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Samsung SGH F330 review

Samsung SGH F330 review
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Retail Price: RM 520
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The Samsung SGH F330 is a tri-band GSM/UMTS/HSDPA slider phone. This thin music phone built in 20 MB internal memory, 2 megapixel camera, secondary VGA camera for video-call, FM-radio, media player, microSD expansion slot, Bluetooth 2.0 (A2DP), and USB 2.0
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Review On : Samsung SGH F330
Review by Iliya Solovyev (smape.com)
The new Samsung F330 can be spoken of as a musical variant of Samsung ?840, in many respects their specifications coincide. However there is also a number of differences concerning user interface, Design, other features and weíll dwell on them in the review. On the whole letís begin the review with the remark that the device sold at its price becomes an interesting offer. With rare exception it has actually no direct rivals by other manufacturers on the market and that sort of expansion is rather advantageous to the companyís product range.
Design, ergonomics
Samsung F330 is implemented in a slider form factor, traditional for the company for the recent period of time. Its design solutions in many respects coincide with those of the above-mentioned Samsung E840: a mirror-plated front panel as well as touch-sensitive keys, however the device has its own face, it looks interesting and advantageous. Many consider the handset design as expressive, brilliant and stylish. Itís really so, the combination of white (a principal colour) glossy plastic and a mirror-plated surface produces a nice impression, it automatically relates the model mostly to a female audience.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Letís compare this phone with some other music sliders available on the market, for example, with SonyEricsson W910i, Nokia N81. All the three products look well, have their own advantages, Samsung F330 differs in the most balanced dimensions. It is neither too wide, nor too thick. On the whole, the dimensions are typical for the current generation of mobile communication devices.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

The material used for the exterior of F330 is the high-quality plastic standard for the company, its practicality raises no reprimands; it doesnít tend to accumulate fingerprints. The side edges have thin inserts of a dark blue, almost black color where the control keys are located. The left edge hosts the sound volume rocker button, the button of switching between applications and the headset output covered with a plastic gag. The socket location on the side edge is not too convenient, however it causes no special problems. The power button and the camera launch / the shoot button are put on the right edge. The memory expansion slot (microSD) is found nearby.
The handset has a single speaker; itís equally used for transmitting voice and sound. Thereís no extra polyphonic speaker. Accordingly the sound is not of the highest quality, yields to the models equipped with stereo speakers. The front camera for video calls is put nearby.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

On the front panel above the screen (as well as on the back panel) a logo of the Beatz series Ė a note is depicted. The navigation block is edged with a glossy insert transiting to the bottom edge. The back panel is not of much interest, the camera module is located at the top part of the slider, its back surface being black.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

The build quality is traditionally above any ideal, the slider mechanism is absolutely smooth and the play between parts is minimal. It takes a single push of the finger for the sliding part to go the full way automatically. However thereís no separate finger rest for opening the slider, the finger rests just above the navigation button which is touch-sensitive, therefore stray keystrokes take place. On the whole the handset design is pleasant. The phone is compact, light, neat, sits in hand rather comfortably, the only objection is raised with an easily soiled surface, but there's nothing to be done here.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Display
The handset sports a display with a 2,1Ē diagonal (32?42 mm), the matrix is build based off the TFT-technology and is able of displaying up to 262 thousand colors. The resolution is quite traditional, namely being 240x320 pixels. This stands for approximately 12 lines of text simultaneously visible on the screen. There is no luminance sensor here, the screen and keypad backlighting being adjusted manually (there are four positions available).
Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

The display has a mirror-plated substrate that resists the sunlight so the information remains easily legible, nevertheless due to a mirror-plated front panel the colors are erroneous and the screen glares. The screen quality is high; it is one of the best among the similar products, the colors are very natural and the brightness is up to standard. Comparing the screen of Samsung F330 with that of Nokia N81 and SonyEricsson W910i, letís note just its small diagonal, as for the rest there are no serious distinctions.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

The screen fonts are easily legible and optimized for the deviceís display. The phone numbers are shown in large symbols, no problem arises here. The options include a setting that allows to choose the symbol type as well as font size, font color and background color.
Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Controls, keypad
The sound volume buttons have a few settings, for example while receiving an incoming call the button can be set to act either as Mute or Reject. The first function just mutes the ringtone while the second drops the call. Unlike Samsung G600, F330 has no text template sending option after the call is rejected but its availability was handy with that device.
Unlike with Samsung G800 which pioneered the use of the button switching between running applications, but at the same time launching the camera, with this device the button is utilized only for the former function, thatís it is used to call the quick access menu consisting of five shortcut icons:
  • Dial
  • Messages
  • Browser
  • Mp3 player
  • Shut all the running tasks
Thus, switching between applications is implemented in this device; by pressing this button you can switch to one of the offered modes from any item of the main menu. It is possible to keep a few applications running at once, however there is no full-fledged task manager here and the quick access menu cannot be customized. If Samsung G800 is the first step the company have taken towards multitasking, then F330 is the logical development of this idea, the button tasks are shared. Though everything is in its infancy here (there are only three processes available in a background), the advance in this direction is already evident.
The handset keypad is standard; it is made of a plastic plate, flat, however due to their big size, the keys are easy to tap at and nice to type with. The keypad use a bright white backlighting, itís very even and well-visible in all kinds of environment. It is an interesting fact that the numerical keys are backlit when the slider is closed, which is not quite logical.
Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Samsung F330 Photos Samsung F330 Photos

