Samsung SGH - X426 / Samsung X427 review

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Introduction and Specification

Samsung X426/X427 is actually one phone with two different designations used by the two US carriers - X426 is the AT&T's model while X427 is the model number used by Cingular. Let me say from the beginning that the phone does not support global roaming and it works only in the US.

 

 



I will characterize the phone as trendy. You should have already read the specification and know that they is nothing to brag about. A lot of the features that should be part of any phone are missing - no voice dialing, no speakerphone, no picture ID, no..... What the phone has is style - like the latest Samsung phones. Its case is a mixture of metal and plastic with several stylish polished accents - at the end of the antenna and the front. The build quality is excellent - no squeaks. As seen from the picture the Samsung X426/X427 has s small stub non-retractable antenna. Despite that fact its reception is not as good as of the Nokia 6610 which I reviewed prior to the Samsung.


There are three plugs on the phone and they all are covered with rubberized plugs to protect the inside from dust or moisture. The charging port is located at the bottom, and the headset and the external antenna ports as located on the top and on the back of the phone respectively.


There is a service light at the top right-hand corner of the phone. It flashes when service is available. I think this is a very nifty feature that I miss a lot on my Nokia phones.






Samsung X426 / X427 has 128 x 160 UFB (Ultra Fine and Bright) color display with 65k colors. According to Samsung, the UFB screen is "two times more vivid than the previously released STN-LCD (Super-Twisted Nematic LCD)". The display is brilliant indoor, OK outdoor (no direct sunlight). The problem occurs of the screen is exposed on direct sun-light - I barely could see anything. Color and contrast wise it is just excellent - very vibrant colors with excellent contrast. On the negative side, ghosting is very noticeable when playing games or viewing screen animation.


This photo clearly shows how much brighter the screen of Samsung X426 / X427 is compared to Nokia 3650:


 

The Samsung X426 / X427 keys are easy to press with adequate response. The phone also feature 4-way navigational keys, plus a dedicated wap key which I think should not be placed between the nav.keys, where you would expect to have [enter]. The keys are very well illuminated with a distinct blue light.





I am very pleased with the Samsung X426 menus - very fast to learn and very easy to navigate.




I love the interactivity of the Samsung's X426 menus. 95% are very well animated and just pleasure to watch. Of course, the thrill will wear off after the first several weeks of use, but never the less I like it. The phone allows two different menu styles - Film and Page. The Menu Icons in Page mode are animated, while in the Film style they are static.



Messages



I am very disappointed from the lack of MMS capability in the otherwise very multimedia rich Samsung X426. Otherwise, text messaging is very simple and straightforward.



The Templates has several pre-defined messages such as: "Call me when you get this message", or "Where are you" which can be used for fast-messaging.
The Objects option allows you to add Sound, Melody, Picture or Animation to your message. The other party's phone has to support EMS in order to review/listen to your EMS message.


Call Records



Call Records shows when and who called you, who did you call etc, missed calls and call times. You can view the last call time, time spent on outgoing calls and on incoming calls and also there is Life Timer.

 

Sound Settings


Let me say that I just LOOOVE the 40-voices polyphonic ringtones of Samsung X426 / X427. The sound settings menu gives options to manipulate everything connected with sound:

  • Ring Tones - thirty pre-installed 40-voice polyphonic ringtones - pleasure for my ears. Click on the list to hear several actual ringtones. Link
  • Ring Volume
  • Alert Type - can be Light Only, Melody, Vibration or Vibra+Melody
  • Keypad Tones - can be Off; Cool; Piano; Tone or just Beep
  • Message Tones - again great selection of different tone - (link to hear them)
  • Folder Tone - selects the sound when the phone is opened
  • Power On/Off sound
  • Extra Tones
    • Error Tone - sounds when error occurs
    • Minute Minder - sounds every one minute
    • Connect Tone - sound when you get connected

Again, great level of customization plus excellent pre-installed sounds.

 



Phone Settings

The menu controls all the vital phone settings.

  • My Settings
    • Wallpaper - the Samsung X426/X427 offers 12 different animated wallpapers to choose from.

