Interface:

The Samsung H1 is designed to work with the Vodafone 360 service pack, which is integrated with the LiMo R2 OS here. If you’re wondering why you can’t think of some LiMo R2 devices, we guess it’s because the Samsung H1 and M1 are the first smartphones to use it. So without further ado, we present you the Linux-based LiMo R2 operating system

LiMo (comes from Linux Mobile) has a rather clean interface. Your starting point here, or the home screen, if you will, is the Apps screen, which bears great resemblance to the home screen in iPhone OS. You have these multiple icons in different colors that lead to all of your apps and you scroll horizontally to get to the remaining ones. The designers of this concept have obviously been influenced by the iPhone’s icon layout, which is fine for us. After all, there’s nothing bad in learning from the best in software. Programmers however seem to have not learned their lesson, since in contrast to what you experience on the iPhone, should you try to scroll here you will encounter some quite unpleasant lag. You are able to rearrange the icons to your liking, but what we found ourselves fonder of was the ability to “expand” certain icons. For example, you can expand the AccuWeather icon. By doing so, the icon kind of comes to life, taking more space and showing live information – in this case, the current weather in your city. On the Samsung H1, this feature is also available for some other apps like Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and ESPN Soccernet. It’s a neat concept that definitely deserves to be developed further.




The other important screen is the one dedicated to your contacts. In addition to just your contacts, here you can see friends from Facebook, Google Talk, MSN Messenger. You have to be connected to Vodafone 360 for this to work though, otherwise you’ll just see your phone contacts. However, once you arrive at this screen, you be presented with a 3D interface that shows your contacts as floating tiles. (with their profile respective picture, if there is one). Here you can move sideways, as well as forwards and backwards. It looks good, but lags and we found it too confusing to use. Fortunately, one can just press the contacts key again and will find themselves in a traditional list view with the alphabet on the right for fast searching.



As stated in the beginning of this part, the interface is very clean, and using it is fairly easy. The learning curve isn’t steep at all; you just need a few minutes with the phone to get the hang of it. The bad thing is the lag that is present here and there.

Camera and Multimedia:

The Samsung H1 relies on a 5MP AF camera, which offers HD video recording. Its interface is nothing to write home about, as everything is pretty simple. Taking a picture is very fast, although saving it isn’t, so taking multiple shots quickly won’t be that easy.



The image quality is very, very good. We are pleased with both outdoor and indoor shots, as they have natural colors and plenty of detail. It’s good to see that indoor photos aren’t full of noise and the flash does its job perfectly, managing to produce enough light even in pitch black areas.

While the images are more than satisfying, the recorded HD video is terrible. It looks blurry and is quite choppy. Lowering the resolution didn’t make it much smoother.

Vodafone 360 Samsung H1 sample video at 1280x720 pixels resolution.




The music player isn’t pretty, but has handy controls for basic functions like repeat, shuffle and rate. Unfortunately, the sound isn’t good enough. Both the loudspeaker and the included earphones are poor, as they do not have enough power and are overly sharp.



Aside from the rather disappointing music experience, it’s good that you are able to watch videos with HD resolution on the Vodafone 360 Samsung H1 phone. This, however, is possible only with MPEG-4 coded files. The Samsung H1 is unable to play H.264 and encountered great difficulties when trying to play DivX and Xvid, making them impossible to watch.



Internet:

You can use both 3G and Wi-Fi to connect to the internet with the Samsung H1. The browser is pretty decent – it loads most of the page in no time and lets your view it while still loading the rest. Scrolling is very smooth and you can zoom by double tapping. You can adjust a precise level of zoom using a bar on the right, which also works pretty neat.

A feature of it we happen to like quite much is when you try to select a link in zoomed out position. When there are other links very close to it, what happens is that the phone enlarges all the links in that area so that you can take your pick more easily.



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