As for the i780’s innards, there’s plenty going on. Like the i600 before it, it’s fully HSDPA compatible with speeds of up to 3.6 Mbits/sec achievable. It’s a tri-band GSM phone, with EDGE, GPRS and standard 3G, too, so you should be able to make the most of whatever data connection there is available in your area. There’s a 2-megapixel camera on the rear that produces fairly decent results – though nothing that compares with Sony’s superb range of camera phones – and a video call camera on the front. An 802.11b/g Wi-Fi adapter lets you hop onto hot spots, plus there’s Bluetooth 2.0 and GPS.
It’s certainly better featured than the BlackBerry, but it’s not significantly smaller or lighter, as the i600 was. It’s perfectly pocketable, though, at 12.9mm slim – a millimetre thinner than the 8800 series handsets – and measures 61.3 x 115.9mm elsewhere. But the extra power and components, as with most HSDPA-toting Windows Mobile phones, does have an impact on battery life. I found the i780 lasted roughly two days with occasional use; the slower, but more power-efficient BlackBerrys will give you a lot longer life than this.
The Orange Samsung i780 is a bit of a mish mash. It certainly has potential: I liked the track button control, and the keyboard is pretty responsive too. The touchscreen and high speed data adds an extra dimension over the BlackBerry 8800 series, and coupled with Microsoft’s Direct Push email and Office documents compatibility, it also makes for a more flexible work tool in many respects.
But it’s quite expensive – the cheapest tariff you can get it for free on is £50 per month (discounted from £75 at the moment) – and as with so many Windows Mobile handsets, there are problems that undermine its positive features. In the case of the i780, the issues with the control system are simply too annoying to ignore, and get in the way of a wholehearted recommendation.
Score in detail