Samsung A-800 review

3 out of 5
£150

For

Keeps the flip; on more than one network

Against

Dual band only

Shaped around the familiar Samsung design, the A800 features a flip screen that protects you from pressing the buttons at the wrong time and scratching the main display.

Unlike previous phones that have tried this approach, Samsung has opted for an additional LCD display on the front of the phone. This allows the user to see basic information such as battery power, signal strength and more importantly who is calling. The phone however, still needs to be opened to reject the call, something we feel defeats the whole object. Opening the phone does automatically answer it and the handset's design means that when open it does sit comfortably around the contours of your face.

Once opened you are presented with a black and white screen and a keypad that has been sunk instead of raised. Rather than opting for a menu system as such, all the main elements are all reached via the d-pad and pressing the large “i” in the middle will launch the information service you set it up for. Vodafone users will get Vodafone Live! While O2 users get active and so on.

The phone's features are nothing special, the games even less striking and the phone offers little over the usual array of calculator, alarm and clock.

Verdict

When it comes down to it, this handset’s nothing more than a phone. For those wanting a little more excitement it does have the capacity to hold up to 40 Polyphonic ring tones to make those incoming calls a little bit more exciting.

In a global marketplace it’s surprising to see a phone that still only offers dual-band rather than Tri-band support and frequent travellers to America won't be able to take it with them. Those staying at home will however benefit from the A-800’s three hours talk time and 150 hours standby time - plenty to get you out of trouble.

If you expect a modern phone to come with organisers, games, cameras and God knows what else rather than just be something you use to take your calls around Europe then this isn’t for you. However if that’s all you’re looking for then this will do the job, just don't expect any frills or a cherry on top.