Samsung X820 Review
Member of DIWA Awards LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
LetsGoDigital Camera Preview
Samsung SGH-X820 Review
Samsung X820 camera phone
Friday 22th September 2006
Written by Nic Rossmüller
The new Samsung X820 is 6.9 mm thick, 113mm long and 50mm wide. A while ago, hardly anyone produced slim telephones, but a lot more manufacturers have started doing so recently. If we think about slim phones, we mostly think of Motorola's Razr series that started the trend (13.9 mm) and was followed first by the successful Motorola SLVR (11.5 mm) and Motorola L6 (10.9mm), and then by the BenQ Siemens whose S68 model was only 13.2 mm thick. Samsung had already made an extremely slim model, the Samsung SGH-P300, which at a mere 9 mm thick, looks more like a calculator than a phone. The Samsung P300 was both innovative and successful, but now Samsung has now gone a step further and taken the lead with the Samsung SGH-X820, which at 6.9 mm is the slimmest phone in the world. I wouldn't be surprised if other manufacturers go down this path and manage to spur Samsung on to even greater achievements. You cannot believe how thin the Samsung X820 is until you have held it. I tried the Samsung SGH-X820 out for a while and will discuss its functions and characteristics in the following review.
Samsung SGH-X820
Samsung SGH-X820 Camera Phone Review
Samsung SGH-X820 - Menu
Samsung X820 - Camera integration
Samsung SGH-X820 Samsung SGH-X820
Samsung SGH-X820 Camera integration Samsung SGH-X820 Menu
Today's mobile phones are getter more and more complicated, smaller and innovative. One thing is sure: Samsung has played a vital role in these developments. All currently available technology can be found in Samsung's mobile phones. 3G networks, Quad band networks, mobile television or pressure sensitive keys - you name it and Samsung is sure to have made a phone that has it. With the Samsung X820, Samsung has once more come up with something new: an ultra thin phone with a 2 Megapixel digital camera. Motorola had already decided that it was impossible to integrate a digital camera into an appliance this size, but Samsung has solved this problem by making a small bulge on the top of the Samsung SGH-X820. The Samsung SGH-X820 menu is easy to use. It works quickly and is the same as other Samsung menus, so if you have ever had a Samsung phone, you will be able to use it immediately. Everything is in the same place and only the pictogram looks a bit different and is of a higher quality. If you have ever worked with a Samsung before, you will be able to use the phone easily, and after you have looked for something in the menu a few times, you'll know where the various functions are. The Samsung SGH-X820 also has a lot of options in regard to SMS, MMS and telephone book functions. In the address book, you can save up to 1000 numbers and find them again easily with the help of the T9 setting in the address book.
Samsung X820 Keys Samsung X820 Camera X820 Camera Settings
Samsung X820 Keys
Samsung X820 Camera
X820 Camera Settings
Samsung X820 Keys Samsung X820 Camera Samsung X820 Camera Settings
The Samsung SGH-X820's keys are made of plastic and are a good size. All keys are easy to operate, except for the navigation key in the middle which is a bit on the small side. It is a bit difficult sometimes to touch the key on the right place to find a menu function. On the left of the Samsung X820 there is a key to regulate volume that is also handy for leafing though a long text message. To the right of the Samsung SGH-X820 is a key for activating the digital camera that also acts as a shutter release. The Samsung X820 has a 2 Megapixel digital camera, with a maximum photo resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. The digital camera in the Samsung SGH-X820 is nice if you want to take the occasional snap shot if you are somewhere and want to show it to family and friends. Don't, however, use it on a sports field or any event with quickly flashing pictures, because it won't be much use to you. The Samsung X820's shutter delay is so long that it is practically impossible to photograph moving objects, and another restriction is that you will probably end up with a blurred picture unless you have a steady hand. Unlike the Samsung E900, the Samsung X820 doesn't have a flash, but does have a function that you can activate for taking photos in poor light. I tried it out but cannot really say if it helped much. It is as if the ISO values were raised which means that more noise in the picture than would otherwise have been the case. The Samsung SGH-X820's digital camera has several quality settings, Low, Normal, Fine and Superfine. Photos made with the maximum resolution (1600 x 1200 pixels) and Superfine quality are saved in the memory in about 2 seconds. The Samsung SGH-X820's camera doesn't have auto focus and a macro mode, which is a pity as the results are not always constant or really sharp. After taking many test shots with the Samsung SGH-X820 , I soon came to the conclusion that the Samsung X820's camera has a clear preference for clear sunny weather. Photos taken inside are too dark, or blurred with obvious noise problems.
