The iPhone launch has been and gone and that means that we've got other phones to look forward to.
In steps the Samsung SGH-F700V a smartphone from the company that for the most part is famous for its consumer-focused models rather than its business offering.
Available exclusively on the Vodafone network in the UK for the time being, you get touch and keyboard controls for the doubters amongst you, along with a barrage of other goodies including a 3 megapixel camera and microSD card support.
Starting with the design, the phone's outer casing has a very smooth glossy finish to it carrying through Samsung's attention to detail as found on other devices in the company's Ultra range.
Like the iPhone, the front, which comes complete with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, has just one button that works to get you back to the shortcut menu and from here a quick tap gets you music, phone, web and email and the main menu system.
The rest of the case features the usual buttons for volume, a dedicated camera button and a hold button so you don't accidentally set it off in your pocket and start phoning people you shouldn't. On the side there is also a cover for the micro USB charger socket and a 3.5mm headphone jack (not recessed).
Get into the menu system and the icons are well, very iconic with a crosshair theme, here called "Croix", highlighting the menu your about to enter. It's all very pretty, but of course completely useless.
What you will realise however, is that when you touch the screen of the Samsung F700 you'll get vibrating feedback. Called haptic, it's a really weird feeling and is designed to give you the notion that you've just pressed a button even though all you've pressed is the screen.
Although it is one of the features we were most looking forward to, in use and it is not something we actually want to use on a daily basis. The response is like getting an electric shock every time you touch the screen. Luckily you can turn it off.
With no stylus it's fingers all the way with the F700, however the interface just doesn't match the same amazing user interface from the iPhone. You can scroll through menus but no way near as effortlessly. The inability to scroll effectively through the F700's menu system isn't truly realised until you've used the iPhone and here unfortunately for Samsung, it comes across as a cheap alternative.
However, it's not all bad. You do get a keyboard to type into making emails considerably easier to use that trying to master the touchscreen display.
The keyboard is easy to use and responsive, however typing emails and messages we found that the space bar was a tad on the small size for our liking. However overall it's more a winner than a disaster.
Also going for the F700 is the connectivity. Surprisngly it doesn't have Wi-Fi connectivity, a must for smartphones these days, but does come with the 7.2Mbps HSDPA for super fast connection speeds.
Camera-wise, as we said there's a 3-megapixel snapper with auto focus and flash, plus a VGA camera on the front to take advantage of the HSDPA connectivity. Images taken can be saved down to the 100MB internal memory that's backed up by microSD card support up to 2GB.
Other features include a document viewer, an FM radio, a music and video player with a healthy number of formats supported, A2DP Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and drag and drop file transfer.
price dependent on contract
On paper the Samsung F700 looks to be a great handset that could really challenge the iPhone in all the stakes. Close up and it's good, but not great.
In fact this model is more of a threat to the likes of the HTC Tytn II and the SPV and MDA's of this world rather than the iPhone.
Where the F700 fails is that it isn't business focused enough to appeal to the Microsoft Window followers and not consumer enough to appeal to those that might as well get an iPhone.
Where this device wins out however is the inclusion of the HSDPA 7.2MB connection speeds of which, if you can find a fast connection is great for surfing the internet, trouble is, on Vodafone that's still really only in central London.
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