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Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Samsung SGH-F480

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team



After we’ve witnessed some very good results from Samsung cameraphones such as G600, we expected a lot from F480.

It takes about 3 seconds to start the software, after holding the button on the right side. Focusing is a fast process and takes approximately 1.5 seconds. The period between two pictures is relatively short too (3-4 seconds).

We were disappointed from the appearance of the interface – it is ugly, monochrome and not user-friendly. The upper part is taken by a row of icons, indicating the current settings. We accept that solution since the symbols are too small, to be easily pressed with fingers. There are four options on the lower row – to change the mode (camera/preset scenes /video recording), settings, gallery and return to the main menu.

Camera Interface - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Camera Interface - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Camera Interface - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Camera Interface

Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review
The settings are not that much, but they are irrationally spread on a few pages. In order to get to the less frequently used settings such as ISO sensitivity, picture quality, and digital stabilizer, you’ll have to go to the second page and then, to “more settings”. Therefore, whenever you need to adjust one of those, you’ll have to make six taps on the screen, which is not that fast.

The only non-standard options offered by the camera are wide dynamic range, face detection and the smile shooting mode. The first one doesn’t actually do anything that important, but it simply increases the contrast in the darker areas of the pictures. You can actually get similar and even better results by using many computer programs. Once you turn the face detection on, the camera will stay focused on the face you’ve selected even if it moves. If the person you are trying to take a picture of walks outside of the camera range, the camera will try to find another face, and if there are no people in front of the lens, the autofocus is fully inactive. The Smile shooting mode looks for a smile and when it detects one it automatically captures the moment. Unfortunately, the function is not very precise and overall, it’s useless.

Since we recently had to review another 5-megapixel phone by the same manufacturer (Soul), we decided to compare the camera test results. The first thing we noticed was the difference in the file sizes. F480’s pictures are a bit over 1MB, meanwhile Soul’s are approximately 2MB. Nevertheless, the photographs made outdoors are of almost equal quality, good detail and color reproduction. Soul is a master of the fine detail, but F480’s captures are not back either.

Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Outdoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Outdoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Outdoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Outdoor Samples

The Indoor result were quite disappointing – even with bright lighting in place, there was a slight blur and some noise (same like with Soul). We recommend using the flash even when there are other light sources present, to help the camera focus. Unfortunately, it creates unpleasant shining when snapping close-ups and from far away, it doesn’t enhance the overall quality. There is no Macro mode, but that doesn’t stop the phone from focusing very well at extremely short distances, which will allow you to take detailed close-up pictures.

Strong Light - Indoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Medium Light - Indoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Low Light - Indoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Low with Flash - Indoor Samples - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Strong Light

Medium Light

Low Light

Low with Flash

Indoor Samples

The videos recorded are with a 320х240 pixels resolution and 15 fps – these having become a standard for most cameraphones and even the ones from the entry level. It would have been good if it could record at 640x480 pixels or at least 30 fps. The quality is not impressive, especially if you are shooting indoors.

As a whole, we liked the camera, because it is fast and makes good outdoor pictures. However, the interface is not user-friendly and the quality of the photographs made indoors is poor. It is sad to have a 5-megapixel camera and not be able to use it at a party or even in a bar.


Music Player - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Media Information - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Widget Player - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Music Player

Media Information

Widget Player

As every self-respecting high-class device, F480 has music and video player. The music player has two versions – one taking up the entire screen, and which is accessible from the main menu and a second one that is visualized as a widget.

In the first one, under the album cover and the track info now playing, there are four buttons. They are used to rate the track, access the equalizer, for switching to shuffle mode and changing the playing mode (repeat, folder repeat). You can sort tracks by the number of times played, artist, genre, album, composer. Overall, the interface is easy to use but has unattractive “antique” design. The simple functionality (fast forward, play/pause) is accessible via the widget player.

Unfortunately, the same weak speaker you use during a call is employed for sound reproduction. A light metal crackling noise is heard when at maximum volume. The sound in the receiver is also pretty quiet, but with good quality. There is no 3.5 mm jack included in the package so you’ll have use the standard earphones, which are not very comfortable and don’t even have external volume control. As a whole, the music quality is a bit over the average.