Let's dwell on the navigation block. It is made of white matte plastic; it is touch-sensitive and only the central key is ordinary. The solution is not the most ergonomic one, stray keystrokes are frequent. If the player mode is activated the keys are employed for track management, even if the player is in a background mode. Menu navigation is habitual, there are no surprises. The player launch button is put just below the navigation block.
Battery
The phone makes use of a Li-Ion battery with a standard capacity of 900 mAh. Thereís no support for any enhanced battery types for this model. Similar to the latest Ultra Edition II phones, the trademark charge saving technology OPUS is implemented here, giving the battery a few extra percent of saved charge. This doesnít make a big difference but still helps.
F330 is able to survive for about two days of moderately extensive usage (about an hour of talktime, two hours of listening to the music and another hour of application and menu interaction); the result is quite up to the modern standards. Few users are going to be dissatisfied with that. However the majority of modern music devices, especially by SonyEricsson, allow for a much longer battery life during the Multimedia cycle.
A full recharge cycle takes two hours and a half. The charge indicator has a peculiarity: the first two points tend to fade away rather quickly, but the last point stands for about a day.
Samsung F330 battery life
 Samsung F330 Sony Ericsson W910i
Moderate usage 2 days 3 days
Multimedia cycle, video (3GP) 2:30 4:40
Multimedia cycle, audio (MP3) 9:20 19:30

Communications
Samsung F330 is a three-band device (GSM900 /1800/1900), has a full Class 10 EDGE support, it supports 3G networks (WCDMA2100) and HSDPA as well. In other words, as regards communications F330 quite meets all modern requirements.
Wireless communications support of Samsung F330 is represented by the Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR module. It gives raise to no reprimands, the data transfer rate comes up to 140 Kbps. Unfortunately, like with all 3G models based off the Qualcomm chipset there is no support for sending Java applications from outer sources to the phone itself. The .jar and .jad installation files placed in a separate folder in the phone memory cannot be installed. The Bluetooth options include the activation status (whether it is turned on or off), the list of visible Bluetooth devices, the Bluetooth visibility status of the phone itself, the device name and miscellaneous settings. The Bluetooth service includes a standard set of features. Unlike G600 and E950, Samsung F330 doesnít sport an enhanced A2DP support allowing for two Bluetooth stereo headsets to be used simultaneously with the same phone. The lack of this feature isnít quite logical for a music devise. However such functionality is a niche one, therefore one shouldnít consider it as a disadvantage.
The stereo headset (A2DP) proved to be a reliable accessory, the only minor flaw being a negligible lack of volume. The following list of profiles is supported:
  • Dial Up Networking Profile
  • File Transfer Profile
  • Generic Access Profile
  • Service Discovery Application Profile
  • Headset Profile
  • Handsfree (Car Kit) Profile
  • Generic Object Exchange Profile (OBEX)
  • Object Push Profile
  • File Transfer Profile
  • Basic Printing Profile
  • Audio Vdieo Remote Control Profile
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile
  • Enhanced Data Rate
  • Dual Profile Bluetooth (Voice & Data)
  • vNote
The wire connection is achieved through USB 2.0, but the data transfer speed is not the highest. On the other hand the phone sports full and correct support of Mass Storage, Media Player, Samsung PC Studio modes. The corresponding menu lets the user to set one of those as the default connection type or ask for choice every time a phone-to-PC connection is established.
Performance
The performance of Samsung F330 is traditionally low, itís easily felt after trying to rewind a long 3GP clip weighing about 60-70 Mb. Besides, the Java performance is not an exception to that rule, its functionality isnít perfectly implemented. However F330 has made quite a bit of progress in comparison to 2,5G models.
 Samsung F330 Samsung E950 Sony Ericsson W910i
Jbenchmark 1.0.1 Score 1141 1568 7222
Text 278 499 1964
2D Shapes 271 383 1983
3D Shapes 198 199 873
Fill Rate 102 88 667
Animation 292 399 1735
Jbenchmark 2.0.1 Score 124 86 978
Image Manipulations 147 70 321
Text 130 94 657
Sprites 119 99 505
3D Transform 112 94 662
User Interface 112 76 12617
Jbenchmark 3D HQ 145 75 371
Jbenchmark 3D LQ 163 84 424
Triangles ps 15363 9186 30619
KTexels ps 1492 948 1517
Jbenchmark HD Gaming Score 98 (3,3 fps) 50 (1,7 fps) 151 (5,0 fps)
Smooth triangles 34096 18953 28641
Textured triangles 21941 13455 24299
Fill rate, KTexels 559 307 1972

