Samsung SGH-F490 Review - Samsung SGH-F490 Review


The screen is large at 240 x 432 pixels, and at that size it can offer finger-large icons to prod at, which for the most part it does. The main screen has a display of the time and if you swipe over it left to right that shifts into a calendar. You can prod a date to see appointments and add news ones. Nice.

Beneath the screen are three touch-sensitive buttons. Call, End and a button that takes you straight to the application menu. Tap the Call button and you are immediately into an area for voice calling, and messaging. Nice once again.

Tap the centre of the main screen, on an area identified by a blue pulsing square, and up pops the main menu offering a grid that’s three icons wide and four tall for you to get to the main apps. Just tap what you want. Alternatively a right side button gives you quick access to four applications and the main menu.

I rather like the delicate vibrating response that you get when you touch the screen, the large icons and scrolling menus, and the way you can drag a finger vertically to scroll through menus. I also like the way of just tapping a text box to call up the tappable keyboard when, for example, typing URLs. In many cases the volume button acts as a scroller if you don’t want to drag the screen contents with a fingertip.

Another handy feature is the lock button which forms part of a slider that turns the phone on and off. It is a simple thing, but means you can disable the touchscreen really easily.

When browsing the Internet a feature called Page Pilot gives you a thumbnail view of a page that you can quickly scroll through. A red box highlights an area as you scroll. Tap ‘Select’ and the framed area opens up full screen.

The trouble is that you don’t get a full page thumbnail as you do with Nokia’s S60 web browser, but a view in which webpages are formatted into columns. It is a good idea, but it just isn’t implemented as well as it could be. The same can be said of the browser in general, which is adequate but could be better.

It has to be said that for all this niceness things just don’t feel as smooth as they do on the iPhone. You have to be pretty definite about what you are prodding or dragging to get the screen to respond.

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