The model is equipped with an FM radio, which needs the handsfree to be plugged in, because it is used as an antenna. The radio has automatic search, which however is not very adequate and during our tests it was constantly finding stations with noise only. Unfortunately, you cannot enter the names of your favorites.

FM Radio - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
FM Radio - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

FM Radio

It would have been better if we could use the 2.8” display to watch videos. For that purpose F480 is equipped with a simple video player. It visualizes MPEG4 files (coded in the modern h.264 or h.263) and if they are with resolution up to 240х320 this is done trouble free. Unfortunately, even at a normal frame rate per second (24) the sound doesn’t correspond to the picture and some screens are skipped. Overall, the phone is not suitable for watching quality videos, which is totally unacceptable for such a high-end device.

Video Player - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Video Player - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Video Player

Voice Recorder - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Video Editor - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Music Recognition - Samsung SGH-F480 Review

Voice Recorder

Video Editor

Music Recognition

Besides the regular voice recorder, in the applications menu you also have a video editor. It has an extremely uncomfortable interface and the only thing, which it will allow you to do is create videos from pictures (adding sound as well) or to modify existing ones. The only formats supported are 3gp for video and amr for sound, and there is no way a to add effects, which makes this function pointless.

You have an option similar to the Track ID (seen in Sony Ericsson), called Music Recognition. It didn’t work when we tested it, saying that the Internet server is “temporarily offline”.

Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Samsung SGH-F480 Review

The phone comes with a built-in puzzle game, which is not really entertaining. You can use your own pictures too. Since the device supports JAVA MIDP 2.0, you can easily add more games and/or applications.

Samsung F480 will let you view (not edit) Microsoft Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Reader (PDF) documents. You’ll have some big troubles opening large files. Once zoomed in, you cannot jump to next/previous page by running your finger across the screen. To do that, you have to choose the “GO” tool. What do you need a touch display if you can’t easily execute such simple functions?

The complicated Excel files are not opened correctly, because of “insufficient memory”.Regrettably, Office 2007 documents are not supported yet.

Word - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
Excel - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
PowerPoint - Samsung SGH-F480 Review
PDF Viewer - Samsung SGH-F480 Review




PDF Viewer

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. (unregistered)

"Overall, the phone is suitable for watching quality videos, which is totally unacceptable for such a high-end device." "Unsuitable" I guess =) Great review though, thanks.

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 14:25

3. (unregistered)

Lol I was just about to ask about this.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 01:11

8. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Thank you!

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 13:51

2. (unregistered)

Wow, thankyou, first review that has actually looked at all the features and weighed up properly the pros and cons, will not be getting this phone now on the back of this review :)

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 14:26

4. (unregistered)

As, this phone is quite dissapointing. I expected a lot but...... I guess for now, LG still makes better touchscreen phones?

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 17:33

5. (unregistered)

this reviewer seems to be some samsung hater. he got the price wrong. it costs around 550-600, NOT 900USD. dunno where you buy your phones from. both mobile-review and gsmarena gave the phone favorable reviews.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 02:25

9. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Prices are decreasing by the minute; we've updated the review to match the current one, yet this is a high price tag for such a phone.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 07:08

12. (unregistered)

no..it was like this price for about a week and a half. you guys need to spend more time on your reviews. it started around 880.00USD when it first released in beginning of june.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 08:50

14. (unregistered)

Well that is still basically 900 dollars, the starting price is also important as it is what the manufacturer thinks of what is needs to be priced at, or what it's originally worth.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 10:28

16. (unregistered)

let me rephrase that. it started around 880.00USD on EBAY. price was made by the seller, not the manufacturer.

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 11:39

23. (unregistered)

oh.... that makes a huge difference, then

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 19:06

6. (unregistered)

lol they give armani phone 9 and this 6.5. and f480 is everything better than armani. totally do not comprehend phonearena's rating system.

posted on 25 Jun 2008, 21:15

7. (unregistered)

Ya, I thought that the Armani got it's high rating because it is a fashin phone, but so is the F480 so I don't get how they rated these?

