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Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Samsung SGH-U700 Ultra 12.1

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team


As it can be expected, the U700 is slim and sexy slider. The Ultra II series replace the math black plastic of the previous group with glossy materials and metal trims, which give for the fashionable appearance of the phones. The U700 we are using is in silver, but there is also a version in dark-gray/black. It fits very well in the hand and thanks to the light weight and slim profile is put into a shirt's pocket with no worries. The only thing we didn't like in the construction is the back side, which is made of thin and soft plastic and that is the reason the battery cover creaks and wobbles.

Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
from left to right and top to bottom - SGH-U300, SGH-U100, SGH-U700 - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
from left to right and top to bottom - SGH-U300, SGH-U100, SGH-U700 - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
from left to right and top to bottom - SGH-U300, SGH-U100, SGH-U700 - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

from left to right and top to bottom - SGH-U300, SGH-U100, SGH-U700

The slider opens easily but one doesn't really feel the spring mechanism, supposed to help with the movement. The bump at the end of the bottom slider prevents from pushing the upper slider from its beginning and you have to put your fingers on the front side, over the navigation keys or the display, which we did. Unfortunately, this will keep the display surface constantly dirty, as it is a fingerprint-magnet, typically for a glossy and shiny device.

Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Keep it clean, in order to see the display better. It is 2.2" large with QVGA 240x320 pixels resolution and showing up to 262 thousands colors. Typically for a Samsung, the display has bright and saturated colors and superb contrast, but we are disappointed that the yellow dominates, and everything looks a little yellowish - the white is not white, and the other colors are not very realistic. The resolution to size ratio is excellent and the only drawback is the number of the colors, which don't transit really smooth from one hue to another. It is visible in direct sunlight, but if it is dirty, the visibility will decrease.

Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Below it are the touch-sensitive keys, with the upper two rows being exactly on the same surface as the display, being totally flat. Little raised are the answer and reject at the end of the slider. The technology used requires to keep your finger over the button you want to use, and in a second or so, the action is performed. Due to the software, the most frequently used touch keys will be the right software key and the reject, used for respectively "back" and "go to homescreen". The left soft key doubles the function of the central position of the D-pad most of the time, and the shortcuts won't be keys you really use often. For answer and reject, most people will use the slider open/close. Still, we are not keen on these touch-sensitive keys and would prefer standard ones, even if they have to be totally flat. They have slow response and lead to undesired actions when you just want to “clean” the front side with a finger, moving it over the surface.

When the phone turns the display off in order to save battery power, you won't be able to activate it with the touch-sensitive keys, and have to press some of the others, for example the D-pad. This circular key can be pressed in the four directions and in the middle, as a standard 5-way key. But its top is spinning, acting as a scroll. It resembles an iPod wheel, but is less sensitive and acts slower, less accurately.

Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Standard keys are used for the numeric keypad, positioned on the bottom slider. They are in RAZR style, but the surface is not metal. Their size is above the average and have almost no space between each other, press soft and return tactile feedback, unlike the navigation ones. The backlight here is white with slight pink nuance, matches the style of the whole phone and helps you to read the characters in the dark. This is important, as there is almost no relief and you have to look at the keys as you press them.

The left side houses the volume rocker and the Samsung port for charger / headset / cable connection and on the right are situated respectively the camera shortcut and the microSD hot-swappable slot. The connection port and the memory card slot are covered with protective plastics, which match the style of the device. On the top is the small power on/off key. Its function isn’t carried by the reject key,as it is touch sensitive one and cannot start the phone (doesn’t act without power). Above the display are the speaker and the VGA camera for video calling. It can also be used for taking of pictures

Volume keys and charger port - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
microSD and camera key - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Volume keys and charger port

microSD and camera key

Power key - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
3G camera - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Power key

3G camera

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. fiona (unregistered)

This is the most stylish phone I have seen. All the fones I have owned were Samsung and just when I thought u couldnt do better. Along comes the U700. Cant wait to get my hands on one.

posted on 16 Aug 2007, 08:09

2. (unregistered)

design wise it's cool, however, i have problem synchronizing outlook appointments to the phone. n the touch pad really sucks, i've never been able to successfully sent a sms without having to exit n re-type the msg again. n the soft touch key cant b changed, n i will always be surfing the net unintentionally.

posted on 24 Dec 2007, 16:28

3. shahzad (unregistered)

Ofcourse U700 is stylish with a stunning look...but some aspects need further improvement. the speaker (which is earpiece too) is not so powerful which makes it difficult to hear the incoming call alert in noisy environment (Nokia N73 is quite loud & even other cheaper Samsung sets are louder than my phone is). touch keys is a great idea but i have to be extra-careful while pressing left or right on jog dial (required in sub-menus) to avoid starting touch key related programs.

posted on 26 Jan 2008, 11:29

4. glock19 (unregistered)

so far so good. nice style. came from se p990i. using it as a modem is much faster then the se.probably because of the 3.5g. have to adjust much further if you came from a stylus type of phone. buttomline, its a great phone

posted on 27 May 2008, 16:56

5. Köke (unregistered)

One thing is sure: the design is excellent. BUT...the touch pads are extra sensitive when you dont intend to use them (very easy to accidentally touch some of them while e.g. writing an SMS and you suddenly find yourself on the main screen...) but sometimes clumsy when you really want to access the function. The fix internet links are also things that drive me crazy, I surf the net very often although I didnt mean to. Due to such annoyances it was a few times very close to perish by my hands on the floor. I find it also too quiet.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display240 x 320 pixels TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Size4.03 x 1.96 x 0.47 inches
(102.5 x 50 x 12.1 mm)
3.03 oz  (86 g)
Battery690 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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