Samsung has left us delightfully impressed with their recent forays into the world of mobile phones. Having come a long way from their previous efforts, the recent D500 and D600 models were excellent in all areas, combining a stylish slide design with an excellent user interface and quality multimedia features. They have continued these factors with the new D820 - basically a successful rehash of the D600 in a slightly different, if still great looking design.
- Excellent display, Stylish slider, Thin Design, Sturdy build, Excellent list of features, microSD slot,
- Only a 1.3 megapixel camera, TV-Out function needs perfecting, Can't use other phone functions while listening to MP3s
The D820 is another fine effort from Samsung and continues the standard set by their previous models. This one is even more stylish and sexy than its predecessor and features a better display.
Price$ 775.00 (AUD)
The D820 continues the successful slide form factor that Samsung have seemingly taken a stranglehold on. Where other companies seem to enjoy creating flip phones, Samsung has stuck with the slide factor and the results are once again pleasing. The saying "if it aint broke don't fix it" seems to apply here and we have to agree wholeheartedly with Samsungs stance.
Feeling sturdy and well built, the D820 is a joy to hold in your hand. In fact, it's definitely one of the most stylish mobile phones currently available on the market. At just 15.2 mm thick, the D820 seems to be following Motorola's lead in terms of a thin design. While it's nowhere near as thin as the successful RAZR, it is extremely slim for a slider phone and combined with a sleek black plastic finish creates a great looking handset. Aesthetically, the phone is a similar design to the D600; same amount of controls in the same location, similar keypads and a microSD card slot on the right hand side. The only thing it's lacking is a dedicated camera button, which the absence of we found quite annoying.
The only complaint we had with the design was part of the slider. When slid open, the keypad is surrounded by raised edges so those with large fingers may find these slightly annoying; especially when pressing keys close to the edges. Despite this minor issue, the keypad itself is well spaced out and comfortable and is ideal for those who frequently SMS.
The biggest improvement that the D820 holds over its predecessor is the display - it's significantly larger and this results in an even more pleasant user experience than earlier models. Photos are displayed bright and clear, videos are a joy to watch and you'll even be gasping at the colorful wallpaper on the standby screen. It may not sound like much, but a slightly larger display really is a significant improvement - especially when we had both of the phones side by side in comparison.
The D820 also includes the TV-output option which was first seen on the D600. This allows you to connect the phone to any television with a composite AV input using the supplied TV-out cable. Unfortunately this still needs improvement as the low resolution means most video files, photos and documents aren't clear enough to be put to appropriate use. Still, you can read and send messages, play games and listen to music - all via your television.
Disappointingly, Samsung have downgraded the camera on the D820 to 1.3 megapixels, down from the 2 megapixel one seen on the D600. Why they chose to do this is somewhat of a mystery, although the slightly lower RRP may have something to do with it. Overall, the image quality was average, but the camera does feature a fair list of options including multi-shot and mosaic modes. The camera looks like one more accustomed to those seen on 3G handsets; it can be rotated back and forth to take portrait shots as well as standard photos. This seems like a bit of a gimmick considering the camera isn't going to be used for video calling, but if you like to take photos of yourself then this one is for you.
Of course, the D820 also includes an MP3 player but you are still unable to use any other phone functions, like messaging, whilst using this feature. This is something we feel is vital for those who will be using their phone as a primary music player. Despite this, the supplied headphones, which also double as a portable hands-free system worked well and for most part the multimedia functions were of a high standard. Other features of the D820 include JAVA Games, support for SMS, MMS and email messaging and 73MB of internal memory; which doesn't sound much, but the included microSD memory slot mean you are well covered if you ever need extra space. USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a hands free speakerphone, PictBridge support for printing and a document viewer round out this fairly comprehensive package.
Battery life is fairly average, and this has been a problem for Samsung phones in recent models. While its improved since this line of handsets started with the release of the D500, it still doesn't stack up to a lot of competitors, and we found ourselved having to charge the handset every second night to make sure we weren't caught with a low battery just when we needed out phone most.
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