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 02:40

10. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

When you get an Armani, it's almost all about the look. When you get a phone called "SGH-F480", you expect it to perform as well as the touch-screen competition. When it sounds bad and doesn't have good features (except the camera), it is not a 9/10 device.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 07:07

11. (unregistered)

LOL. "all about the look." because of name branding. hilarious...so as long as there's a fancy name slapped to it, you don't mind the sucky croix UI, heavily underpowered, ridiculously overpriced, no 3g, complete mess of a phone? LOL. try again. pathetic guys. just pathetic.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 07:14

13. (unregistered)

Yea. I agree to this. The F480 boasts so much more features (3g, 5mp camera, larger screen, a true web browser, larger battery, complete overhaul of touch interface, FM radio, etc) compared to the Armani phone, and it still has an amazing "look." A total upgrade in all senses. This review was only good for the pictures... no joke.

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 08:52

15. (unregistered)

The F480 still has a name.... or rather a couple. What happened to "Tocco" and "TouchWiz"?

posted on 12 May 2009, 08:40

33. radystar (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 May 2009)

you are a total liers.....i have this phone for about 4 months and ANYTHING what you written about this phone isn't true....the sound is great....the camera is much better...there is no lag while scrolling throw the menus...one thing is true..the poor flash...i don't trust you anymore....very bad site.....you are very pathetic....and WHAT??????????? the TOUCH WIZ is not very conmfortable to use???????????????????????????/ you're mental.........

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 12:29

17. damo110011 (unregistered)

I have a tocco I love the phone but I admit camera is awfull on it waiting for i900 looks superb

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 16:03

18. (unregistered)

Average Joe: "To expensive and inconvenient for me." Average Joe needs to learn how to spell. lol. It's really interesting how much reviews can differ. Other sites said the sound quality was AT LEAST decent and not horrible. Furthermore, the I don't recall other sites saying the interface was buggy. Hopefully it's just the unit that Phonearena reviewed. And also, the phone price is starting to fall to $5xx now right?

posted on 26 Jun 2008, 21:44

19. (unregistered)

yes. and ~550 is a VERY good price for the phone.

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 01:35

20. (unregistered)

yeah after 1 year the price will be ~300... and THAT's A VERY GOOD price for the phone

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 08:11

21. (unregistered)

lol after one year..i'm sure theres gonna be a lot of other phones released

posted on 27 Jun 2008, 11:37

22. (unregistered)

Yeah, and also the iPhone and Touch Diamond are around the same price, if not more expensive yet they both got very high for the Average Joe rating??

posted on 28 Jun 2008, 01:39

24. (unregistered)

that was sarcasm

posted on 28 Jun 2008, 12:19

25. (unregistered)

I was just making a comment that prices are starting to fall. It's about 495 on plemix, I believe. By American standards yes it is quite expensive. But people got to remember that without provider's subsidy on the phone, even average basic phone costs around 2xx already no? If Average Joe just have enough buying sense, instead of signing up for a contract for 2 years and get some shitty phones, they can go to independent sellers and get better phones at a reduced price as well. I'm just saying that there is more than ONE way to purchase a phone. PLUS my only real comment was that they misspelled AND 550 IS NOT expensive for a touted FASHION phone. Yes, it doesn't have the "Armani" branding attached to it, but using that definition Nokia "7xxx" series are not fashion devices either, and so aren't "8xxx" series.

posted on 05 Jul 2008, 15:31

26. (unregistered)

7xxx is fashion device and 8xxx is luxury series

posted on 23 Jul 2008, 09:35

27. Vuja021 (unregistered)

Hi .. You talk to much! Phone is GREAT... If you wont great pictures by cam! It is a only phone! You answer , you call ... send sms mms ... do you need more ..Great looking.. thats all I need.. touchscreen not great but its work when you using more time

posted on 01 Aug 2008, 13:42

28. (unregistered)

I'm curious who sponsores this site: Nokia...or Apple?....the review is so much anti-Samsung oriented...much more than needed, so it sucks!!

posted on 12 May 2009, 08:43

34. radystar (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 May 2009)

yeah you're right...the only phones that have good reviews are the nokia and the apple...and the rest....

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PhoneArena rating:
Display2.8 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (143 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Size3.85 x 2.16 x 0.45 inches
(98 x 55 x 11.5 mm)
3.54 oz  (101 g)
Battery1000 mAh, 3 hours talk time

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