It’s a fairly chunky slider handset but there are two very good reasons for its size. Beneath the slider is a full QWERTY keypad, and there are two batteries, so it offers plenty of battery life.
We aren’t huge fans of the touch buttons on the front fascia, although the QWERTY keyboard is pretty good considering its small size.
There are a lot of features on-board, although it’s tri-band rather than quad-band, there’s no Wi-Fi and just a two-megapixel camera.
As a non-touch-screen smartphone, we had to rely on the touch buttons on the front fascia and found them pesky at times. The non-standard Windows Mobile interface worked okay for us and can be replaced with something more familiar if you prefer.
With two batteries supplied you can expect prolonged battery life – as long as both are fully charged, of course.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:22 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The QWERTY keyboard is great for email, and 3G for video calling is handy.
Big for a non touch-screen smartphone, and chunky ? especially with the extended life battery in place.
The Vodafone-exclusive Samsung i640V may not be the best-looking Windows Mobile smartphone we’ve ever seen. Its silver, grey and black colour scheme and flat front fascia is attractive, but the bulk of the device is hard to ignore.
However, we can forgive the size of the i640V for two reasons. Firstly, underneath its slider mechanism is a full QWERTY keyboard.
The keys are tall and thin, and are angled away from an imaginary line that runs down their centre. We found them comfortable to use for tapping out texts and email. Secondly, the i640V comes with two batteries, and one of them is pretty bulky. In fact, the device comes with two backplates, enabling you to use the thinner one with the standard battery if you want to minimise the bulk in your pocket.
However, some things are harder to forgive. There is no Wi-Fi, which should be a standard feature on high-end smartphones. Yes, 3G is on-board so you can get high-speed internet access, but when you are out of network coverage you can’t access Wi-Fi which can be a tad frustrating.
The camera is a little disappointing too. At just two megapixels, it teeters on the edge of acceptability. A front-facing camera brings video calling within your reach though.
This smartphone doesn’t have a touch-screen, so when the slider is closed you have to use the front controls to navigate around the device. On the good side, the navigation button has the usual left, right, up and down controls and is also a wheel you can rotate to scroll up and down.
On the bad side, the front buttons for Call, End, soft menu use and Windows Mobile Home and Back are touch buttons. We aren’t big fans of touch technology, and there’s no exception here. With no tactile or aural feedback to confirm the press, tapping the right command was a bit hit and miss at times.
One thing we like about this smartphone is its battery life. Between the i640V’s two batteries, it’s pretty impressive. Better yet, Samsung provides a portable battery charging unit, so you can charge the cell in the phone and the second cell separately. If only Samsung would go the whole way and use USB instead of its proprietary connector for this job.
The i640V has a fair amount going for it, including a long battery life and a usable keyboard. It is a bit large, though, and lacking high-end smartphone features like Wi-Fi and a decent camera.