Samsung J700 in-depth review -

Look and feel

A sleek slider that could be mistaken for the far more advanced Samsung G600. It feels great in the hand and the sliding mechanism is both firm and secure.

Features

A 1.3-megapixel camera, built-in music player and FM radio. The J700 also sports Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) and GPRS for internet browsing.

Ease of use

The phone's circular navigation key is wheel shaped but doesn't rotate as you might expect. Instead it operates as a four-way directional control and is simple to operate. The keypad's buttons are well spaced and the user interface is very simple to get to grips with.

Performance

Okay, so the 1.3 megapixel camera is fairly tame, but this is a phone with a very affordable price tag, which is also why you'll get the fairly pedestrian GPRS data speeds for web browsing. However, issues with performance/features simply have to take a phone's price into account, and these factors shouldn't put off the large numbers of consumers looking for a great looking yet affordable phone.

Battery life

While it's by no means a market leader for battery life, the 275 mins of talktime and 250 hrs of standby time available with the Samsung J700 is perfectly respectable.

 Samsung J700 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:05 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The Samsung J700 is one of the smartest looking entry level handsets available.

Cons:

It's an entry level phone with entry level features.

You used to be able to tell the difference between an entry-level handset and a higher specced gizmo without a second glance. Nowadays it’s not so easy and the Samsung J700 is the latest handset to confuse The Price is Right fans. As a sleek slider, the J700 bares a close resemblance to the award-winning and ever-popular Samsung G600. Granted, the five-megapixel camera might be absent, but the Samsung J700 certainly looks like a cracking device, but what’s behind the smart exterior?

 

Samsung J700 – removing the back

The Samsung J700 really looks the part. Unfortunately, we were less impressed when faced with removing the back of the handset to insert the SIM card. Trying to slide it off was a frustrating experience – it was nearly 10 minutes before we could even begin testing the phone’s capabilities. After checking the manual to see if we were doing something wrong, we discovered it was simply shoddy craftsmanship. After much prying and a few chipped fingernails, we managed to dislodge the back, allowing us to slide the SIM card under the battery. It’s a shame when a handset fails a basic precursor as removing the battery cover.

 

Determined not to let this episode cloud our judgement, we took some deep breaths before persevering. Thankfully, the rest of the phone’s craftsmanship is of a high quality. The J700’s sliding mechanism is smooth and, unlike some other entry-level sliders, the top half of the handset doesn’t feel as though it would break if it received a knock. Underneath the front fascia, are a collection of keys and controls, including the turn-wheel.

 

Samsung J700 – non-turning turn-wheel

The circular navigation key is something of an enigma, in that it doesn’t actually turn. It feels as though it should and would have been a useful addition for scrolling through content and menu icons. Surrounding it are two soft keys, and a cancel button sandwiched between a call and call end button. The numeric keys are a decent size, laid out in a slightly raised grid system, resulting in easy thumb navigation.

 

Although the screen is spacious at two inches, with only 65,000 colours and 128x160 pixels, the phone’s graphics subsequently suffer. Menu headings look pixellated and the poor display contradicts the handset’s impressive design.

 

Unusually, there is no dedicated camera key on the J700; however, you can access the camera function via the main menu in two quick clicks, so it’s no major hardship. However, you do need to slide the J700 open to use the camera, as its only lens is situated on the rear of the phone.

 

Samsung J700 – basic camera

As we mentioned earlier, while the J700 may bear a striking resemblance to the G600, the cameras are world’s apart, which helps explain the £100-odd difference in prepay price.

 

The J700 houses a 1.3-megapixel camera and the results are bog standard. There are a few functions, such as multi-shot, white balance and timer, but that’s about it. Overall, the quality is fine for picture messages and screen savers, but not really for printing.Once again, it’s worth considering that this is an entry-level phone with entry-level features.

 

You’ll notice that if you leave the phone idle when in camera mode for too long, the handset will switch the camera off. This is a little annoying if you’re slow at taking photos, but it helps preserve the phone’s battery life.

 

The J700 is GPRS enabled, so don’t expect high speeds when surfing the net. In face, each time we tried to access the internet, our GPRS connection failed so we had to resort to the even slower GSM.

 

Samsung J700 – media player and radio

Music wise, the J700 boasts an FM radio and a built-in media player. While there’s no fancy graphics accompanying your music, or a 3.5mm jack port, the radio can be played via loudspeaker, although the accompanying headphones will still need to be plugged in as they act as the radio’s antenna. Music, be it through the media player or the radio, can be played while accessing any of the phone’s functions, apart from the camera. However, when exiting camera mode, your music will switch back on automatically. Despite the phone being locked (done so, by simply closing the slide) the volume can still be adjusted using the switches found on the side of the handset.

 

While there’s no 3.5mm jack port, the handset does boast Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), so you can use any Bluetooth speakers or headphones. When trying to pair the J700 with another handset, we found it took two attempts to locate the other device. However, the actual pairing was immediate.

 

Samsung J700 – the verdict

The price tag must be accounted for when rating a handset. Just as it would be unfair to slate a Nissan Micra for not offering cruise control and sat nav, you can’t really penalise an entry-level phone for an entry-level feature set. What you do get with the Samsung J700 is a nice-looking handset that looks a lot like another Samsung phone with a far more powerful camera.

 

Okay, so the rear casing is a pig to remove and we’d forgotten just how frustrating it is to retrieve anything from the mobile internet at GPRS/GSM speed, but it’s a very good-looking phone for the money. So it should sell big.