In fact, while the screen does respond to the lightest of touches it doesn’t actually feel responsive in use. This is likely down to the operating system – Samsung’s own TouchWiz – being poorly set up to handle touch input. For instance, swiping up and down lists is slow and you often end up selecting options accidentally; typing on the onscreen keyboard (which emulates a keypad rather than full keyboard) is slow and cumbersome; and even just tapping an icon can result in sporadic inaccurate responses. On top of this, general operation is slow and features are limited.
What you do get are three homescreens onto which you can drop a variety of widgets from a pop-out sidebar. These include the usual picture viewer, clock face, and music player but also add Bebo, Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter apps into the mix. Meanwhile the main menu is again split up into three sideways sliding panels with icons arranged in a grid and sub-menus ordered in simple lists.
There are also some “girly” features included. The first is Wish List, which is essentially a glorified notepad for jotting down the name and price of whatever must-have-but-can’t-afford product you’ve just come across. The second is a peculiar Sims-style dating game while the third let’s you set up a fake call. You just specify how long after you’ve pressed the secret button (volume down) you’d like the call to come in and whether you’d like a pretend voice to sound on the other end. You then sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that, if that date is going horribly wrong or that guy at the bar just won’t leave you along, a sly press of a button will have you rushing away in no time because of an “emergency”.
On the back of the phone is a 3.2-megapixel camera, which loads quickly and is nippy to use, shot to shot. However, it has no autofocus or flash resulting in low detail, noisy, and blurry images in poor lighting.
As for connectivity, you only get tri-band support so it won’t work everywhere in the world while 3G isn’t available either so browsing speeds will be slow when out and about. More problematic is the lack of Wi-Fi so even at home you’ll be stuck with slow Internet access. Not that the Diva exactly excels when it comes to such activities. The web browser supports full page layouts but is rather slow and messes up the formatting quite often and though email is available it lacks push notifications and the interface is basic.
Finishing on something of a high, the Diva seemed like a perfectly capable calling device with adequate volume and clarity from the earpiece and no obvious problems from the microphone. Battery life also seemed decent with three days of fairly regular use easily achievable.
Despite a few plus points like a capacitive touchscreen, simple front design, and relatively intuitive operating system, the Samsung Diva has far too many negative points to come close to recommendation – whether you’re female or not. The back looks plain ugly, the operating system is slow, the touchscreen is sporadic, the camera is poor, and it’s generally lacking in features.
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