Samsung D820

After over a year with a Sharp GX20 I thought it was time to lose the bulky flip phone that didn't really have any visual appealing characteristics and go for something a little more snazzy. What I found really funny, in an annoying way, was the fact that the market is absolutely flooded with mobiles phones, from so many different companies in vast array of designs and styles. Despite this virtual smorgasbord of telephony devices to choose from, finding one that I liked was surprisingly hard. One phone that a few people I knew were raving about was the Samsung D600, I checked it out, and liked the features and general look of the phone but I didnt like the bulkiness, it was small but thick, it didn't feel good in the pocket, and this was one of the main reasons I was changing from the Sharp. Then I saw the Samsung D820. This phone is pretty much the D600 but is much thinner. I picked it up and immediately put it in my pocket... felt like it wasn't there, perfect.

I'm a fan of buying phones outright. I don't like this business of the service provider owning the phone and it being locked to them, then having to get them to unlock it once you have paid it out etc. However the dude in the store, together with the mate I was with, managed to talk me into going with a plan Optus has, the phone was free, and the bills were going to be less than what I was paying for my usual bill, so it really felt stupid to continue to try and say no, I'd rather just pay more. The phone has pretty much all the features I was after, bluetooth, great screen, thin, MP3 as ringtone, and decent brand, so before I knew it, the deal was done and I was leaving the store, one phone heavy. I went straight to Paddy's markets and got a screen protector for the phone, I haven't mentioned it yet but the screen was superb, which was good coz one of the things I really like about my Sharp was the clarity of it's screen. AUD$10 later I had a thin sticky piece of plastic, cut perfectly to fit my new Samsung. Of course, as expected, I nearly stuffed up the application of the screen protector to the phone but with the help of Paulie managed to eventually get it on. My first impressions of the phone were fantastic, I really like it, and was very happy with the feel and slimness of it, and the screen, even with the protector on it looked GREAT, I quickly picked a standard ringtone and was also pleased with how loud the speaker was during the test. I also loaded the Samsung PC studio software on my PC and used the supplied USB cable to connect to the phone, this is cool... So far so good!

The battery life on this phone sux. I can't stand the way its usually a day and half and sometimes, inexplicably it only lasts a day?? Why does it also turn off occasionally? For no reason it'll just go off, I can turn it back on and it's all good but cmon, it was so annoying that I bought another USB cable to keep in the car to use with my USB 12 volt charger. So I have one with my laptop, one in the car and of course the AC charger at home, but sometimes I still run out of charge. And I HATE how long it takes to give you control when you turn it on, stupid stuff about a funclub or something and the other startup screen... sigh. And when the battery is low (quite regularly) the phone has this God awful annoying little tone that goes off every couple of mintues, ARGH! enough already I know your battery is low, so stop sucking up the little remaining juice on this forehead vein bustingly annoying alert!! Why can't the phone have an acknowlegdement feature, where the user can accept that the battery is low and that would stop the phone from bitching about it repeatedly, I would have thought this would be a logical feature to put into phones but this and I think every mobile phone I have ever had lacks it. The screen protector I got at the same time of the phone became tattered and worn a few months later, I went to get a replacement but couldn't find the same one, I must have gone through 3 different ones before giving up and just deciding to use the phone without one, screen still looks great, but with a few scratches here and there.

The phone can have MP3's as ringtones, which is cool... but WHY ON EARTH CAN'T YOU SET AN MP3 AS AN SMS TONE??? Who at Samsung decided to not have this option, if you can have it as a ringtone how hard can it possibly be to allow them to be set as message tones? Not very you would imagine as just about every other phone that has MP3 ringtone capability lets you set them as message tones as well, but not Samsung, apparently this is a common 'feature' of Samsung phones, for some reason the twats in the mobile phone division haven't woken up to the fact that pretty much every Samsung mobile phone user on the planet that has access to an internet enabled device has posted on some forum somewhere bitching like crazy about the inability to set an MP3 for SMS's. Instead they offer you 10 terrible tones that make me jump every time I hear them, you can't even replace them with other crap tones, you're just stuck with having to pick the least worst one. The 1.3 megapixel camera is very ordinary, but does the job as far as a camera phone goes, I generally just use it to take a pic to send via MMS so the resolution is only at 240x320, I like the way you can spin the camera around to either take pics behind or in front of the camera. I haven't really tested it as such at 'high' res, I don't see the point as I would just bash it in comparison to the Sony and Canon digital cameras I have. I love the video camera function though, it records straight to MP4 format and will keep recording till you have exhausted your storage capacity.

Video and audio quality is OK, but considering it's a phone and a slim one at that I think it's a good effort. It has a micro SD card slot, and I have left the standard 64mb supplied with the phone in it, this is ample for my needs as I don't take many photos and only have a few ringtones on it. The Java games are rubbish and the browser, Opera Mini, is great, on other phones, I dunno, it just doesn't work that great on this, maybe it's Optus. The other 'applications' the phone has like the calendar, calculator, stopwatch and convertor are all very uninteresting and only usuable in the rarest of circumstances, no reason to buy this phone over others, the one that I do like, is World Time, although calling it 'World' is a bit rich, you can only display two different time zones, but scrolling between the timezones is easy enough. The keypad is good, keys are easy to press and it's well lit, each key is a reasonable size so texting can be done quite quickly if need be. The storage capacity for messages is great, I am very lazy and keep messages stored for ages, just sitting there, and have to spend a few mintues every couple of weeks clearing out the trash manually. A feature that a few people quite like and specifically look for in phones is a repeated tone for missed messages, this phone has that it can repeatedly bing the SMS tone every few mintues until it is picked up.

Being able to set pictures to contacts so their picture displays when they call is good too, but I imagine many phones nowadays have this feature, you can also set different ringtones to contact groups so you have an idea of who is calling before you even see the phone, you can even set different ringtones to individual contacts, so you know exactly who is calling without looking. I like that feature and use it for a few mates. The main display on the phone is very informative, displaying the date, time, whether bluetooth is on, battery level, signal strength, whether you have an alarm set, and which mobile repeater you are connected to. On the bluetooth, it works well and I have not had a problem pairing with headsets, or sending and receiving files from a PC or another phone.

In conclusion this is a fair phone, but not being able to set an MP3 as an SMS tone really bugs me, not a huge deal but after having everyone else around me with this ability I want it too! But by far, the most annoying thing about this phone is the battery life, its simply not good enough, in this day and age, you need your mobile, always, and if it's constantly dying from low battery it can be very disabling. These two reasons combined would keep me away from a Samsung phone in the future me thinks. Sadly I wish I went with the Sony Ericsson K750i instead of this phone.

Posted 07.05.2008

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