Samsung SGH-J700 Review

Cheap price, but good quality features

By on April 30th, 2008 08:43 GMT
The Samsung J700 is a low-end compact slider that comes in a sleek black colored casing. There's nothing unusual regarding its looks or any of its features. The handset is a cheap solid slider with mediocre features, but enough qualities for those who only need limited phone functions. The price of the phone recommends it as one of the best buys in its range, so Samsung fans will be thrilled to be able to get their hands on a cheap slider that offers medium quality features. Anyway, don't expect to be able to take top-notch pictures or listen to high quality MP3 music, as the phone is simply intended for the low budget market.

Samsung SGH-J700 has been announced in February 2008 and has been released on the market at the end of the same month. The price for which it can be acquired is very low, 200 USD and may vary depending on location.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Design

Without impressing too much, Samsung J700 features a decent look specific to most of the Korean company's latest sliders. That's a little bit boring, but those who cannot afford to buy high-end devices will enjoy J700 for its stylish look. In terms of design there are few to no differences between any of the latest Samsung sliders and J700. Thus, you'll find the same Samsung proprietary universal port placed on the right side of the slider, which can be used to attach the headset that comes with the package, or simply charge the device. The same port can also be used to synchronize the phone with the PC through a USB cable.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The left side of the phone features the dual volume key and a small miscroSD slot for memory expansion. Nothing has been placed on top or on the bottom of the phone. The 1.3 Megapixel camera is revealed only after you slide-up the phone. This is a good idea as the camera doesn't feature any special protective cover.

The compound used for manufacture makes the slider look shiny and exquisite, in no way cheap. The front part of the phone has been covered with a protective plastic that may look like glass, which is pretty exposed to scratches, but not to fingerprints. There are two contextual keys under the screen, which look like two white small reflective spots. The big jog-wheel is very easy to use and makes navigation user friendly.

The Accept and Reject call keys, as well as the C (Backspace) key are all white, so there's no way to differentiate them by color, only by their signs. The internal keypad is pretty neat and spacious, every button featuring a nice to touch pattern that may remind you of a fingerprint. Above the screen the in-call speaker is also used as loudspeaker for those who intend to listen to music without the headset.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The handset feels very friendly to hold and weighs only 92 grams (including battery). Its dimensions are 99.5 mm tall by 48mm wide and 14.8 mm deep, which makes it pretty slender for a slide opening mobile phone. Overall, Samsung's J700 slider makes a good impression as a low-budget phone, but fails to stand out from the crowd through originality.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Display and Camera

Samsung SGH-J700 slider features a 2 inch TFT display, supporting 65K colors and a maximum resolution of 128 x 160 pixels. Known as one of the best mobile display manufacturers, Samsung included only a medium quality screen onto this low-budget slider. The phone scored mediocre in benchmarks as it was expected. The screen is almost useless in strong sunlight, so learn to find some shadowy places when outdoors. The pictures in the gallery may look average in quality, but the menu is a little annoying to use with such a low visual quality. Overall, this is a simple medium quality display, so don't expect too much from it, but rather be pleasantly surprised by what it can offer sometimes.

Review image

Review image

The 1.3 Megapixel camera doesn't feature any flash capabilities, but you get 12x digital zoom and self-portrait traits. Pretty useless features if you ask me, but the quality of the pictures can be surprisingly good for such a low-budget phone. This may be one living proof stating that the number of megapixels doesn't really matter.

Review image

Review image

Review image

The maximum resolution that can be used to take snapshots is 1280 x 1024 pixels, while clips can be recorded using only a small resolution of 176 x 144 pixels.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The camera interface looks standard with functions that have been embedded in all major handsets these days: White balance (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy), Effects (Black and White, Negative, Sepia, Emboss), Scene (Normal, Night-time landscape), Exposure metering (Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot) and Quality (Superfine, Fine, Normal).

Review image

Review image

Review image

As you can see from the samples below camera can take very good landscape pictures, but fails when it comes to close objects. Do not try to take pictures in completely dark areas; instead try to make shadowy landscape pictures. Overall, Samsung's J700 1.3 Megapixel camera scores above average and adds as one of the strong points of the slider.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Menu and Software

Samsung SGH-J700 integrates the specific Samsung menu and some of the applications and software, but on a lower scale. There is little customization possible with the handset, but, even if you had more choices, having just a medium quality display would eventually take its toll on you.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Obviously, there are some good changes that we have noticed like changing the alarm tones by choosing your own tones. You can also modify the existing Profiles by attaching your own MP3 ringtones, but that's only if you have the MP3 files stored in the phone's memory.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

