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With the world and his wife seemingly happy with either Symbian or Windows Mobile running their smartphones, any phone OS newcomer - especially one without an Apple logo slapped on it - has something of a hill to climb. Samsung's new F700 actually has two mountains to tackle. The touchscreen UI makes for an obvious comparison …

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The most important aspect of a Smartphone is ...

PIM.

We know that PalmOS still has the easiest to use, WM is powerful but clunky, S60 is lagging behind and UIQ is a bit odd, but it would be nice with a new Smartphone review to know how the PIM applications stack up and what sync options exist.

Oh and does it thread text messages. I don't think I could live without that in a work environment where texting is as common as email.

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Linux

If you want a cool gadget for surfing the web

"and media playback you're going to want an iPhone, with its Wi-Fi and better-than-the-rest browser."

Or a Nokia N800/N810, which defecate on the iPhone's browsing from a very great height.

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killer

you cant kill what is allready dead

and in the UK the IFlop is dead

poor sales at launch

and a block on retailers publishing sales figures

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Further points from a user

I've been lucky enough to have one of these phones since mid December and have had a little time to get to know the phone now. In the main I agree with the review points, but can maybe make a few more for those considering purchasing one (or upgrading for free as I did on my Vodafone contract).

My desktop OS is Ubuntu, and as such, sync has proved impossible. My PIM is Egroupware, so I can at least use the web browser to get my diary up and thats acceptable when I'm in 3G coverage, but not being able to sync my contacts is a huge disappointment. Samsung insist on shipping their PC Studio software, which is from my previous experience on W2k, a painful app.

There is an option hidden in the phone's menus to sync with an http server, but after much emailing between Samsung and myself they have still not released the specs on the http sync spec, so I can't write a patch to sync over 3G with EGW. This is a major knock against the phone for a Linux Fan Boy. I'm not up to speed on the iPhone, but if that can be passably sync'd with Lin apps then maybe I should have switched phone network and gone for one of those.

Video has been a real ache to get working. As previously mentioned, I can't get PC Studio working on Ubuntu so getting video in the right flavor was a real nightmare. It is possible to completely crash the phone if you feed it the tiniest bit of wrong video so many hours were spent getting this right. I tried using the phone to record video, and then playing that back in Mplayer to get the format information, but the camera records in such a low res the video I ported to this format was unacceptable. I finally got video acceptable on the phone with this Mencoder command :

mencoder "infile.avi" -vf scale=440:240 -oac faac -faacopts mpeg=4:raw:br=128 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1200:mbd=2:cmp=2:subcmp=2:trell=yes:v4mv=yes:aic=2:vglobal=1:aglobal=1 -ffourcc mp4v -of lavf -lavfopts format=mp4:i_certify_that_my_video_stream_does_not_use_b_frames -o "outfile.mp4"

This makes for decent video and I have shoved a new Torchwood onto a card and watched it on the phone without any probs.

The earphones are named as Bose manufactured, and that sold me initially. Bose and Wharfdale are my favorite manufacturers of audio kit, so thats one reason I brought the phone. I agree that the phone lacks post processing for playback, but to be honest, if a file is encoded half decently, the sound quality is good. There is a rich bass, and treble that is not tinny enough to grate teeth. The genius inclusion of the 3.5 jack however allows any other set of headphones to work. I've found the phone quite happy driving a set of over-ear Altec Lansing cans without any problems. However I'd look a bit silly going out wearing those, so the Bose in-ear buds are good enough.

The phone also works very well with Asterisk's Chan_Mobile driver, so when I'm home and have the phone on charge all calls are ported into my home Asterisk system without any problems. Audio quality is good, however I only use this bridge for incoming call routing so can't comment on outgoing solutions. What is slightly annoying however is that as soon as you plug in USB to copy on any video/music, the phone kills it's Bluetooth access. So this leaves me having to remove the MicroSD card, plug that into it's adapter, and then plug that into the PC to copy stuff about. Why I can't leave the phone always on USB as a Storage Device, and still have Bluetooth up and running is anyone's guess. Also, as the review mentioned, the messing about removing the back of the phone to access the SD card is another fiddle. A very little fiddle, but a 'messy' solution in my mind.

Otherwise a good enough phone. Not a phone I'd immediately recommend to people, it has good points and bad points (like any device). The Document reader is terrible, so I have taken to dumping documents into html and using the browser to read them, which makes life a little more bearable. Would I buy one knowing what I know now though? No.

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Re. If you want a cool gadget for surfing the web

fair enough, but surely the N800 & 810 are internet tablets (well, that is what Nokia call them) rather than smart phones so it is hardly a realistic comparison. Bit like saying the iPhone is not as good a web browsing device as a laptop!

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@user of that thing

I wonder if USB / Bluetooth antagonism is a hint of bluetooth implementation: an easy way to add BTh feature to a HW lacking it to add a companion chip with has both USB *and* Bluetooth

Ah, but you must find a way to connect the USB into initial HW. If you do not want to add a hub to bill of material,

you may go for multiplexing. And you have USB or Bluetooth, as in "fromage ou dessert" when picking less expensive option in a french restaurant.

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Coat

@Gildas

"Bit like saying the iPhone is not as good a web browsing device as a laptop!"

Yeah, but you'd expect that kind of reasoned logic from a Linuxtard...... ;)

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Wot, no word processing?

To me (but not Edward Green!) a smartphone is only truly a smartphone when I can both read and write Office documents (including spreadsheets), and read PDFs using it. (Oh, and deal with multiple email accounts with aplomb.) My Nokia E61 does these things admirably (with the bizarre omission of RTFs), and can also create simple note files as long as I need them to be. For short business trips abroad, I don't bother taking a laptop.

And yet this Samsung beast, with its natty decent-sized keyboard, doesn't write Office docs and can only manage notes of 100 _characters_ long? That's shorter than an SMS!

Did Samsung understand "smart phone" to mean something to do with appearance?

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Not read this through

but if i remember correctly, it doesn't have wi-fi, does it?

I think that's what put me off getting one

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Time Machine?

If that thingie can bend time then I will want one. (Check the right picture on page two)

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Stop

Of course it's POS

We all know that phone producers have to sell a lot of cheapy phones for retards. Save your time and never read (and for reviewers - never write) pain stories about any phone which does not have VGA on it, it's just PoS, period.

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