobile has Wi-Fi.... can someone tell me why in this review you say it doesn't? thanks a lot