Samsung E950 review
|Review: March 2008|
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.
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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.
Samsung E950 features include:
- 3.2 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, LED flash & image editor
- Video camera, 352 x 288 pixels at 15 fps (records up to 1 hour)
- Display: TFT, 262,144 colours, 240 x 320 pixels (2.0") plus OLED touch panel (65,000 colours, 1.2")
- Music Player (MP3, AAC, AAC+, e-AAC+, WMA formats, OMA Digital Rights Management 1.0)
- FM Radio with RDS
- MP3 ringtones (64 voice polyphonic ringtones)
- Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email (POP3 / SMTP / IMAP4)
- T9 predictive text
- Document viewer
- Java games
- Voice memo recorder
- Text/Photo/Video Caller ID
- Personal organiser functions
- Memory: 60 Mbytes plus MicroSD memory card (up to 2 Gbytes)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, TV-Out
- Internet: WAP 2.0, GPRS Class 10, EDGE, Yahoo! Ready
- Offline mode
- Size: 98 x 46 x 16.5 mm
- Weight: 89g
- Talktime: 3 hours
- Battery standby: 260 hours
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Samsung E950 user reviews
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Average rating from 16 reviews:
Reviewed by ameer from nepal on 8th Mar 2010
sooooooooo good i like it
Reviewed by tomjenkis from wales on 21st Apr 2009
i is a great phone P.S. is it the successor to the E900
Reviewed by daniel from malta on 15th Apr 2009
i think that the phone is worth buying for people who have patience.the phone's really slow especially if you have a 2gig card.for a song to start you have to wait for about 5 sec...nd that implies to all the other stuff..though,very nice mobile especially with the touch..
Reviewed by Peter D Steele from UK on 6th Apr
Sometimes I just sit there looking at it; its so elegant. I lost the manual and found I could only download it in French , so I learnt french. This phone is excellent for those whose fingers are nimble. I've installed a 1 gig SD card and its a fantastic Mp3 player. Mostly though it is a very reliable phone.
Reviewed by Natasha Hargreaves from Britain on
1st Mar 2009
the phone isnnt all what its cracked up to be. the phone chrashes on a regular basis and the battery doesnt have a very long life. Texting on this is a nightmare and woudnt recommmend it to anyone who is a text-a-holic. I think the only thing good about this is it looks better than the E900
Reviewed by zainah from tanzania on 21st Sep 2008
i luv this phone.its da coolest ever.
Reviewed by jammy from jamaica on 13th Sep 2008
Reviewed by rahat from bangladesh on 24th Jul
yaa its good phone,everything is fine
Reviewed by Vicky from U.K. on 28th Jun 2008
Great sleek and stylish phone! It's all about fashion in my world!!
Reviewed by Mariaa from Australiaa on 10th Jun
OmG THANKS you guys for your comments, its really helped me make a decision in buying a phone. this one loooks convincing. YES FINALLY CHANGE msg tones. wohoo. downer about themes but oh well. i don't usually go for touchpads - those chocolate phones were blooodi annoyin!! to sensitive. but loved the idea.. since this has a small touch pad, it would be AwEsOme. thanks again guys :]
Reviewed by S4 from UK on 15th Apr 2008
If you couldn't use the E900; this is not for you. Touch sensitive buttons are the future.And E950 is, way ahead. Awesome phone. Finally I can change the message tone. Finally the sound is good. Need more themes though.
Reviewed by nathalie from France on 10th Apr 2008
It's the best phone ever !! You should buy it !!
Reviewed by Berre from Belgium on 9th Apr 2008
I don't like the phone very much. Its a very cool looking phone but i hate it that you can't put any other themes on it. The screen and cover is very scratchaddictive! The camera is good though. But it's not my type of phone.
Reviewed by barbara from UK on 3rd Apr 2008
This phone is the sexiest little thing ever. :D EVER!
Reviewed by Kevin from United Kingdom on 19th
This phone is really good its alot better than its predecessor the E900 the camera takes very clear high quality photos and it has expandable memory the touch sensitive buttons take abit of getting used to the quality of the MP3 player is really good and supports various audio formats the battery life is very good and so is the call quality it also looks really good I would highly recommend this phone.
Reviewed by babz from philippines on 7th Mar 2008
this phone is sexy!i like it