Samsung and Bang & Olufsen Make Ugly Fashion Phone

The Emperior's New Clothes.

I can’t deny it is a little satisfying to watch two industry giants get together and balls something up. It’s akin to the offspring of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie turning out like Danny Devito.


In what I can only describe as being inspired by the cheap 90s bedside alarm clock, the “Serene” (SGH-E910) co-developed by current industry swot Samsung and audio genius Bang & Olufsen is a staggering let down. It’s not the wonky clamshell hinge (that makes it sit like a wedge in your pocket) that gets me, nor the “upside down” layout, not even the 0.3 megapixel camera and two hour battery life are what gets my goat. No, it’s the sheer fashion victim desperation of it.

You see the “Serene”, which incidentally has no music output, will cost a staggering 1,000 euros when it arrives in November. Did I forget to mention it also has no support for Java, not that the achingly obvious retro number pad would be any use for playing them? Equally humorous, is the fact that the “Serene” actually has a decent 320×240 pixel 262k screen, but B&O and Samsung decided to artificially constrain the number of colours displayed to ensure “style uniformity”.

Elsewhere there is 27MB of memory onboard and no slots for flash memory but, remarkably, you do get Bluetooth. Where is the B&O influence? It can synchronise with the phonebook of a Bang & Olufsen domestic cordless phone. Ahhh, that makes it all worthwhile then…

Samsung UK
Bang & Olufsen

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor