Samsung E950 Review
In a nutshell: This babe of a phone is a stunningly beautiful black & silver sliding smoothy, with a novel touch-sensitive pad with virtual menus. One of the best-equipped mid-range phones around, the E950 comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, an excellent music player, an FM radio, a microSD memory card slot, and is Bluetooth-enabled for wireless use.
Review: March 2008.
The Samsung E900 was one of the coolest phones of 2006 (and still popular today!), and its upgraded version, the E950 looks like being one of the coolest phones of 2008.
Available in silver / black, and using a mixture of metal and plastic finishes, the E950 just looks so good. There's a lot of attention to detail in the finish, and the smart metal back panel looks very nice indeed when you're holding the phone to your ear. Now, the old E900 used touch-sensitive controls that made for a very cool look, but weren't to everyone's taste when it came to usability. The E950 changes the user interface to a hybrid system very much like the interface used in the LG Venus. There are two parts to the user interface: a numeric keypad that slides out when needed, and a touch-sensitive pad below the main display that Samsung call a DAC Pad (Dynamic Adaptive Control Pad.) Within the DAC pad, the touch-sensitive buttons are virtual and context-sensitive. In other words, they change according to the menu requirements. For example, when using the music player, the touch pad controls change to music controls, e.g. play, forward, back, etc. This is a great idea, but we don't think that the implementation of the concept is as good in the E950 as in the LG Venus. For one thing, the Venus uses a larger touchscreen, and is also a smoother, faster implementation. Nevertheless, the DAC pad works, and provides an elegant solution to the mobile user interface problem.
The E950 features a new graphical user interface with animated icons. There are options for customising graphics, such as the animations used when dialling a number. The E950 also sports Samsung's new Espresso theme, which is a dark red / brown colour and looks stunning against the black of the phone. SmartSearch is another UI tool, which searches through the whole handset content, e.g. contacts, messages, etc. SmartSearch activates automatically when you start to dial a number, so you can use it as a shortcut for finding contacts.
The E950, like the E900 before it, isn't a high-end phone, but is positioned in the mid-range, so don't expect the latest and greatest features. Still, the E900 is well kitted-out and is a definite improvement on the old E900. The display is a good quality LCD panel with 262k colours, and a Sunlight mode that increases brightness and contrast for use outdoors. The camera is rated at 3.2 megapixels and is equipped with an LED flash, mirror (for self-portraits) and 4x digital zoom. There's no autofocus though, and image quality is midway between the old E900 and D900 - in other words, above average for a mid-range phone, but not anywhere near the level of the best camera phones. The camera can also record video clips of up to 1 hour's duration, at 15 frames per second and a resolution of 352 x 188 pixels.
The music player in the E950 is a touch above the average. It's a well-featured player that supports playlists, albums and artists and can create playlists on the go. The sound quality is excellent, thanks to twin speakers (mounted front & rear) and a dedicated amplifier chip from Bang & Olufsen. The sound is loud, and this applies to ringtones too, so you shouldn't miss any calls with this baby. As well as a music player, the E950 has a built-in FM radio with RDS that can automatically tune into the available stations and store your favourite stations in memory. The phone can be used with the standard stereo headphones supplied, or you can use an optional Bluetooth wireless headset if you prefer. With built-in memory of 60 Mbytes (enough to hold around 15 songs) and a microSD memory card slot that can take cards up to 2 Gbytes (enough for 500 songs), there's sufficient memory to make full use of the multimedia features.
Battery life is average for Samsung phones - typically 2-3 days using the standard battery, so we have no complaints about that.
As well as messaging via SMS, EMS & MMS, the E950 is capable of sending and receiving emails. A document viewer lets you view most Office attachments. You can also surf the web, although this isn't the best handset for the job, being limited to 2.5G (EDGE) speeds and lacking the big screen of a high-end smartphone. Still, the phone is Yahoo! ready, bundled with Yahoo! search and messenger.
We struggled with how to rate the Samsung E950. Our heart told us to give it 5 stars, but our head said 4 stars! We've gone for 4 stars, but know the truth behind this: if it weren't for the fact that the LG Venus has shown how to improve on the touch-pad design, we'd have gone with our heart and awarded the E950 the full 5 stars. It really is a beauty, and if you can work the touchpad you'll be delighted with this babe.
Features of the Samsung E950 include:
Samsung E950 User Reviews
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Average rating from 16 reviews:
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Reviewed by tomjenkis from wales on 21st Apr 2009
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Reviewed by Peter D Steele from UK on 6th Apr
Reviewed by Natasha Hargreaves from Britain on
1st Mar 2009
Reviewed by zainah from tanzania on 21st Sep 2008
Reviewed by jammy from jamaica on 13th Sep 2008
Reviewed by rahat from bangladesh on 24th Jul
Reviewed by Vicky from U.K. on 28th Jun 2008
Reviewed by Mariaa from Australiaa on 10th Jun
Reviewed by S4 from UK on 15th Apr 2008
Reviewed by nathalie from France on 10th Apr 2008
Reviewed by Berre from Belgium on 9th Apr 2008
Reviewed by barbara from UK on 3rd Apr 2008
Reviewed by Kevin from United Kingdom on 19th
Reviewed by babz from philippines on 7th Mar 2008