Plenty of bang for your buck
- Stylish design, build quality, reasonable features list, A2DP Bluetooth
- Proprietary headphone jack, mediocre display
The J700 isn't going to win any awards, but it does a relatively sound job if you are after a budget handset with a few extra features. It is one of the better pre-paid handsets on the market.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
Although looking similar to the 5-megapixel G600, the J700 is a totally different kettle of fish. This basic GSM slider is aimed at the low-end of the market and it provides reasonable bang for your buck.
Like many Samsung handsets, the J700 looks smart and stylish. Samsung has worked hard on the design of its handsets in recent years and the majority of them are quite attractive. The J700 may be an entry-level unit, but that hasn't stopped it receiving the flashy treatment &$8212; a gloss finish adorns the front and rear, making the J700 look and feel like a much more expensive handset than it is. Unfortunately, the glossy design attracts fingerprints and is difficult to keep clean.
Despite the J700's small size, it feels reasonably well built. The controls and keypad are well designed — despite the latter being relatively flat, the keys are quite large and well spaced and the J700 is comfortable enough for SMS use. Our only complaint lies with the five-way navigational pad — it's a little small for our liking; we found ourselves accidentally pressing the centre button when aiming to press the directional controls.
The J700's display isn't going to win any awards: it's quite small and text isn't crisp or clear. Photos taken using the on-board camera aren't displayed very well. However, the display is good enough for the target market of this handset — it's important to keep in mind that this isn't a multimedia-focused handset.
The undoubted strength of the J700, apart from the compact and stylish design, is the speedy user interface. The clearly labelled menu with icons and the simple list format for sub-menus are very easy to grasp and they don't suffer from any noticeable keystroke lag.
The J700 is a regular tri-band GSM handset and it possesses decent, but not outstanding call quality. Despite its position in the low-end of the mobile market, it has a reasonable features list, headed by a 1.3-megapixel camera with self-portrait mirror. A basic media player supports MP3, AAC, AAC+ and MIDI files; the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack will hinder its use, as will the fact that you can't play your music in the background. The handset's 10MB of internal memory and microSD card slot should be enough for storage.
USB and Bluetooth connectivity are present; the latter includes the A2DP profile, meaning you can stream your music to a compatible set of wireless headphones. The J700 also features Java, an FM radio and a host of PIM features including an organiser, currency converter and voice recording.
Virgin Mobile offers the J700 for $179 on a pre-paid plan, or free on a Free to V 20 Cap over 24 months. The latter offers $140 included monthly credit for voice calls and SMS messages.
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