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Samsung SGH E730 review

Samsung SGH E730 review
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Retail Price: RM 525
AP Price: N/A
Samsung’s SGH-E730 features an outstanding range of imaging and music capabilities. Not only can mobile users enjoy taking impressive shots with the integrated 1.3 megapixel phone with flash and 4x digital zoom, they can also use the SGH-E730’s revolutionary mobile printing capabilities to produce instant prints wirelessly.
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Review On : Samsung SGH E730
By Marc Rutten
Translated by: Jonathan Cheah
Original review at Newmobile.nl
Cons : No voice dialling
No memory expansion
SoundMate not in box
Inferior video camera
Weird ring tone settings
No profiles
Pros: Small dimension and weight
Sublime construction
Quality colour screen
MP3 ring tones
Built in radio

The E730 is the latest in a line of ‘E’ models, with the E720. Both of these succeed the E700 and E710 which are among Samsung’s best-selling phones to date. The S300 was one of the first clamshell phones with two colour screens. This handset is marketed as the latest in a line of premium models from Samsung.
The E600 was the first model with the picture caller ID on the outside screen, The E700 was the first clamshell using the Internal antenna, or intenna, and the E720 was the first Samsung clamshell with Bluetooth and MP3 service on the front. The E730 develops upon this, and its specifications position it between the D500 and E720.
The user interface, the camera and most functions of the E720 come directly from the D500. Furthermore, the looks and the concept of a clamshell with MP3 service have been partially carried over from the E720. For the first time, a radio is added to complete the mix.
The following accessories are in the box when purchasing this Samsung phone:
  • Handset
  • Battery (standard battery)
  • Charger
  • Cable
  • Stereo headset
  • Product manual

    There is a grey charger in the parcel. This is the new charger for Samsung models, and it comes with a new electricity plug with a charging indicator. The stereo headset sounds good and is connected to the USB port on the side of the handset. Unfortunately the colour for both the headset and charger is grey, and we feel that a darker colour would be nicer for both these accessories.
    Hardware
    The E730 clamshell has a built in antenna just like E700/E710. The opening mechanism has no slack and the keypad feels firm to the touch. The construction of this phone is simply classy.

    The handset measures 90 x 45 x 23 mm and weighs 90 grams. When closed, one can find the camera and the flash on the front of the handset. Opening up both halves of the device, we found that the keyboard is much better than the one found on the E700 and feels firm to the touch.

    As we have come to expect from Samsung, the internal screen is a great 262K one measuring 176 x 220 pixels. It appears that Samsung has improved on the clarity of the screen here. The external screen is an OLED screen measuring 96 x 96 pixels and hosts an optional screensaver function.

    The batteries last for around two days with regular use. Playing games, using the MP3 player and the camera consumes a lot of battery power. It was a curious feeling to check the charger for the visual indication as to whether the phone has been charged or not. A green light on the charger indicates that the phone is fully charged. There is no ready indication on the screen of the device.
    Software
    The ringing system is still very awkward. There is no ring and vibrate setting for the device. Either the melody starts first and then the vibrator wakes up, or the vibration goes off first while the music tries to catch up a short while later.
    A great feature introduced here is a reduced-consumption mode when the battery is nearly flat. The screen automatically changes to lower brightness and the video and photograph functions are temporarily disabled. This saves enough battery power to send a few messages or have a quick conversation. This is a great system, with sufficient warning to enable the user to recharge the phone.
    Programs
    Nothing is missed in relation to the programs present in the E730. The programs have been divided into a number of locations in the menu. The first component is the Organiser where one finds a complete calendar with the possibility of adding an appointment, anniversary, birthday or a proposal. You can then query the agenda in month, week and day overview and notes to store.

    The second component is the XHTML browser which is in the handset. With this browser it is possible to view Internet pages by means of a GPRS connection. The Internet browser is not as sophisticated as the Netfront and Opera browsers in smartphones, but shows the requested site acceptably. There are no special components in the browser.
    The third component is the Funbox. This is a one-stop centre for all calendar dates, images, videos, music and sounds which have been placed on the handset. A number of components have already been discussed, such as the camera. The provided Samsung handset had several folders with a large number of photograph, video and audio files. All these files can be examined or played. Whethere these were on the handset itself at purchase was not immediately known.
    The fourth and last component contains the largest number of programs. These are the applications. This component of the menu contains the Java applets including games, MP3 player, Voice recorder, FM radio, international time zones, alarm, calculator, converts, timer and the stopwatch.
    The MP3 player is a simple but effective player, and you can establish your own files or applications. Moreover there two different types are on which the equalizer are reflected. Also one can establish if the song must be repeated automatically, if a certain order must be followed and what the volume should be. The MP3 player works in the same way when a sound file is selected in the Funbox.

