MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
- Well built, stylish design, great keypad and controls, user interface,
- Bluetooth only 1.1, low resolution internal display
The X680 is an ideal phone for the budget conscious consumer. It's well built, has Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities, and also features an attractive design.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The Samsung X680 is an entry level handset without the bells and whistles, but still manages to include a stylish flip design, Bluetooth and an MP3 player - all for a competitive price.
The X680 performs well for voice calls, with good in-call clarity and loud enough volume at its highest setting. Despite being an entry-level handset, Samsung still includes a hands-free speakerphone and a 1000-entry phonebook. There is also voice recording functionality, and while it does the job, it isn't particularly noteworthy. A good digital music player or digital recorder will be of more value.
Perhaps the best feature of the X680 is the user interface. Clear, bright and speedy, the phone is simple and easy to operate. A simple 3 x 3 grid menu system with clearly labelled, animated icons ensures even novice users shouldn't have too many problems. Once a menu item is selected, a simple list format is used to display all the available options and sub-menus.
The X680 includes a VGA camera with 4x digital zoom. Predictably, its fine for taking a quick snapshot, but it really isn't useful for much else. At a resolution of 640x480, images don't look great and aren't detailed enough for printing at regular sizes. They are really only suitable for on-screen viewing, and sending to other mobiles via MMS. The camera also doubles as a video recorder capturing H.263 files at up to 290Kb, but its quality is less than impressive.
The X660 supports Bluetooth and USB connectivity for transferring wallpapers, ring tones, photographs and other files to and from the phone. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is only 1.1 rather than the newer 2.0 interface, so file transfers are a little slow. The X680 also uses a proprietary USB cable.
Despite its entry level position in the market, Samsung has squeezed a music player onto the X680, which supports MP3 and AAC file formats. Unfortunately, the minimal 30MB of internal memory with no memory expansion slot means the X680 is rather limited for music use. Other features of the X680 include Java support, WAP 2.0, a world clock, alarm, calculator, converter, timer and stopwatch. There is also polyphonic and MP3 ring tones, as well as standard SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input.
The clamshell X680 measures just 88mm x 44mm x 19.5mm, and is barely noticeable in your pocket. The flip mechanism feels well built and when opened, is just long enough to be comfortable to talk on. Finished in a black and grey colour scheme with chrome highlights, the understated, sleek design is classy and is one of the better looking budget phones on the market.
Flipped open, the X680 reveals a rather uninspiring 65k colour display, but it is more than enough to do a solid job with the simple and colourful Samsung interface. The keypad is comfortable to punch out long messages and features large, matte black, raised buttons. Also a positive, the controls are comfortable to use, consisting of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer/end call keys and a clear button. Conveniently, volume control and a dedicated camera button adorn the left and right side of the phone respectively. On the front of the X680 is an external monochrome LCD displaying time, date, caller ID, battery life and reception.
According to Samsung figures, the X680 offers up to six hours talk time and up to 250 hours of standby time, which is average for a phone in this price range. We found these figures reasonably accurate, charging the phone once every two or three days.
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