Trying out Samsung i8910HD
For the past week I have been playing with the Samsung i8910HD and tried to figure out if I would consider having one as my phone or not. First impressions: it is quite big but very well built and really nice looking. The first thing you want to try is video playing and it delivers beyond any expectations. The image quality and the sounds are amazing. The colours are amazing, much better than on my iPod Touch. The sound with headphones is as amazing as without. I really liked the 5.1 option that you can enable when having the headphones on.
I also liked the fact that you can use an alphanumeric keyboard, like the one on my N95 8GB phone, with T9 prediction. I like it much more than the QWERTY one that iPod Touch/iPhone has. Of course, you can also have that option on the Samsung.
Most of the experience on the phone was familiar, as it is Symbian-based, as my phone, so I did not have much to get used to on menus and things like that. However, since this is a PDA-size device and mainly touch-based, I did have different expectations from it than from my smaller phone. I looked at it mainly as a replacement for my iPod Touch+phone, which it currently is not mainly because it does not deliver the same experience. Given the processor, everything happens quite fast on it and the scrolling works well, in general, but it becomes more sluggish in the web browser. It did seem to get faster when I tried it with the Opera Mini but the browser itself did not inspire me much. I would have even put up with that, given the amazing device it is, but the killing point was the application offering space. Once you get used to how easy and convenient is to find and install applications on an iPod Touch it’s hard to accept the Google+install method and to paying £5-£10 for an app. As a phone, the application issue would not matter much (I did not buy much for my current or previous phones either) but as a PDA/media device, I do like to be able to get all sorts of fun or useful apps easily and cheap, like Traffic, London Tube, London Bus, etc.
iPod’s integration with the iTunes store was not really a major point as lately I started buying from other online stores (Amazon UK, Tesco, Play.com) that have better prices and sell mp3.
So, for now, I decided that my N95 8GB is still the best phone for me, size and features-wise, and my iPod Touch still the best overall media device (even though it’s not as advanced technically as the Samsung). Yes, I did think of combining them into an iPhone but I just cannot stand some of its limitations, like the inferior quality of the camera lenses, the (built-in) battery lifetime, the lack of additional memory card usage and the limitations of Bluetooth connectivity. I am also not so sure that having a media device as a phone is a good idea as I tend to play a lot with it and that would mean I would run out of battery on my phone! I prefer to run down the battery on my media device and still have a phone 🙂