Internal memory & connection options
Zoom and Effects
Samsung X820 Zoom and Effects Samsung X820 Internal memory & connection options
Samsung X820 Zoom and Effects Samsung X820 Internal memory and connection options
The Samsung X820's digital camera has 4x digital zoom. A camera was tricky to incorporate in a phone this size. Obviously it would be totally impossible (at least for the moment) to equip it with an optical zoom unless camera modules continue to shrink in size. The camera's standard quality is reasonable, but can't compete with the quality of an average digital photo camera. Digital zooms in a photo camera are generally of a lesser quality, but using the digital zoom in a phone camera like the Samsung X820 is really not a good idea (to put it mildly) The pictures then become really grainy. You can patch the results up a bit with functions that include effects like black-white, negative, sepia, antique and mist. These are nice things to use if you want to send the photo to someone via MMS accompanied by a funny message. With an internal memory of 80MB you can take about 90 average quality photos. Unfortunately, the Samsung SGH-X820's 80MB internal memory cannot be extended with a microSD card or another flash memory card. Writing to and from the Samsung X820's internal memory can be done via the supplied USB cable, Bluetooth, infrared or MMS, so that photos you have taken can be transferred to a computer. You can also print photos saved in the Samsung SGH-X820 via a wireless printer that supports Bluetooth. I transferred 4MB of photos from the telephone to a computer, once with Bluetooth and once via the supplied USB cable; transferring 4MB took almost 3.5 minutes using Bluetooth and the USB cable was a bit quicker at just over 2 minutes. This was also a big improvement on the 3.5 minutes of the Bluetooth connection, but more than 2 minutes is very long if you are waiting.
TFT Screen Battery Network frequencies
Samsung X820 TFT Screen
Samsung X820 Battery
Network frequencies
Samsung X820 TFT Screen Samsung X820 Battery Samsung X820 Network frequencies
The Samsung SGH-X820 has a clear TFT screen with 262,000 colors and is 1.9 inches. The screen has a resolution of 220 x 176 pixels. It is clear and lets you follow what is going on on the screen. Everything can be seen clearly whether you are looking something up in the address book or writing a test message or MMS; even playing a game is fun on a screen of this quality. I also used the phone in direct sunlight, and although it was more difficult to see what I was doing, I could still see everything. Not so long ago, you could hardly see a thing on the screen if you were using a mobile phone in direct sunlight. This screen is really a plus point! Predictably, the Samsung X820 has an ultra-thin lithium Ion battery of 630mAh. With a fully charged battery, you can use the phone for 2 to 3 days at the most without having to recharge it. I phoned for approximately 1.5 hours in 2 days and spent a reasonable amount of time exploring the functions. Maybe if it is played about with less and only used to phone with occasionally, the battery could last longer than the maximum of 3 days. I think that Samsung has done a good job with the Samsung X820's battery and you can confidently say that the battery is one of the best in its class. The Samsung SGH-X820 has a Tri-band network function. In the Netherlands we only use the Duo-band network of 900 and 1800 MHz. The Samsung SGH-X820 also picks up 1900 MHz. That means you can use this phone all over the world, and obviously this is handy if you do a lot of traveling. The Samsung SGH-X820 has EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), making data communication quick and easy. Information sent via GPRS is up to four times quicker than normal wireless communication and EDGE technology is three times quicker than the GPRS system. In short, the Samsung X820 has everything you need for quick data communication.
MP3 Player & Ringtones Samsung SGH-X820 camera phone
Samsung X820 MP3 Player & Ringtones
Samsung SGH-X820 Camera phone
Samsung X820 MP3 Player & Ringtones
Editor's concusion:
The Samsung SGH-X820 has various types of ring tones, namely monophonic, polyphonic, realtone / truetone and MP3, and you will be amazed by the excellent sound quality despite the phone's ultra thin format. The Samsung X820's volume is hard enough is hard enough so that you will not miss any calls and if you are somewhere where you don't want to attract attention with a hard ring tone, you can just put it on silent and let it vibrate. In short, you'll never have to miss a call again. If you want to use the phone as a MP3 player, you would be better off with the Samsung SGH-E900, not because of sound quality, but because the Samsung X820's memory cannot be extended and so you can only save a limited number of songs in the internal memory.
"We could go on for ages, but to cut a long story short, the Samsung X820 is a good phone with lots of functions that are easy to operate. The Samsung SGH-X820 is a real innovation and Samsung has managed to grab everyone's attention by making the thinnest phone in the world. The battery capacity is good, but if you are going away for longer and you are not sure that you will be able to recharge the battery, an extra battery is not only desirable but a must. If you want to get more out of a mobile phone digital camera, then I have to conclude that the Samsung X820 is not for you. You would be better off with a Sony Ericsson K800i or Nokia N93; these are, however, considerably bigger. In short, the Samsung X820 may not have a super speed digital camera or an extendable memory. The Samsung X820 is, however, an amazing gadget that will wow its users."
Nic Rossmüller
...also read our Samsung E900 review!
Samsung X820
Samsung X820