    The quality of the speakers used in the MP3 player is reasonable. The quality is slightly less than the D500. This is because one generally uses the speaker above the screen and the handset has to be closed if one starts the MP3 player on the outside. When the handset is closed, the empty space between the baffle and the keyboard emits a type of consonance which does not help the quality. Also the fact that the speaker is against the keyboard is not an advantage.
    Unfortunately, there is no voice dialling, but the voice recorder or voice note are not lacking. The voice recorder incorporates conversations and other surroundings sounds in AMR format. It is not possible to use these files as a ringtone in the handset.
    The following options, the international time zones, alarm bell, calculator, Converter, Timer and Stopwatch speak for itself. These components need no extra explanation. The implementation of these programmes is good and clear.
    Camera
    The camera will astonish everyone. These 1.3 Mega pixel camera is one of the best in the market with the Sony Ericsson S700i and Sharp GX30, slightly below the Sharp 902 and the Sony Ericsson K750i with 2.0 Mega pixel camera. The camera is a revelation in the field of the options and user freedom. The options are more than the S700i/K750i.

    The quality of the photographs and videos are good, and are easily equivalent to that of the D500. This leads us to conclude that the E730 has a very good camera on board. The radio is a relatively new addition to the Samsung brand. I wonder why it took them so long, since Samsung makes some really nice, albeit not very durable MP3 players.
    The camera has some options which have not been seen before on a handset. One can take photographs in these resolutions: SXGA (1280 x 1024), Mega (1152 x 864), VGA (640 x 480), QVGA (320 x 240), QCIF (176 x 144) and Sub-QCIF (128 x 96). You can also select from three qualities photograph (Superfine, fine and normal), derision focus or from changes gear. You can also choose the ISO (ISO car, 100.,200.,300 and establish the 400) and standard names for the photographs taken.
    The video camera has the same functions as the normal photograph camera. The resolutions are slightly different, of course. In sum there are three resolutions, namely QCIF (176 x 144), QQVGA (160 x 120) and Sub-QCIF (128 x 96). Unfortunately the resolution 320 x 240 pixels is not present in this handset.

    One can also choose between normal video and MMS-size restriction, as a result of which a number of settings are selected for the user automatically. There is no possibility of establishing the QQVGA resolution and quality. One can choose from three resolutions and three qualities (finely, normal and Spaarstand), and then you can manage the sound.
    The photograph is made in the JPG format and is stored in photograph album. There can one examine the photograph and modify it by adding frameworks and emoticons. The user can also send the image by means of MMS, e-mail, Bluetooth or infrared.

    The same principles apply to video files. These files are created in the 3GP format and are stored in video album. One can then examine the video, erase it, edit it or simply send the image by means of MMS, e-mail or Bluetooth. The video player in which the videos are examined has the possibility of viewing MP4 files. However, recording MP4 files is not supported and that is a minus for this handset. MP4, as it happens, has a better quality than 3GP.
    Connectivity
    Connectivity is frequently an issue with Samsung mobiles. Previously, there were many problems with getting the infrared to work with PCs. The Samsung E730 is the fourth clamshell model from Samsung with Bluetooth, with the D500 being the first.

    The Samsung E730 is the fourth model of Samsung after D500 with Bluetooth and this makes it simple for users to send dates to other handsets and computers with Bluetooth.
    The Bluetooth application works quite well, and does not have many problems. However, we found that the Bluetooth function frequently did not work with Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets, and it didn’t work too well with Pocket PCs and Internet connections either.
    The data cable could not be tested as it was not in the box, and the infrared is not necessary because the Bluetooth function is present. The Bluetooth function on this device does not drain the battery noticeably. One improvement now is the ability to send multiple files at one time.
    The Samsung EasyStudio software suite is not in the box when you purchase the device. One must get the software by downloading from Samsung’s Internet site. There were many problems with this software, especially with the synchronisation of dates to the PC or Mac. Anyway, the newer versions of this software have addressed that problem and it should not be present any longer.
    The EasyStudio software suite is not in the box and you will need to download this from the Samsung website. The E730 has 96MB of internal memory which works out to roughly 92MB for applications with 4MB already installed in the device.
    The handset uses the first part of 92 MB for MMS reports, to e-mail bulletins and the Funbox, which accommodate all the images, videos, music and sounds. The leftover space is for 200 SMS reports, 30 server bulletins, 400 calendar notes, 50 notes and 1000 contacts.
    The second part is 4 MB which is reserved for all Java applications, such as Java programs and Java games.



    Conclusion

    This makes the E730 the only Samsung clamshell with MP3 player and radio, and both these functions can be activated on the external screen.
    There is a large degree of expectations on this Samsung phone. However, this device still has many flaws that need to be remedied before it can truly claim to be a great product. The lack of voice dialling and a memory card slot are the main grievances here, as is the uncoordinated ring and vibrate response of the phone.
    However, the build of the phone is sheer class, and the screen is very clear and one of the best I have ever seen on a phone. The camera is one of the best in the market right now and 96 MB should be enough for imaging purposes.


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