- User friendly interface remains, external screen, responsive keypad, small and light, quality internal display
- Battery life, 1.0 megapixel camera a little outdated, no included USB cable, external display not visible in sunlight
The E530 is yet another good handset by Samsung and women will appreciate the design features it incorporates. However, the aEuro ˜Womens LifeaEuro TM functions will wear off quickly.
Price$ 579.00 (AUD)
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Girls just wanna have fun - and they can with the Samsung E530 that is designed specifically for use by women.
The E530's main feature is a specific application in the phone called "Woman's Life". Within this application are six functions - Fragrance Type, Biorhythm, Height/Weight Ratio, Calories, Pink Schedule and Shopping List. Fragrance Type helps you select the right perfume for the occasion. You enter where you are going, then choose what you will be eating, drinking, the music you will play or listen to, the colour clothes you will wear to the event and the style. The E530 will then describe the type of perfume you should wear, based on ingredients rather than specific brands.
The Biorhythm function calculates females' biorhythms for either a day or a month, Height and Weight ratio is a simple formula to determine whether you're over or underweight, Calories is a calendar which displays physical activity for the day and determines a calorie count, while Pink Schedule is a menstrual cycle calculation. As it is naturally quite difficult to test the Pink Schedule on men, we gave the E530 to two women to explore this function and they reported that it works well. That's all you need to know, really and as men, that's about all the information we wanted to know, for the sake of our fragile male psyche.
The last function, which we made most use of, was a Shopping List. You enter the product the quantity and the cost in up to five separate lists. We're not sure who would spend the amount of time needed in drawing up this entire list, but hey, it works. Overall the "Womens Life" functions are largely a gimmick that will probably wear off after a couple of weeks of use.
Thankfully, the rest of the phone is top notch and Samsung have only confirmed their reputation for producing quality handsets. Compact and well built, the E530 is a joy to cup in your hand and its purple and pink finish is sure to win over the women. Weighing only 85 grams, the handset is easy to flip open, revealing a sturdy and easy to press keypad which we think may have been designed with long nails in mind. Above the keys is a 4-way navigational pad, Answer and End Call keys, a Clear button and two selection buttons.
The external screen is an excellent feature of the E530 and displays two lines of text, a battery life meter, reception indicator as well as custom wallpaper. It also displays caller ID and picture information when a call is received. Unfortunately the external OLED display is near invisible in any form of sunlight, which is disappointing. As with most other Samsung models, the main internal display is crystal clear, bright and has an excellent viewing angle. Samsung really have impressed with their mobile displays and the E530 is no exception.
The much loved Samsung menu has taken an overhaul in the looks department, but thankfully, it retains the ease of use of previous models. The graphics in the menu and sub menus have been designed with women in mind, with floral patterns and bright icons particularly eye catching. Otherwise, the traditional 3 x 3 grid format is the same and as always, users will once again appreciate the simple layout.
We were disappointed with the one megapixel camera, which is quite outdated. Most new handsets are shipping with two megapixel cameras as a minimum, so Samsungs decision to go with a single megapixel is puzzling. Still, the camera did take quite respectable images and there are plenty of options to tweak with including a plethora of effects - Gray scale, Negative, Sepia, Emboss, Sketch, Antique, Moonlight and Fog.
The E530 also includes an MP3 player, but with only 82MB of memory and no expansion options, we can't recommend using this as your sole source for portable music. There is playlist support, but no room for a custom equaliser and you still aren't able to type messages or use any other of the phones functions while the MP3 player is active. This is a problem we've seen in all of Samsungs handsets and it still hasn't been addressed.
Other features include a 1000-entry phone book, support for standard SMS (with T9 predictive text input), MMS and e-mail messaging, a voice recorder and the usual alarm, currency converter and stopwatch functions. The voice recording was surprisingly clear, although it does pick up excessive background noise. The E530 isn't without connectivity functions either, with Bluetooth and WAP 2.0 support, although we were disappointed with Samsungs decision not to include a USB cable in the package.
Battery life has been a problem with most Samsung models we've reviewed and unfortunately the E530 isn't an exception. Rated at 200 hours standby and 5 hours talk mode, the E530 is significantly under average in terms of battery life. If you use the phone regularly you'll only get about two days of usage, which is fairly poor. It's disappointing because once again, the handset is a quality one which deserves a better battery.
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