Samsung goes skinny

The Samsung X820 has a reasonable collection of goodies on the spec sheet. It has a 2 megapixel camera, video capabilities, MP3 player, Bluetooth,…

and nearly 4MB of memory for messaging-yet is more or less the same dimensions as a Ryvita cracker. Probably doesn’t taste as good with cottage cheese and a tomato wedge layered on top of it … well, I suppose that depends on whether you like Ryvita. But believe me, it really is that slim and lightweight. I’ve called mine Kate Moss.
I blagged my Samsung from my mates at Genuine Solutions, and they sent me this phone because this is what they’re all using and apparently I can’t pull out anything classier than them. (It’s the same reason why we don’t go to the Gents at the same time-only joking, honest.) But this is the swankiest, slimmest handset going, and now we all look pretty cool.
The package contains the usual Samsung niceties. It is well made, with the phone taking the stage and waiting for you to pick it up. However, unlike Kate Moss, looking at it laying there is not really exciting or appealing. It’s a screen, ho-hum, and some big buttons (yawn) on a candybar phone. Yet another candybar phone.

You what?
When you pick it up, though, you really get to appreciate its dimensions: you kind of look at it in disbelief. It is so slim, it makes you want to donate food parcels to Korea.
When you then refocus on the screen and buttons, it suddenly looks a lot better. For example, the keys are flush, yet remarkably nice to poke at with your index finger (a bit more like Kate Moss?) And the screen is proportioned in landscape dimensions, allowing it to go inline with all your other screens, like your telly or monitor.
So, good points. Well, like most of these super-waifs, it’s just pretty to look at. You get the ease of Samsung menus and navigation, and a very impressive screen and camera combination that takes surprisingly good photos given the right lighting conditions. It also works well with Bluetooth accessories, unlike some of its predecessors from the Samsung stable, and it has an awful lot of memory for messaging purposes.
The black colouring also adds to its chicness. This is the phone for anyone who used to have the Nokia 6230/6230i for business use, was offered the 6233 as a replacement, threw up on it, and now needs something they can really use.
The organiser and phone book on this handset are adequate to good. With the messaging input being landscape and having the Samsung ease of use, it just makes doing those annoying last-minute messages on a Friday that little bit easier. All in all a great phone for your staff to keep in there top pockets.
Bad points? There are a couple. First, its looks. Ok, I would have to say that this is a cool phone that does look good on a desk or in the board room. Wouldn’t look out of place in a room full of 8800s, for example. Like parking an Audi in the forecourt of a Mercedes or BMW garage, it might look a little bit less impressive than the rest, but not as much as Fiat or a Rover would. Get my drift?
However, it does lack a lot in the features department for all those that want the moon on a stick. You will not sell any of these to anyone under 25, anyone female (as they will no doubt feel paranoid next to anything that can fit into a size 6) or anyone that wants a phone they don’t have to look after.

There is an MP3 player, a great camera and video capture facilities-but you get only 82MB of memory for snaps and vids, and there’s no expansion slot. Oh dear. It’s clearly aimed at the business end of things, with a camera only thrown in for fun.
Much like the MP3 player, which is possibly there for ringtones rather than full-blown get-on-down-with-the-kids iPod replacement. The headphone socket will only allow Samsung-brand earpieces, and you can only get about 10 songs on the thing.
There is also a slight issue with the navigation buttons. They are a bit fiddly, to say the least. And the central ‘I’ button sends you straight through to the internet; accidental presses of this can be costly if you don’t have some sort of data tariff in place.
This handset does fit into the novelty bracket, though. Remember when you first got a lava lamp? Or a home treadmill? For a week or two it’s the coolest thing going … but after that it’s a nothing phone. The service can be a little jumpy on low battery levels, and the usual standard text tones are all that are available – the norm with many Samsungs. It also picks up fingerprints very quickly.
However, at the same time, for a company handset it’s top-drawer. Compared to an SLVR or 6233 it wins hands down. And people do pick it up when they see it and think “is that a phone? It’s very cool. I like it. Looks like a Ryvita” (told you). But after a minute or so they’re not sure whether they still like it.
Perhaps some cottage cheese and that tomato wedge might be needed after all. It’s bound to taste better than a low calorie cracker made of old cardboard.
Doing the rounds on the internet is a video of this phone being snapped in two by a lightweight member of the girly species. Some say it was allegedly rumoured to have been produced and circulated by a rival phone manufacturer, but we couldn’t possibly comment (it says here on this letter from the lawyers).

More snaps
But is snapping in two something to worry about? Well, possibly you might be better off watching other videos on the internet, and maybe watching videos on the internet is something to worry about in itself, but in terms of this phone-who knows. Anyway, for review purposes, and a laugh, I gave it to my dog.
At this point it’s worth saying that my dog is a Tibetan Mastiff and the size of a Mini Cooper. Remember Gentle Ben? Yes? Then you get the idea.
The dog took the phone and at first was impressed by the screen resolution, and pondered on how Samsung could fit all this technology into something less than 7mm thick. He made an appointment with the grooming parlour, ordered a take-out, texted the cute little Bijon-Frise next door and then bit the thing in two.
Shortly afterwards cash-stuffed brown envelope was found in his dogbasket with a thankyou note from a well known mobile manufacturer. Though it could have been from Sam Allardyce.
It’s a great phone, some would even say the dogs wotsits, but then would he bite those? I don’t think so. His S&M days were over the day we confiscated his nipple clamps.
Look, not everyone is going to try and snap it in two like the video clip. And there are only a few Tibetan Mastiffs in the UK, so the chances of actually breaking it are remote enough for this to be an impressive handset. And on business tariffs and company packages they are an instant winner.
You’ll sell loads of these – unless you’ve got the sliding D900s, which are equally as impressive and slide as well so your customers will go for those, Snap them up, in fact.

Take a candybar phone, spray it black and stick it on the Atkins diet. What do you get? Well apart from a phone with a dangerously high cholesterol level and clothes that are now all too big for it, you get the revolutionary and downright unbelievably slimline Samsung X820. How thin is it? Less than 7mm. Weight? An anorexic 66 grams. Now all you need is a video camera, a big dog or a small woman, and a high-speed internet connection. Why? Read on …
Length 113mm
Width 50mm
Depth 6.9mm
Main display
TFT, 256K colours, 220×176 pixels, 35x28mm
80MB shared memory
Tri-band GSM, EDGE, Bluetooth, USB
2MP, video (CIF)
Other functions
Music player, Organiser, Document viewer, TV-output, MP3 ringtones
Standby 210h
Talk time 2.5h
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