Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:49:14 PM
Impressively tiny, the phone still manages a big sound. A stylish and eye-catching fashion handset.
The keyboard is hard to conquer, and apart from the music, it's not feature-rich, as exemplified by the basic camera.
The Samsung X830 is designed to be very small but also be a 1GB MP3 player. An idiosyncratic keypad and small, narrow screen are the price to pay for its tiny, cigarette-lighter shape and its key operational feature - a circular control pad reminiscent of the iPod.The phone is like a switchblade - nudge the edge of the screen and a spring swivels it 180° to reveal the number keys. There's not enough room for a conventional number pad. Instead, the two-key set-up means that you have to get used to keys in different places and a whole new way of dialling and texting. It isn't easy.
To open the Samsung X830 you have to counter-intuitively hold it with the screen towards you and the Samsung name label upside down so that after a satisfying flick, the top half swivels round and it all ends up the right way up. Despite its design requiring a series of sacrifices, this phone sits very comfortably in the hand, and its size won't bulk your pockets.
Music playback quality is good, although you are restricted to the supplied headphones with a proprietary connector or to Bluetooth wireless headphones with the Samsung X830's A2DP. Annoyingly, if you're choosing the next track, you can't listen to the current song while you search.Transferring music via USB cable is straightforward. Samsung PC Studio will take you to Windows Media Player so you can synchronise the phone with your PC; Media Transfer lets you drag and drop. Playback quality is unchanged either way. The external speaker, never usually much cop, is particularly uninspiring here, and should be avoided at all costs.
If you're not looking for a music player, bear in mind that the Samsung X830 makes compromises to make the most of the music. A 1.3-megapixel camera is all you get - with small phones like the Samsung D900 boasting three megapixels, this resolution looks tame. The camera also suffers the poor positioning made worse by the small handset size - it's hard to hold this phone without a finger or thumb obscuring the camera lens. Pictures are as sharp and detailed as we would expect from a 1.3-megapixel, and features include a range of effects.
Browsing the internet, unsurprisingly, is a little fiddly, although the scroll wheel and centre button make it as comfortable as possible.As always with Samsung, the screen is impressively bright and detailed, even on such a narrow display. Size and music are the killer features here, and although there are ease-of-use issues, it's a striking and impressively small handset with enough musical storage to keep you busy. A dedicated player will give you better capacity for not much more space, and there are other phones that are easier to use. Mind you, it's certainly a head-turner.