Samsung i300 review: Smartphone with a hard disk

Roman Krejča, 22 November 2005.

Time organizer, data

The phone has a calendar with a day, a week and a month view. Once again, synchronizing is brilliant. It covers all the details.

Month week and day view at the events

Compared to the calendar the task manager is much too simple. It relies on the fact that the user will keep synchronizing every detail with their PC. In the phone alone the Task manager will not let you insert but a simple note. At the same time, this smartphone does not have a special, independent note function; it only offers a voice recorder, which is able to record a call, besides all the rest.

Unfortunately, Samsung i300 does not feature EDGE. Data transfers are executed through GPRS Class 10. As the data transfer counter is not a standard part of the original equipment of the phone, you will need to install it additionally.

The new Samsung i300 can be connected to a PC through a classic cable, an infrared port or through Bluetooth. Inside the phone you will find Internet Explorer, which also helps you open and read WAP pages. During the outside tests I used GPRS. When I was in the immediate vicinity of a PC, the phone used Bluetooth to share the computer's connection.

As for web pages, they can be viewed in three modes - either like in a standard computer, where the pages need to be scrolled vertically and horizontally, or in a column, or in the form of a text without any layout formatting. The browser itself is neither that fast, nor that good to be worth further description.

Internet browser

Treat the camera with patience

The camera of Samsung i300 features one very annoying characteristic... - it is slow. Once a picture has been taken, the camera needs several long seconds to get ready for another one. Thus, two consequent pictures take no less than 15 seconds. The shutter release works with significant delays too: in fact, the phone captures the scene long two seconds after the release button has been pressed and the sound has been played. The setup options of the camera are quite standard. The quality of the pictures is very good, but cannot be qualified as exceptional.

Camera viewfinder setup options

Sample photos:

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Digital zoom samples:

Samsung i300 Samsung i300

The digital zoom is 4x. The quality of its output is more or less satisfying. Regarding the video application, it is utterly useless. What I am trying to figure out - evidently in vain - is why it cannot be as good as the one in the D600 model...

Sample videos:

3GP format, 136 KB 3GP format, 617 KB

Will it beat Nokia N91?

There is no doubt that Samsung i300 is a top-class phone with brilliant features. I am also sure that it will meet the requirements of the most demanding customers. It can be used both for work and fun. Its one and only serious drawback is the slow data transfer. In fact, EDGE, Wi-Fi or 3G network support should have been implemented in a phone of such a high class. I was also disappointed when realized that unlike its initial promises, Samsung i300 wont use the latest version of the Windows Mobile OS.

The price of the phone is expected to stay below 660 euros.

At this moment, the only competitor Samsung i300 could be compared to is Nokia N91. N91 is the only other phone on the current market equipped with a built-in hard disk, which is even bigger than the one in Samsung, offering the unbelievable 4 GB. Nokia N91 works with Symbian OS, has a megapixel camera and supports Wi-Fi, EDGE and 3G networks. On the other hand, Samsung i300 is smaller and lighter. Besides, I think it is far more attractive than Nokia N91 as far as design is concerned.