The heap size equals to 4 Mb, the maximum Jar size - 1 Mb.
User interface
Samsung F330 is among the last generation of 3G devices, in many respects the Software platform coincides with G800, thatís it is a maximally simplified version of what we see with Samsung G600. F330 has been developed at the R&D Suwon centre, but the differences from 2,5G models are great. It concerns practically every trifle with rare exception, for example, the impossibility of quick access menu customization, the list of applications is fixed; further, F330 has no text template sending option after the call is rejected, there is no user theme customization, the FM tuner, multimedia player, Bluetooth, sound profile and user interface features are reduced. However there are also some positive aspects, for example, the phonebook implementation, switching between applications. On the whole, as for the interface both F330 and G800 are intermediate solutions, the following models will provide more user customization features.
Let's dwell on the basic points of the F330 user interface features. Let's dwell on the camera phone user interface features. Following the wake of D900, the company again implements the Living World embedded interface plug-in. Once the phone identifies its geographical location, it displays a corresponding desktop wallpaper (Kremlin for Russia and so on, including the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, the Big Ben of London and the Eiffel Tower of Paris) The wallpaper displays a set of symbolical animations indicating the time, quality of signal and incoming calls or messages - the wallpapers switches between the day and night versions, the sky gets overcast with clouds when the signal level gets low, fireworks can be seen once you get a unread message or miss a call. If you are out of the mobile network area, you see a green lawn among hills. This is not exclusive to F330, but still is a winning feature that looks interesting and has no direct analogues with other brands.
During the standby mode a screen-size clock can be set to be shown, thatís large enough for the numbers to be easily seen from a distance. Up to two clocks corresponding to two different timezones can be shown on the screen simultaneously or the clock indicating the time of your city of residence of a larger size.
????????? Samsung G600_rev ????????? Samsung G600_rev

The status line displays all the indicators of the running processes and the activated modules - Bluetooth, player, the profile selected, the web connection, the battery charge level, the network service indicator and so on. If you open a menu, the indicators go a line down so you can always see them.
Is goes without saying you can pick any picture for wallpaper instead of the Living World screen, almost anything like a photo taken with the camera. The calendar cannot be set to be used as the wallpaper, an option like that is excluded. But on the other hand there is rather an interesting feature that allows to create animated wallpaper, referred to as My Screen. The matter is that you choose from one up to nine pictures, photos, the effect to be applied and the shot change rate. During the standby mode the chosen pictures replace each other, besides one of following effects is applied:
  • Butterfly
  • Paper plane
  • Cherry blossom
  • Bamboo
Besides, several picture change modes are available: rolling-up, replacing, moving aside and so on. It looks attractive, slightly reminding of the multimedia menu background implementation with Nokia N95.
The information displayed during standby (the name of service provider, the currently playing song title, the event indications) can be customized to be shown in a number of ways according to the user-defined preferences: font color, style and alignment are customizable.
The font style in the dialing mode is also customizable as well as size, color and numerical symbol style, the former two parameters being active only for the standard font presentation. However the preset figure types are more attractive - as one of the available variants the symbols traced with a fountain pen on notebook pages are offered, an appropriate animation present. Besides the font customization, you can also set the background color for the phone number window; almost everything here can be adjusted to your own liking, since Samsung phones have long been known for their strong positions in the field of user customization features, which is evidently a customer attracting factor.
As we have already mentioned, the My Menu implementation with this device differs from that with Samsung G600. The quick access menu cannot be customized; it is called by pressing the special button on the left edge. Itís to advantage that the list is available from any item of the main menu, not only during the standby mode. One can bind different functions chosen from a rather extensive list to the navigation button strokes sidewise.
Another interesting and useful feature is the ability to filter the contents of phone book and call log by the three initial numbers while in the standby mode. In fact, if you know a phone number by heart you can trace it in your contacts book and the call log by merely typing the three initial letters... once you do so, you see the search results shown as a list of contactsí names as well as surnames and phone type icons (home, mobile, etc). If the phone number is not saved in the phonebook, itís only the number itself and the call status icon that are shown in the search results.
The absence of user themes turned out to be a disappointment. You remember how handy this feature was implemented in Samsung G600; the user was even able to create custom themes right from a basic menu, without having to resort to a specific application, the quality of themes implementation deserved admiration. Samsung F330 gives only an opportunity to choose between the two basic color schemes - white and lilac, though at that the menu presentation changes. If in the case of the white colour scheme the menu is displayed in the traditional way, in the case of the lilac one Ė the icon matrix shrinks and the selected element is located at the upper part of the screen.
Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

