- Easy to use
- Push To Talk problems, no Bluetooth support
Unless you are particularly enamoured with the idea of Push To Talk, we would recommend a phone with more features and better controls.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The bulky Samsung SGH-E820T Push to Talk (PTT) phone won't win any prizes for looks, and with its limited functionality, poorly laid-out controls and lack of multimedia options, this is one unit to steer clear of.
To use PTT you need to have a mobile plan that supports it. PTT works like a 'walkie-talkie' system, the idea being you push a button on the phone and others with a PTT phone can hear you immediately without the need to dial their number and call them. To respond to your message, they push the PTT button on their phone.
The advantage of PTT is that you can have multiple people (up to five) involved in one call and conference calls are always fun. It can also be cheaper than making a regular call, with no flagfall costs.
PTT is not a panacea, however. Both you and the person (or people) you are trying to talk to have to enable PTT on their phones to join the PTT call group. This often requires you to call or messaging them first, which really defeats the purpose of using PTT in the first place. Secondly, only one person can talk at a time, so forget about having a riveting conversation. Thirdly, you can only use PTT with phones on the same network (you can't do Optus to Telstra PTT, for instance). And lastly, with time charging, heavy usage could get quite expensive.
If you aren't buying the unit simply for the PTT features, there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the SGH-E820T.
It's a 'slide' model, so the screen is slides up to reveal the keypad. While the unit itself is small and light, it is rather bulky when compared to other phones. Although the screen on the phone is a large one, at 128 x 160 pixels, it only supports 65,000 colours.
We found the controls on this unit confusing. On the front of the SGH-E820T, Samsung has placed a five-way navigation joystick, two soft keys, call start/end buttons and a cancel button. Our biggest gripe was with the navigation button, which features a WAP shortcut right in the centre, rather than an OK or Select button. In addition, the buttons on the keypad were simply too small and too close together, especially when typing SMS messages.
Another aspect of the phone we found particularly annoying was the tendency of the phone to lock the keypad. When the screen was slid up, and every time we exited any Menu options, either using the Cancel or the Call End button, the phone would lock, meaning we had to then unlock it to access menu options again. There is an option to have the phone prompt you to lock the keypad, but this soon grew very frustrating when we wanted to perform multiple operations quickly.
The voice quality of calls on the SGH-E820T was above average and Samsung has included a 'voice clarity' function, which minimises background noise. A small external speaker that can be connected to the headphone socket is also included with the package. This amplifies the call volume, which could be useful in a car. Another feature we liked was the Minute Minder, where the phone beeps every minute into the call (a visual call counter is also provided on the screen).
The SGH-E820T ships with only a VGA (640 x 480 pixel) camera and no video capture is available. There is no support for MP3s, FM radio or email. Bluetooth is conspicuously absent, although infrared connectivity is provided.
The SGH-E820T has a phone book which can take up to 1000 entries and allows photos to be linked to caller IDs, but does not support voice dialling. The usual missed, received and recently dialled call lists are included, as well as a calendar, clock, calculator and converter applications.
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