        • Menu Style - may be Film or Page (already discussed earlier)
      • Greeting Message - shows when you start the phone
      • Own number - shows your phone number. Great feature if this is your first number - usually takes a while to memorize it and being able to check it on your phone is great
      • Language - choice of English, Spanish, French.
      • Security - here you can change/assign PIN code, set the phone lock
      • Display Settings
        • Contrast
        • Back Light (time) - choices are 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes, 10 minutes
        • Auto Light - allows you to set during which time period (between 5am and 7pm for example) the back light should come on. This is a step in the right direction even though I want to see a built - in sensor to check if the back-light is needed
        • Service light - one of the only features I miss very much in my Nokia 3650. The service light is a small LED which blinks in different colors depending on the current battery status (red if the battery time is running out), or carrier availability (green for connected to the network)
      • Extra Settings - can set Auto Redial, Active Folder (if activated answers the call just by opening the folder - not a great idea since the phone lacks external display and you have no idea who is calling) and Anykey answer
      • Short Cut - the four navigational keys can be used as soft keys (programmable keys) also.
      • Reset Settings - reset all to the manufacturer's values


Organizer


The Samsung X426 does not lack any Organizer related feature.

  • Calendar allows a 40 character note to be se for a specific date, plus alarm can be assigned for a specific hour of that day.

    • The TO-DO list is similar - after entering a note you select for which date it pertains, what is its priority. After saving the TO-DO, you can copy it to the calendar or you can sort all the TO-DO items by priority, or by completed.
    • Time & Date - from here you can set the current time and date and the time format (shouldn't this option be under Phone Settings?)
    • Alarm - kudos to Samsung! I am so tired of my Nokia's 3650 alarm - I have to set it up every single day! I can buy separate software, but after shelling out around $250 for a SMARTPHONE, I expected to be at least as smart as being able to store several alarms. Luckily, Samsung's alarm feature allows several alarm options
      • Once Alarm - the alarm rings only once and is then deactivated
      • Daily Alarm - the alarm rings every day at the same time
      • Morning Alarm - the alarm rings to wake you up in the morning
      • Remove Alarm - deactivates all alarms
      • Autopower - when this option is set to Enable, the alarm rings at the specified time, even if the phone is switched off
    • Calculator - basic arithmetic functionality is provided - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
    • Currency exchange  

 

 



Network Services



Several options are available under network services. I think this menu should have been eliminated as separate option and all those settings should have been under Phone Settings.

  • Call Forwarding - enables incoming calls to be to a number that you specify
  • Call Waiting - informs you when someone is trying to reach you during another call
  • Network selection - enables you to automatically or manually select the network used when roaming outside of your home area
  • Caller ID - allows you to switch on/off your caller id

Funbox

 

The last menu is the Funbox. It contains two built-in games - X-Figher and SpaceWar. The X-figher is very entertaining (shooting) game. Unfortunately, heavy screen ghosting is very noticeable while playing it.


Wap browser allows you to connect to wap site to view information, download images or sounds.


JAVA (J2ME) functionality is hidden under Games & More. I find this somewhat obscure - I already have Games under Funbox, why should I have another Game menu under Downloads? They should have called it what it is - JAVA. There are three games pre-installed (but can be removed):

  • BubbleSmile
  • Fun2Link
  • MobileChess

I liked them all - very entertaining and great time killer.



RF Performance

RF performance can be characterized as mediocre to bad. Can not be compared in any way to my Nokia 3650 RF performance.

Sound Quality

Excellent. Sound produced is loud and clear.

Conclusion

Samsung X426 / 427 is very stylish phone with quite a few features missing. The menu system is easy to learn and navigate, with excellent interactivity - animated menus and great graphics. The phone has mediocre signal reception with great sound quality.



Pros

  • Trendy design
  • Only 2.8 oz (80g)
  • Good organizer
  • Excellent screen

Cons

  • Lacks voice-dialing / voice-memo
  • Lacks external display
  • Lacks picture ID
  • Lacks tri-band (global) operation
  • No Bluetooth / IRDA
  • Lacks Distinctive Ring / Ringer ID

PhoneArena Rating:

6.0

User Rating:

7.2
5 Reviews

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