The main menu can be either set to show as the traditional icons tab or as a list with each icon hosting a pop-up menu listing its sublevel functions (this option can be turned off if you get annoyed with the crowding pop-up windows).
The navigation features the recently introduced Ďuser action memoryí function found in the newer Samsung models - the phone keeps track of user actions and opens every menu at the menu item that was last activated. Fast menu navigation is possible through numerical keys, everything is standard here. But as compared with G600, there is no animation - upon activating a menu item, the previous screen cannot be set to slide sideways or fade or open in halves, giving way to the new information. Among the few drawbacks of menu implementation is the lack of possibility to swap the menu item positions and the order of submenu items, there is no way to create new groups and icons either.
In general the user interface may be characterized as follows: the F330 software platform is much similar to that of G800. The phone lacks many pleasant trifles known by G600, and on the whole the simplified software platform is typical of the 3G devices of this brand. The market of such devices is insignificant for the company and of no first priority at present. One cannot speak about the great popularity of 3G models. GSM and UMTS devices are developed at different design offices; hence there come differences in the software aspect, even irrespective of the R&D center. Further weíll also dwell on the basic distinctions from the already reviewed G600.
Sound profile
The support for sound profile is a pleasant feature of Samsung F300. The six profiles are present, but the user cannot add custom ones though the preinstalled list of six profiles is more than enough for the phone to be handy, the existing profiles can be modified. The profile creation mode is quite simple, but that doesnít mean a lack of options. There are three main groups of settings - Call settings, SMS settings and Misc sounds settings.
The Call settings include the signal type (a lot of variants here - ringtone only, vibration only, ringone and vibration, vibration followed by the ringtone and vice versa, ringtone fade-in with or without vibration and so on), the ringtone itself is also set here as well as the volume of sound and the number of times the melody is replayed.
The SMS settings are much simpler, only three types of signal can be chosen: vibro only, sound only or vibro and sound. Unlike with G600 a custom .mp3 file can be used as the incoming message signal. Miscellaneous sound settings include the keypad button sound, the power on/off sound and some minor service sounds.
Switching between profiles is only possible via the main menu, thereís no separate button for switching profiles. The Mute mode is toggled by holding the # key; the activated profile icon is displayed in the status line.
Call service
The phonebook is called by pressing the right soft-button or via the main menu. The list contains phone numbers from the phone memory as well as from the SIM-card (a customizable item Ė it can be set to show only the phone memory or the SIM-card numbers). Every contact is given a small picture if the one is fixed or a preset icon. Filtering by the initial name letters is possible (up to 50 symbols). If several phone numbers are associated with a single contact, only the main one is displayed in the contact headline (mobile phone number by default).
A name, a surname and two phone numbers (a mobile phone number and a home number) can be associated with a newly created or edited account as well as an e-mail address, a short note, an individual ringtone and a call picture. Any picture, photo or preset icon can be used for that. The call picture is large, practically taking the whole screen. Seemingly, here we observe the next simplification in comparison with G600 - a reduced quantity of items, however in actual fact G800 acquired a new feature: the ability to add necessary items. One can set up to 35 items in all, 10 being initially preset. The list of items to be added contains the following ones:
  • Mobile number (personal, work)
  • Home number (personal, work)
  • Fax
  • Other
  • Videocall number
  • E-mail
  • WEB page address
  • Group (a contact can belong to several groups)
  • Message signal (individual)
  • Nickname
  • Birthday date
  • Company
  • Position
  • Address (personal, work)
When giving a contact more than one phone number, the user can specify which number is to be used as the default one for making calls and sending messages. It is just an advance towards any smartphoneís book of contacts, the account items cannot be renamed and moved here, a quantity limit is present.
When setting the birthday date, the phone automatically offers to mark the event in the calendar, give the event a name and set the alarm clock to warn you in advance of the upcoming birthday.
The phonebook memory can contain up to 1000 contacts, each containing all the associated phone numbers. The user groups are supported; three groups are preset Ė family, friends, and work. All of the three groups being customizable, i.e. you can rename them or create your own ones. A unique ringtone and picture can be associated with each group. A group can contain up to 20 contacts. All the contacts as well as the namecard can be sent via SMS, MMS, E-mail or Bluetooth to another person. The quick dial list can contain up to 8 numbers, everything is standard here. The list shows only the personís name and surname which might be a bit inconvenient if that person has several numbers and only a picture if it is associated with the contact.
Other miscellaneous options include the possibility to choose the storage location for the newly saved contacts - the SIM card or the phone memory (or set it to be asked for each time the user saves a contact), sorting all the contacts by name (Display as), but there is no template choice (Name+Surname or vice versa) here.
The call log keeps track of all the recent received, dialed and missed calls. Up to 30 records of each call type are stored. The call log can be either displayed as a common list with each call type having an indication icon or three separate lists for each call type. Switching between the lists is done by pressing the navigation button left and right, this aspect sharing the same approach as we saw in Nokia and SonyEricsson phones. The number of times that the specified number has been dialed is shown in brackets next to it. The stats tab contains info about the cost and number of incoming and outgoing calls as well as the length and cost of the most recent call.
Samsung G600 has a blacklist which supports adding undesirable contacts both one by one or even by a whole group. The latter function is a unique Samsung feature (in the sense of a manufacturer-preset function); its usefulness canít be underestimated. It was very nice of Samsung to include this function as a standard function embedded into the firmware.
Messaging
Samsung F330 traditionally employs a combined messaging system - the phone automatically defines the message type depending on its content. The phone memory can store up to 500 SMS messages + the SIM card memory. Up to 20 recipients can be defined for every outgoing message; up to 12 messages can be glued together in a single one. Sound, vibration and backlighting signals are available for warning the user of an incoming message. EMS is supported. The MMS memory is limited to 300 messages the multimedia content of which must not exceed the free user memory. The messaging interface supports a separate blacklist. The text message settings are minimal; they include only the text reply, the delivery notice and saving the copies of outgoing messages. Older messages cannot be automatically purged; there is also no feature to set the text style. Thereís no SOS message option.
