First impressions of Samsung SGH-i320

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I finally managed to get my hands on the Samsung smartphone SGH-i320. The size of this little beauty is 59x111x11,5mm but it was not until I held it in my hand that I felt how thin it really is.

The phones comes with a charger, a USB sync cable, two batteries and a stereo headset. Extra memory is not included so I recommend that one also buys a 1GB microSD. There is plenty of internal memory for basic operation so the extra memory would mainly be for music, podcasts and the like. After having synchronised the phone to my Exchange account I still had about 100MB of free memory in the phone.

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The phone is GPRS/EDGE based and does not come with either UMTS or Wi-Fi. But on the other hand I have been using a Qtek 9000 for almost a year and noticed that I don't use Wi-Fi that much anyway since it drains the battery. As for UMTS, those using operators whose network supports EDGE might not notice the difference. Unfortunately I am stuck with Telenor, an operator that seems totally unwilling to upgrade their GPRS network. In the absence of higher speed networks I am using bluetooth both at home and at work to stay connected at higher speeds at no cost and with low battery consumption.

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Samsung has done a good job with the keyboard. I don't have that small fingers but even so I find the keyboard quite easy to work with. And being Swedish I especially welcome the fact that Samsung has placed our special characters (åäö) on the keyboard. Even Sony Ericsson hasn't managed to do that on their M600i.

The size of the SGH-i320 is where it really shines. Sure, it is a little taller and wider than my previous phones (see image below) but it is the thickness of the phones that has really annoyed my in the past. Not so any more. The Samsung phone easily slips into the pocket and with the weight of just 95g I hardly feel it, even when I have it in my shirt pocket. Sony Ericsson M600i and Nokia E61 are both competing in the same segment and they are significantly bulkier.

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The phone is equipped with a 1.3MP camera. This is certainly not the type of camera you would want to use to photograph things you actually want to save for posterity. And, as always with phone cameras, there must be just the right amount of light and not too much contrast to make the images be even half-decent.

The image below of the art museum in Göteborg has been scaled down to a sixteenth of the size. At that size it looks alright but a portion of the image at 100% size shows just how limiting the camera feature is. Still, the camera can probably successfully be put to use for photo blogging since the image will be scaled down anyway and the keyboard is handy when it comes to write captions for the images.

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If there is one thing that I wish that Samsung had done another way it is to use a standard mini USB connector instead of their proprietary one. Now, instead of being able to charge the phone just about anywhere I will have to invest in a car charger and bring along the USB cable wherever I go.

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