If you are into hip looking gadgetry, you may want to consider the Samsung D980 just because it has a nifty touchscreen and is a solid little number.
When I was first asked to review the Samsung D980, I felt a surge of confused emotions.
I was not completely thrilled at this prospect as I have been an avid user of Nokia and Sony Ericsson my whole life, so reviewing a Samsung felt like going over to the dark side.
Not only that, the thought of learning a new user interface freaked me out. People will say, “You’re in your twenties. You should be able to soak up and learn all things thrown at you,” but clearly they have not known me long enough.When I was handed the D980 and the charger in its sparse box, I felt regret at having taken on this task. I mean, there were no instruction manuals or anything.
I double checked with the copy editor and I was told that this was a review model and thus there was no need for all the extra accoutrements that come with a D980 normally.I clearly remembered the panic rising and my throat tightening as I walked back to my desk.
Sitting at my desk, I apprehensively held the D980 in my hand. And as I turned it around, inspecting and admiring its glossy mirror surface, loving how it sat comfortably in my palm, I felt my fears dissipate and dissolve, a smile slowly creeping onto my face.The smile was short-lived when I realised there was no keypad, the fear beginning to claw at my innards again.
But that disappeared and I felt the calm within me once more when I turned on the D980, dazzled by its bright and attractive 2.6in screen and realizing it is a touch screen mobile phone.
The responsive touchscreen is really great. Samsung aptly terms this feature Touch Wiz. By gliding your finger on the screen or using a stylus, you can move widgets, which must be the coolest thing ever on a phone. These widgets are basically things you want easy access to on the desktop of your phone.They float and can be shuffled to a corner or be sent to the sidebar widget holder.
It can range from a clock, incoming messages, games, radio, the notepad, music player to your calculator, for example.To me, it is unique as I have not experienced this yet on a Nokia or a Sony Ericsson.
There is also a sidebar at the top of the screen. By tapping the top of the screen, you will be able to access your inbox, music player, SIM cards, web browser and Bluetooth which is really handy as these are commonly used applications.Besides being very clear and sharp, the colours on the screen are vibrant and pleasant to the eye.
However, the mirrored and glossy surface of the D980 attracts a lot of unwanted smudges and thumbprints so I was irked slightly when I saw how murky the screen got sometimes. I spent a lot of time wiping the touchscreen.The D980 can hold two SIM cards simultaneously but not only that, I can use both SIM cards at the same time so I have two phone lines running concurrently.
Basically I am carrying a 2-in-1 phone. And it was the first thing I learned about it when I turned it on — the phone prompted me to insert my SIM cards so that it could configure itself to accommodate both cards.So this phone is real handy for those who have to tote two mobile phones around for work or for leisure.
The D980 reduces the number of phones you carry around but allows you access to two SIM card contacts and phone lines at the same time.This also means I can send and receive messages from both phone lines. I guess it is also good for those of us who have secrets to hide and who need two phone lines rather than one.
Did I mention this phone allows you to have two phone lines in one phone?
The downside to this extremely cool feature is that the D980’s inbox, outbox and sent box can only hold a total of 200 messages or 240 messages if you count your SIM card storage space which is not very much considering the amount of text messages we send out everyday.I text quite a bit and it was literally a joy sending messages on this phone.
I was at first hesitant as I am used to keypad style messaging and thought I would never be able to formulate my words fast enough with a stylus but was I surprised when I wanted to text message someone with the D980.When you create a message, a keypad comes up with fat buttons so you do not require the stylus but can easily use your fingers to type away.The screen is also sensitive enough so I was able to effortlessly send and reply my messages.
The D980 is a handsome phone. Although it may resemble previous Samsung models in terms of its build and mirrored surface quality, it is slightly smaller and more compact. It will fit any trendy lady or suave man. Truly, it is a sexy phone.
I found the menu straightforward and effortless to understand. In fact, I got the hang of this phone instantly which is most surprising considering my learning curve with phones.I fell in love with its simple menu and directory system, everything was within reach of each other and it was not difficult to do the things you want to with the phone.
I was also very grateful that most of the buttons and apps were finger friendly which made using the phone so much simpler.I can get quite clumsy with the thin, insignificant stylus so I was glad that it was hardly required. This really made the phone one of the best I have used in awhile.
The 5-megapixel camera is also fun to use because it is almost like a full compact camera with features you can fiddle with such as 15 Scene modes, ISO settings, white balance, face detection, shooting modes and resolution sizes of the photos.It also has a flash which is glaringly bright. The camera also acts as a video camera so it makes this D980 a real multimedia powerhouse.
The volume on the D980 is loud and clear. I was able to compose music with the keypad tones which is extremely fun.Although it does irritate those around you when you are typing a message, it is unique to Samsung phones.
I wake up to the alarm on the D980 and so far have not overslept once. Ok, maybe once.Although I cannot gush enough about the Samsung D980, there is a major disappointment to the phone.
With its bright coloured screen and its fabulous responsive touchscreen, it is most depressing that the phone does not have WiFi.
If only it allowed for wireless connection to the Internet, this phone would be a clear winner beating its competitors hands down.Although you can connect to the Internet using EDGE, it will be slow and expensive.
The D980 is a phone that will attract the younger crowd. It looks good and is easy to use. Menus and applications get the job done quickly.I reflect on how anxious I was when I was initially handed the D980 and yet I fell in love with it once I turned it on for the first time.I now feel quite foolish and dread having to give it back.
Pros: Dual-SIM; responsive touchscreen; on-screen keypad, nice interface.
Cons: Screen attracts smudges and thumbprints; small inbox for messages; no WiFi.
Screen: 2.6in touchscreen (240 x 320-pixels, 262,000 colours
Camera: 5.0-megapixel with autofocus and flash
Connectivity: GSM (900/1800/1900), GPRS, EDGE
Expansion slot: MicroSD (up to 2 GB supported)
Standby/talk time: 180 hours/5 hours
Battery type: 1,200 mAh
Other Features: Dual-SIM, MP3/AAC+/MPEG4 player, document viewer, Java MIDP 2.0 support, FM radio, voice memo
Dimensions: 97 x 55 x 16mm
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia, 1-800-88-9999