Thereís a separate recent contacts list for text messages. Once you are about to send a text message, the phone displays this list of recently contacted people so you can instantly choose one of them as the recipient of the current message. The other option is to use the phonebook to select the recipient. A message can be dispatched either to a single person or to a whole contacts group. The number of recipients is indicated near the icon to the left from the contact name in the contact line.
Upon starting a new message the user is free to set the font size (large, medium and small), colour and style (bold, italic). The same settings can be applied exclusively to a selected piece of text within a message. Possible attachment types include an image, a video clip, a calendar note (up to four task types plus a phone card) and a sound. Once a multimedia attachment is detected, the text message is automatically converted into an MMS. The photo and video attachments can be quickly selected from the gallery or instantly taken right with the camera without having to quit the image editor.
The following e-mail protocols are specified: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, SSL(3.0), TLS(1.0), OTA E-Mail Settings Configuration, Push E-mail EMN OMA 1.0.
The maximum size of an outgoing message canít exceed 300 Kb. The maximum number of e-mail accounts is five. There are the interesting functions of auto e-mail checking at user-defined intervals, sending the reading notices and the e-mail downloading mode - headers only or whole messages. The mail download limit is 500 Kb; an automatic delete is also present here. deleted messages can be kept saved at the mail server if the user wishes so. All types of attachments readable by the phone itself or by the Document Viewer are supported. The viewer starts right here and when the file viewing is completed the application shuts, leaving the editor running. E-mail settings include a blocking option similar to the one used for messages and for the contacts book. The difference is that the user is allowed to blacklist specified e-mail addresses as well as header phrases to block spam.
The multimedia messaging system (OMA 1.2) limits the maximum size of a multimedia message to the usual 300 Kb. Up to 20 recipients can be specified per message; maximum text length is limited to 1000 symbols. The MMS setup includes the priority, the expiry date and the delivery time (from one hour up to one week and the time fixed by the user). An MMS message limit makes from 30 up to 300 Kb. The auto resize mode to the given limit can be switched on. According to the settings, the message type can be set either freely depending on the size of the created message or strictly limited - should the image exceed the limit, itís automatically modified to fit. When inserting an object, its actual size is specified, and an already composed MMS message can be previewed prior to sending.
Besides the listed options the MMS messages can have their font size (large, medium and small), colour and style (bold, italic, etc) adjusted in the same manner as SMS messages, the same goes to background color and message viewing mode, the latter option is set to Fullscreen by default. The automatic deletion function is absent for the MMS messages. SMIL is supported - the maximum number of pages and objects inside a message equals to 15 and 35 respectively.
PIM
The Personal Information Manager includes a standard set of applications like calendar, alarm clocks and quick notes. Up to six alarm clocks can be set, the first one named Wake Up alarm. Each of the alarm clocks can be flexibly tuned, schedule is fully supported (the days of the week are chosen); the alarm signal can be replayed at a user-defined interval. The alarm turns on even if the phone is turned off. Each alarm clock can be given a unique title and adjusted to play a unique song, including .mp3 files or turning on the radio. Much like the sound profiles, the alarm clocks support a variety of signal types - ringtone only, vibration and ringtone, vibration followed by a ringtone, fade-in ringtone with or without vibration and so one. Once an alarm clock is adjusted and activated, a short info on that alarmís settings is instantly shown on the screen, everything being more than evident.
The Calendar has a few viewing options: by month, by week or by day. The schedule can include up to 240 records (on the whole as well as for one day). Preliminary notices and recurring event signals are supported. Sorting events by type is well-implemented (meetings, anniversaries, tasks). A day that hosts a specified event is indicated by a colored corner, the color corresponding to the event type shown in the status line (meetings, anniversaries, tasks).
The default view mode is adjusted in the options, as well as the starting day of the week (Monday or Sunday). Memory manager is in its place, indicating the number of occupied and free event slots in the calendar memory. The expired events are deleted being picked out or after a period of time.
All the necessary event parameters are specified on adding a new event - date, beginning and end time, the alarm activation time in case an alarm signal is associated with an event and the interval at which an alarm signal is replayed. The total amount of events, as noted above, equals 240, thatís 100 is reserved for meetings, 50 for anniversaries and holidays each and 20 for personal and important events each.
As we have already mentioned in the phone book description, the Birthday line associated with every contact is automatically added to the calendar as an Anniversary-type event, the user is asked to set a reminder, specify the day and the time when the alarm must be activated. So you wonít miss your grandmotherís birthday, and the preliminary warning will remind you to buy a present beforehand. This calendar option is really handy.
Multimedia, MP3 player
The Samsung software platform isnít the most powerful one when it comes to multimedia content processing. But as for music playback, the situation is incomparably better on this front though the music player interface has been simplified in comparison with G600 in spite of F330 being a music device in the companyís opinion. For example, there is no double sound output to two Bluetooth-headsets simultaneously, visualization is weaker. On the whole the controls are comfortable, no reprimands here. During the playback the screen displays info including song title and the name of performer, the album cover (thanks to the Album Arts function), the playbar (a progressive rewind mode is supported) and all sorts of indicators showing the on/off status of different player settings.
Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Background mode is supported, the settings include:
  • Playback settings (reshuffle, random song),
  • Sound output via a wireless stereo Bluetooth headset
  • Add to playlist (one, several or all created),
  • Ratings system (from 1 to 5 or unrated),
  • Setting a song as a ringtone or alarm signal.
  • Equalizer (sound effect) presets. The device sports 9 sound effects in total. Being activated, each changes the sound quite noticeably. The effects are not customizable. There is no support for custom equalizer presets either.
Any song can be sent via MMS, E-mail or Bluetooth. Flight Mode is supported, which helps to save battery charge however itís inaccessible without a SIM card, which is a minor flaw. There are no additional visualization effects known by G600.
During background mode, the player window is automatically minimized to a small box corresponding to the user-defined color and style. The song name and the control indicators are shown in the box. The player is managed through sensor controls. Its options include sorting songs by performer, song title, genres, recently played tracks, most frequently played tracks and so on.
Samsung F330 Samsung F330