You can set MP3 ringtones stored on the memory card only as Alarm tones or Message tones, ringtones are out of the question. Furthermore, Samsung tried to include some basic applications that we can also find in more evolved mobiles, but on an improved level. Some of these include: Music player, Voice recorder, Image editor, Calculator, Alarms (only 5 available), Calendar, World clock, Memo, Timer, Stopwatcher and Converter.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The phone also supports Java applications and games, but to a lower degree, as files larger than 300KB will not run. Moreover, there's a slight possibility that some of the applications smaller in size will not work either because of the low quality display or some other unknown reasons. The handset is definitely not made for those who are usually surfing the Internet. Either the small display or the crappy browser will make you give this feature up. Anyway, for a low-budget handset, the slider features a whole range of useful applications that are mostly used by owners.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Communications

Samsung J700 features EDGE (Class 10, 236.8 kbps) technology besides the usual GPRS (Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps). Still, that doesn't make it better as the browser capabilities are far too low to satisfy any needs. There's surely an improvement as users will be able to take advantage of the EDGE data transfer speeds to download applications needed and hopefully able to run on the slider. Unfortunately, there is little use for the Internet browser (Openwave 6.2.3.3) as it fails to load pages bigger than 300 KB.

Review image

Review image

Other connectivity solutions include USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support. While the latter is a wonder for a device that isn't music dedicated, the USB connection also enables users to charge the phone. There's only basic email support, and you can store around 200 SMSs in the phone's memory.

Review image

Review image

The triband (GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900) network compatible handset has a mediocre GSM signal reception. The sound is pretty clear and very loud. I have experienced drops in signal reception in places that have little network cover. This is unusual as a Nokia handset doesn't experience this kind of troubles in the same locations, so I wouldn't rate Samsung J700 more than 7 on a 1 to 10 scale.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Processor and Memory

Samsung SGH-J700 features an ARM9 family processor running at speeds up to 220 MHz. The mid-level CPU makes a good addition to the technical specifications of the slider, as the menu browsing is very smooth. Still, I have experienced unusual lags when browsing the memory card, but nothing that cannot be handled.

Review image

As expected, Samsung J700 features a mere 10 MB internal memory available for the end user. What's more important is the fact that it features a microSD slot card that will enable the user to expand the storage space.

Review image

Review image

I have tried to insert various microSD cards, but it seems that the slider only supports 1GB microSD cards maximum. Still, this greatly improves the slider's functionality, as you can store more MP3 files and/or pictures.

Review image

Multimedia

The Samsung J700 supports MPEG4/3GP and H263 video formats for video playback and video recording. Furthermore, the integrated music player supports MP3, AAC, AAC+ and MIDI files. Sound quality is more than adequate for this low-budget phone. Without being exceptional, sound vibes are well above average and only a good eared music freak will be able to make any difference between J700 and a much expensive music dedicated handset.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Unfortunately, the music player cannot be run in the background, but features some cool Equalizer settings such as: Bassbooster, Treblebooster, Dance, Pop, Rock, Jazz, Classical and Spokenword. The FM Radio lacks the RDS function and can only be listened with the headset inserted. This time Samsung made it possible for the user to run the Radio in the background or even transfer the sound to loudspeaker. Overall, Samsung J700 provides a well-sound multimedia experience that exceeded all expectations.

Review image

Review image

Battery

Just like in many cases, the usual 800 mAh Li-Ion battery supplies Samsung J700's slider also. The phone's official numbers state a 3 hour talk time and 250 hours of standby time. These numbers have been attainable, thus the slider scored another strong point. In fact, the phone lasted more than three hours of talk time. This is no low accomplishment, even for such a low-end handset that doesn't have any high features to exhaust the battery faster.

Review image

Review image

Impressions

The SGH-J700 offers a premium style that is sleek and classy with its reflective surface and slide-up slim appearance. Furthermore, it offers a modern package: trendsetting style and well-rounded features. Few low-budget mobile phones manage to embed such a high-quality mix of technical specs, style and functionality. The slider is surely one of the best in its range available at the moment on the market.

The Good

The strong point of the device is surely the low price that you have to pay to take advantage of such good quality features. Samsung SGH-J700 features one of the best 1.3 Megapixel cameras, way above average battery and medium quality music sound. EDGE connectivity and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support also add to the great functionality of the phone.

The Bad

The only negative that I have noticed is the mediocre display, which doesn't seem to cope with the rest of its features. Also, if you can 'bear' the same unchanged slide design offered by Samsung, the J700 handset will definitely serve you well.

Sales package

Samsung SGH-J700 handset
Standard battery Li-Ion 800 mAh
Travel Charger
Headset
User Manual

Photo: Tudor Raiciu for Softpedia.com

108 Comments