With all the hysteria that greeted Apple's unveiling of the iPhone I suggested in my coverage that there were some serious shortcomings to the device. Shortcomings that Samsung has well and truly exploited…
With the announcement of the ‘Ultra Smart F700' Samsung has blown Apple's iPhone out of the water. Battered it. Kicked sand in its face and screamed ‘Nah-nah-na-nah-nah!"
Announced yesterday afternoon, the F700 presents a quite stunning Who's Who of cutting edge technology which will have Steve Jobs choking into his breakfast cereal. Physically the two are actually remarkably similar with both sporting full facia touch screens though the iPhone actually wins this battle with a 3.5in 480 x 320 display compared to the F700's 2.78in 440 x 240 panel. That said, from here on for the iPhone it is downhill all the way.
Whereas the world has slowly caught onto the fact Job's uber-hyped creation lacks one vital ingredient: 3G the F700 not only has this box ticked but has fitted a 7.2Mbps capable chip! Where the iPhone has a paltry two megapixel camera, the F700 has a rip roaring five megapixeler with autofocus. Where the iPhone has a touch screen virtual keyboard that fills half the screen the F700 has a proper slide out thumbboard with VibeTonz technology.
Elsewhere - just like the iPhone - the F700 has extensive audio and video codec support including Mpeg4, H.263, H.264 (ouch, Apple), Real media, MP3, AAC(+) and eAAC+. A full web browser also makes it inside along with Bluetooth, USB and a microSD expansion slot.
So - balanced head on once again - what are the potential downsides of the F700?
• There is no mention of Wifi because 7.2Mbps 3G connections aren't available everywhere.
• The choice of OS isn't divulged meaning third party support is called into question
• Samsung lists a ‘Document Viewer' so as it ships there will be no editing capabilities
• At 104 x 50 x 16.4mm it's thin for a smartphone but fatter than the iPhone
• No pricing or availability details - it needs to beat the iPhone's US June release
Unbalanced head: this still kicks iPhone ass…
Update 30.12.2007: With the F700 finally hitting stores many have emailed questioning the 5MP camera specified in this article. You're right, it is 3MP - Samsung (sadly) downgraded the specifications close to launch. Also, having tried out both it and the ubiquitous iPhone the Sammy does indeed beat it in a number of key spec areas but Apple's latest and greatest bests it in both form factor and that famously revolutionary interface. Perhaps next time Samsung...