The following multimedia formats are supported by the Korean novelty: MP3, WMA, Polyphonic 64, AMR, AAC, AAC+, e-AAC+, i-Melody, Midi (SMF) and SP-Midi.
As we see, all the basic standards are supported save for RA. like the majority of the latest models by the Korean manufacturer, the novelty makes use of a dedicated sound amplifier based on the patent-protected technology by Bang&Olufsen. The sound chip was dubbed ICEpower Mobile and helps to increase the output sound volume but doesnít affect the quality. So Samsung phones became almost the loudest phones on the market leaving behind all the rival handsets by other brands, which gives them an advantage on the mass market. Speaking of sound quality, it nearly matches the latest XpressMusic models manufactured by Nokia supplied with a dedicated DSP which in combination with a high-quality headset provides for a high sound quality; however Samsung easily beats them in volume (F300, Ultra Edition Series II, E740, F330 and some others). DSP (Digital Signal Processor) provides additional sound processing algorithms while ICEpower Mobile only amplifies the signal to increase the sound volume. While a standalone amplifier amplifies noise and signal distortion just as well as the wanted signal, the DSP allows for separation of wanted signal from the noise part so the amplifier is fed with a clearer signal.
In other words, DSP handles such signal parameters as dynamic range (the equally high capability for reproducing quiet and loud sounds without any distortion), frequency range, noise-emission level, gain compression, and with the Samsung models these parameters are determined by a circuit technique of the amplifier itself. Samsung did their best to improve the sound quality both by increasing maximum sound quality and implementing an improved circuit technique of the ICEpower amplifier itself, sporting better characteristics as compared to a regular DSP-embedded amplifier. How does a casual phone user benefit from it? Of course, first of all there comes the high-quality and at the same time very loud sound perfectly audible in most situations. Itís an evident advantage over the many competing models, but calling that line of Samsung devices Ďperfectí is simply wrong.
So, letís repeat the main idea of the narration: the Samsung F330 hardware is similar to that of a "non music" U700, but at the same time provides a high quality and volume of sound. However being a rather good music solution, owing to a simplified player interface in comparison with G600 and not the very handy controls, F330 cannot offer any fresher features than the rest of last-generation Samsung models do. F330 is exactly as musical, as U600 is (letís repeat once again, it is on a level with the highest sound standards). As a matter of fact itís positioning on the market, a good headset and a 3,5 mm adapter bundled, labels for managing compositions that make this phone a musical one. As for the sound quality in comparison with other rivals, letís note a slight advantage of F330 over SonyEricsson W910i (not taking into consideration the very easy controls of the latter) while Nokia N81 and Samsung i450 provide a slightly higher quality of sound (as concerns N81 - a higher maximum volume as well). In general F330 is a good musical solution for the mass market but no more than that, it offers absolutely no fresh features.
Continuous music cycle wastes the battery charge over about ten hours, itís quite a standard value for a modern mobile device, but some of the next-gen music phones will provide for more than twice as many hours of playback before the battery issues its last breath (we are hinting at the upcoming Nokia and present-day SonyEricsson Walkman phones).
The FM-radio implementation is typical of Samsung products, all the standard functions like search and autosearch are in their places as well as manual tuning and things like that. The specified frequency can be added to the channels list and associate a name with the station. The saved stations can be further deleted, renamed or set to be activated as an alarm clock signal.
Tuning is performed by finger-rotating a circle that is shown on the screen, everything is more than evident. The station memory can contain up to 99 stations, RDS is supported. Sound output can be configured both for the headset or the embedded speaker. The FM tuner as well as the MP3 player can stay fully functional during the standby mode. The reception quality is high and raises no objections. But Samsung G600 possessed the enhanced ability to record radio broadcasts. There is no such function here, everything is simple.
Preinstalled Software Package
Samsung F330 comes with a standard variety of preinstalled applications. We have already reviewed some part of it or are going to review (Image Editor and others). Now letís dwell on some other features. Unlike with many Samsung models there is no Document Viewer for viewing office files. As before, the controls are very easy, the zoom icon in the viewing mode indicates the availability of easy zooming which is performed with pressing the sound volume button. The Document Viewer application, as itís easily deduced from the title, has no document editing capability which is the only weak point of F330 as compared to smartphones. A TV-output isnít available either.
The voice recorder application found in the F330 has a nice and easy to use interface; itís functionally simple yet highly effective. Maximum voice record length can be limited to fit the maximum MMS length or to one hour, the recorded file can be saved either to phone memory to a memory expansion card. The record volume and the record name are set by the user. Unfortunately the voice recorder is unable to record phone talks, but the exterior sound source records turn out fine, no reprimands.
The world clock function is quite standard and allows for displaying two timezones and corresponding cities on the world map.
The integrated calculator displays a good functionality; it can handle both basic operations as well as complicated mathematical functions like sinus and cosines. The basic math functions are implemented by pressing the designated buttons. The calculation result can be immediately transferred to the measures converted should such necessity arise. The measures converter can handle and convert all kinds of currencies, measures of length, weight, area, volume and temperature.
The countdown timer and the stopwatch are quite typical of most phones, nothing to talk about.
Itís important to note that the phone lacks the Smart Search function, a very useful search application. It remains a mystery why it wasnít included.
Google Search
The Google Search function found among other menu items, quite accordingly with its name offering a Google search capability as well as used for opening the browser application (Access NetFront v3.4, the same browser used in most Samsung devices) and accessing the mail server. Everything is quite clear. The browser sports a good variety of functions and settings including:
  • Page Format (small, medium, large)
  • Page Pilot (a mini-map helping navigating through large web pages)
  • Page Address Copy
  • Saving images from the page or saving the whole page
  • Cache and cookies settings (cache size is 2 ??)
Miscellaneous settings include options to allow Java scripts launching, play sounds and viewing images, as well as fast view mode - the Smart-Fit technology forces the text and images to fit the screen in a fashion that allows for more comfortable browsing. Itís possible to browse web pages using both portrait and landscape orientation, the latter variant retains the same options.
Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330

