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Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Samsung SGH-U700 Ultra 12.1

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team


Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

On the back of the upper slider, the Ultra U700 has a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, mirror and LED flash. The portrait-oriented interface starts for 4 seconds and uses the whole display as a viewfinder. Pressing the left soft key a small settings menu appears over it, from where you can select:

  • Switch camera:
    • Rear Camera
    • Front Camera
  • Shooting mode
    • Single shot
      Camera interface - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
      Camcorder interface - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

      Camera interface

      Camcorder interface

    • Multi-shot
    • Mosaic shot
    • Panorama shot
  • Size (6 resolutions)
  • Flash (off/on/auto)
  • Timer (off/ 3/5/10 sec)
  • Effects:
    • No effects
    • Black & White
    • Sepia
    • Negative
  • Frames: (no/select)
  • White balance
    • Auto
    • Daylight
    • Incandescent
    • Fluorescent
    • Cloudy
  • Viewfinder mode
    • Fullscreen view
    • Fullscreen view and indicator
    • Fullscreen view and guidelines
  • Camera shortcuts - view

Additionally from the right software key you can go to Settings mode where additionally can set the quality (compression), night-mode, exposure (matrix/spot), saving options, shutter sound, zoom sound, brightness sound, storage, default name.

A strange thing is that our unit does not focus when the shutter key is pressed. It just takes photo, as if the camera is with fixed focus, doesn’t give any indication for auto-focus action. But even like that, it was very slow - takes 6 seconds until the captured image is shown and another 6 to show back the viewfinder, which is total of 12 seconds between two images, or less than 6 images in a minute!

The Quality is mediocre. In bright outdoor light, the images have realistic colors and exposure, but previewed at full size shows artifacts, noise and small amount of detail. Don’t shoot close-up objects, as they will appear blurry – the camera isn’t suitable for Macro. When shooting indoors, the valid rule is “The darker it is, the lower quality of the images is” and the flash can help at close distance, but it gives for unrealistic color representation.

Outdoor images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Outdoor images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Outdoor images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Outdoor images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Outdoor images

light - Indoor
images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Medium light - Indoor
images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Low light - Indoor
images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Flash ON - Indoor
images - Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Flash ON

Indoor images

The phone can also capture video clips but the maximum resolution of 176x144 pixels (QCIF) makes them unusable! We would have like to see at least a QVGA (240x320) at minimum 15 fps and MPEG4 H.263 quality in a phone like that. The smaller U100 and U300 can capture QVGA and CIF videos.


Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
The Media Player sorts the multimedia files by: Last played / All / Recently played / Most played / Artists / Genres / Albums / Composers / Playlists, similar to other music players of modern phones, like the Walkman of Sony Ericsson for example. We would have liked to see sorting by rating, but it is missing. The user can create playlists, add music from the memory to it and reorder the added tracks. When a track is played, the interface displays the Album Cover, the file name, Artist, rating, options (shuffle/repeat), duration and the d-pad keys' function. From the menu you can rate the track, transfer the music to Bluetooth and turn the shuffle and repeat on/off. Unlike the U100 and the U300, this phone doesn't feature Equalizers and "3D Sound" options.

Samsung U700 Ultra 12.1 Review
The video player doesn't play QVGA video, displaying "unsupported resolution". This is stupid, as most videos for phones are encoded in this resolution as most modern mid- and high-level phones use QVGA displays, just like the U700.


Samung SGH-U700 Ultra 12.1 is not a smartphone, but it supports JAVA MIDP 2.0, so third party applications and games can be added to it. Straight out of the box, it comes with Google search application which acts as shortcut to the site, and we find useless even inconvenient, as replaces the shortcut to the phonebook from the home screen. It also lacks any games, and comes only with JAVA application Google Maps, which uses the Internet to get the data from.

  • Options

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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