Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/5/2011 1:03:25 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
(TestData)Not only easy on the eye, the U700V takes cracking photos
(TestData)The touch-sensitive soft keys prove to be infuriating rather than invigorating
The mirrored exterior and bright 256,000-colour display coupled with its slick ultra-slim build make the Samsung U700V extremely easy on the eye. However, its smart appearance also makes it susceptible to the odd finger smudge. The sliding mechanism feels secure, but as with its predecessor, the U600, the touch-sensitive soft keys are an acquired taste. Samsung has added a specified note to each key (when played from one to 10, it plays a scale) to indicate a key press, but the tones are downright irritating and you'll soon be switching to silent.
For those with an observant eye, you may also notice that the U700V is slightly thicker than the U600, albeit a mere 1mm, and a whole 5g heavier. Having maintained its super-slim appearance, the U700V also boasts additional HSDPA - the U600 didn't even manage 3G. Subscribe to Mobile TV and the U700V's on-board HSDPA will allow you to enjoy fast, high-quality streaming.The soft key on the right-hand side of the fascia when in idle mode takes you directly to Vodafone Live! - winner of Best Internet Operator at this year's Mobile Choice Awards.The turn-key proves a useful tool to scroll around web content, though the touch-sensitive keys can be a little too sensitive and the slightest brush may result in an unwanted action. The U700V enables webpages to be viewed in three sizes - large, normal and small - which allows even more web content to be displayed at any one time, although in miniature text.
As with the U600, the 3.2-megapixel camera remains impressive, with the photo quality extremely sharp thanks in part to the auto-focus, zoom and flash. The camera can be accessed via a side key. Press this while the phone is closed and the camera on the front of the handset will be activated. Slide the phone open and a much better shot can be taken as you can use the large screen as a viewfinder. As can be the case with a number of slider phones, when lining up a camera shot, the handset can feel uncomfortably wide. What's more, as the lens is at the far end of the camera, positioning can take some getting used to.Press the click-wheel to the right when in camera mode and it will switch to video camera. The settings can be adjusted according to whether you want to send the video via MMS, which will give you up to 13 seconds of footage. Otherwise, its full capacity is an hour.
The music player, while audibly competent, disappoints in that playlists can only be organised by song rather than artist or album. This can make shuffling through your music collection rather laborious. While it looks the part and HSDPA is a welcome addition to what was already an impressive handset, it's a shame that Samsung hasn't used the U700V to address the problems that surfaced with the original. The touch-sensitive soft keys are annoying and it's not the easiest handset to navigate around.