The browser supports a vast majority of data types and languages: WML Ver. 1.3, WML Script Ver. 2.0, ECMA Script, xHTML, cHTML, and HTML Ver. 4.0.1.
Camera
The camera of this device is not marked out with anything special; its quality coincides with that of E840 - 2 Mpix without autofocusing. Image quality is appropriate. More or less comprehensible photos can be achieved only with an ideal light setting. On the other hand, if one takes into consideration other offers available on the market of music phones, things fall into place. F330 quite represents the market reality.
The camera button is located on the right edge of the casing. There's no separate button for switching between shooting modes (like in E590) but a quick action menu can be easily called upon pressing the right soft button. The menu has following items:
  • Camera
  • Camcoder
  • Gallery
  • Settings
  • Exit
Video recording modes are the following:
  • Single shot
  • Multi shot
  • Mosaic shot
  • Panorama shot
It deserves mentioning that in the serial shooting mode the maximum resolution drops from 2560x1920 to mere 320x240. The same goes with the Mosaic shot. An overall number of 15 different kinds of Mosaic are available which is more than enough. Each series may consist from 6, 9 or 15 pictures of Normal or High quality. F330 has a timer; it can be set to 3, 5 or 10 seconds. A time bar is displayed during the countdown backed by a value shown in numbers which is nice. The effects are few, only Black and white, Sepia, Negative.
likewise a majority of other Samsung phones, F330 offers you to choose from 21 different kinds of frames to decorate your photos. That's quite interesting considering the MMS functionality. Your girlfriend can get an MMS with her photo inside a heart-shaped frame after the date is over, the very same photo that you took in the street an hour ago.
A set of standard White balance settings is available (Auto / Daylight / Incandescent / Fluorescent / Cloudy /). You can also tune the way the viewfinders works (Regular / Indicator / Guidelines) and tweak the camera application icons. A photo just taken with the camera can be rotated at once by pressing the central OK/select key.
Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Extra settings include typical:
  • Quality (Super Fine, Fine, Normal, Economy),
  • Scenery presets (usual or night landscape),
  • Exposure metering (Matrix, Spot),
  • Shutter sounds (preset sounds, off),
  • Digital zoom sound (on, off),
  • Brightness adjustment sound (on, off),
  • Storage (phone memory or flash card, no storage folder customization),
  • Default Filename.
The following photo resolutions are available:
  • 1600x1200(UXGA)
  • 1280x960(SXGA)
  • 800x600(SVGA)
  • 640x480(VGA)
  • 320x240(QVGA)
For video shooting:
  • 320 x 240(QVGA)
  • 176 x 144(QCIF, MMS)
A few examples of how the camera of F330 works:
Samsung F330 Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330 Samsung F330

