Friday, April 3, 2009

Samsung C5220: Telstra Prepaid Mobile Phone

Samsung Electronics continues to launch simple and inexpensive handsets, including those that support 3G. One of these innovations is a clamshell phone, Samsung C5220, which will be sold by the Australian telecommunications company Telstra (network Next G). Samsung C5220 is very rich of features; it supports 3G, which is including HSDPA, wireless technology, Bluetooth, and an embedded MP3 player.

Samsung C5220 is one of those handsets you feel you have seen before you take it out of the box. There is no real surprise here. The black plastic chassis is solid and attractive for about 30 seconds before we covered it in greasy finger-shaped smears. On the top of this clamshell phone is a 1-inch external display that shows a very old-school clock face in standby, with the 1.3-MP external camera mounted just above the screen.

Well, the rest of the exterior of Samsung C5220 is sparse. These are obviously no camera on the back, and there were very few shortcut keys, only two volume keys on the side. Two external input ports are covered by plastic doors, a combined charging and a microSD card slot and headphone USB port (without 3.5mm headphone socket here).

Flipping the handset open reveals a colorful but noticeably low-res 2-inch screen. Below it is a tiny front-facing camera for video calling, and below the hinge is a standard Samsung numeric keypad: flat as a tack as per several of Samsung’s previous handsets. Each key on the pad is quite large, though each is defined by horizontal plastic strip with no vertical definition to speak off.

Samsung C5220 is a Telstra mobile phone, and apart from external badges, you cannot miss the fact when you play with this mobile phone. Foxtel and BigPond shortcuts are front and center on the home screen and pressing the middle navigation-key takes you to the main menu, highlighting Telstra’s “My Place” shortcut first.

Samsung C5220 does not have a GPS receiver, but makes good use of cell tower triangulation to find points of interests on the maps in your area. Back to the standard features, Samsung C5220 supports a basic range of media files: AAC, AAC+, MP3s and WMA audio, and MP4 video. While it is not a smart phone, user can install Java applications on it. Predictably, Telstra sprains its applications on the mobile phone, including a Matchmaker dating application that promises to find you love using “technology based on your natural algorithms”.

For basic mobile phone functions, it seems that most of users would have no complaints using Samsung C5220. Call quality was clear and loud, though holding the mobile phone to our face made us aware of some give in the hinge, thought this does not seem like a major issue. Messaging and email is good with T9 predictive text. Web browsing is the real joy, the fast Telstra speeds really show, and we zipped from page to page. The browser is not tremendously robust. When surfing with the Samsung C5220, just make sure you know the mobile alternatives for your favorite websites.

Finally, yet importantly, we have reached our conclusion section. Samsung C5220 is a cheap and cheerful mobile phone. Telstra finally has some budget models to crow about. Samsung C5220 is available outright for AU$199, which seems about right to most of budget-tight consumers. Users get HSDPA web speeds, but to make best use of them, you should be prepared to pay extra for a data package and for subscriptions to Telstra services.

Samsung C5220 features:

• UMTS/HSDPA, GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900 MHz
• Dimensions: 99 x 49.5 x 18.2 mm
• 2-inch screen display, TFT, resolution 176 x 220 pixels, 262K colors
• Camera: 1.3MP to support video (1280 x 1024 pixels)
• Built in MP3 player (AAC, AAC+, MP3, WMA)
• Support for mobile TV
• Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email (POP3, IMAP4)
• Communications: Bluetooth, WAP, USB, SyncML
• Support Java MIDP 2.0
• Memory: 35MB built-in, expandable with microSD (TransFlash)
• Available colors: Grey, Red, and Black
• Weight: 100 g
• Talk time: Up to 2 hours
• Standby time: Up to 250 hours

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