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Review: Samsung's Super Skinny SGH-D800/D808


Review by Samuel Chan on Sunday March 26, 2006.

samsung sgh-d800 · cell phone reviews · samsung news · cell phone news · samuel chan

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Introduction

Samsung is one of the companies that have been pursuing the slim handset style, made popular with the Motorola V3. The company's D810 was criticized as being unoriginal, but nobody could complain when Samsung announced the thin D808. The D808 (also known as the D800) that we are reviewing today was the thinnest slider in the world before it was trumped by Samsung's own D870, announced at CeBIT in 2006.

Physical Aspects

Unlike BenQ-Siemens, Samsung managed to stay away from the influence of Nokia. The design is very refined, the black and chrome finishing looks very professional. The body is very thin for a slider (coming in at only 14.9mm, or 0.59"), though width and height dimensions are less than stellar at 52mm x 97mm (2.05" x 3.82") - these are needed to accommodate the 2.1" screen and the large D-pad. Weighting 98g (3.46oz), it is reasonably light for its specifications.

The curvy silver edges make the phone look thinner than the numbers suggest, and the device itself is very pocketable. Although the front is made of smooth black plastic, it is not prone to fingerprints at all, but the same cannot be said for the silver accents around the device. The rest of the phone is mainly made of magnesium alloy, and this gives a very strong metallic feeling. The build quality is excellent, and scratch resistance is above average.

Sliding open the phone will reveal a one-piece keypad. It is well backlit and well spaced. Because of the thinness and shape of the rim, the buttons on the bottom row are extremely difficult to access. Tactile feeling is also greatly sacrificed for the design.

The sides of the phone are minimalist, with the camera shortcut key on the right, and the volume controls as well as the headset/power/data port on the left. The camera is hidden on the back of the screen, similar to the D600, giving it protection when the handset is closed.

The phone uses the same half auto-slide mechanism found on earlier models. The spring mechanism is fine-tuned to fit the heavier parts, and I find it just at the right strength.

Overall, I am very happy with the design of D808, my only complaint would be the keypad sacrificed for keeping the handset thin.

Multimedia

The screen is the usual 262K color 2.12" QVGA TFT as found on almost all Samsung phones released in the first quarter of 2006. I do not have to tell you how bright and how vibrant the color is. However, not even the best screen can survive under direct sunlight, where visibility is only average.

Ringtones come from the earpiece, similar to LG S5200 and Sony Ericsson T630. The tones are loud and clear thanks to the Yamaha 64-chord polyphonic chip. The funny thing about this phone is that apart from two or three preset ringtones, the handset cannot ring and vibrate at the same time. This is slightly better than the P858, but far behind all other brands.

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About the author

Samuel Chan
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.

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