Samsung F330 Samsung F330 Samsung F330

The F330 gallery implementation is very simple. It only possesses a few basic functions such as sorting - by date, type, name, size. The slide show isnít customizable at all. It's impossible to customize even the time interval. The only supported video formats are 3GP and MPEG4. The functions include View, send via MMS, send via Mail, send via Bluetooth, set as a personal icon, set as a background; copy and move; delete and rename. You can instantly share a file through Bluetooth or send it for printing both via Bluetooth or USB connections. The last thing you can do is just view the file properties.
Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

Samsung F330 Screenshots Samsung F330 Screenshots

F330 supports following graphical formats. All the basic formats are supported, but there is no support for BMP:
  • WBMP
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • A-GIF
  • JPEG
Impressions
Samsung F330 offers a good communication quality; our testing didnít expose any major drawbacks. The speaker volume is sufficient for most situations. The polyphonic speaker isnít too good; itís not always audible. The battery life is standard for most of the companyís phones, which makes up about two days of moderately extensive usage; active users will have to recharge the handset daily.
As we have already mentioned, the device leaves a pleasant impression on the whole due to its interesting design, moderate dimensions and well-balanced ergonomics. But there are some drawbacks as well, for example, not the most powerful software platform as well as touch-sensitive controls, which certainly wonít please everybody. Especially in frosty weather when it is rather problematic to manage the device outside, sensor controls donít respond to touching them when you are gloved, for example. But in general, considering the price reasonable for its segment, we get a good musical solution, however there is nothing extraordinary in it. The devices from the companyís portfolio like E840, U600 are main competitors to this product. Among other competing offers letís note SonyEricsson S500i/W580i, offering in many respects comparable functionality, similar dimensions, but worse materials of implementation, build quality. The audiences of these solutions wonít cross. Belonging to the higher price segment Nokia N81, SonyEricsson W910i cannot be considered as an alternative to the reviewed device, the difference in prices, functionalities and positioning being considerable. The two above-mentioned solutions belong to top-class music devices in the companiesí portfolio.
Samsung F330 is an image solution, rather than a musical one; all of the latest generation models of the company that we have mentioned more than once possess exactly the same musical capabilities. The novelty has no advantages over them, except for a sales package. The model will hit the shelf at the turn of November - at the beginning of December, 2007 at a price of about 260 euros. That is F330 automatically gets in a niche between U600 and ?840, and if U600 is a more balanced solution as a whole (a high-quality camera, better ergonomics at a minor difference in price), then ?840 is a less interesting alternative in such comparison. It is the author's subjective opinion that first of all the successful design is sure to provide a stable but moderate demand for the device. In the companyís product range F330 just enlarges an assortment. At that it is not a key model in any segment; this part is rather assigned to some other devices.
SMAPEís opinion
Samsung F330 is a rather affordable music slider offering a high quality of sound, a very interesting design, however the software platform is far from being perfect, and the model isnít remarkable for anything special against the background of other modern devices by Samsung.
    + High quality of sound
    + Remarkable design
    + 3G support
    + Well-balanced dimensions
    - Controversial touch-sensitive controls
    - Relatively short battery life
    - Easily soiled surface
    - Not the most powerful software platform
    Originally posted at Smape


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