When it comes to storage, there’s 130MB of user memory built in to the F490 and a microSD card slot can be found neatly tucked away under the battery cover. Having access to oodles of memory is going to be useful if you want to use this phone for music listening or take advantage of its camera.
The camera has an LED flash and a self-portrait mirror as well as autofocus capability. For all its five megapixels, though, it did not impress.
Its anti-shake mechanism may sound like an alluring feature, but shutter lag made shooting a moving subject very difficult. The flash is not as bright as it could be and indoor shots suffer because of this.
The coloured dish, photographed indoors under normal household lighting conditions and with the phone on its auto settings is rather dark and lacking the vibrancy I’ve got from cameras with fewer megapixels on offer (proving that more megapixels doesn’t mean better quality).
Outdoors, too, the camera seemed to have trouble letting in enough light for some shots. The chair looks rather dull, and worryingly the bottom of the photo is out of focus. The flowers were shot at quite close range and the detail is reasonable though.
It is disappointing that there’s no FM radio here, but music playback quality is fine, and I am pleased to say that a 3.5mm headset jack is present on the top edge of the casing. Well done to Samsung for getting both the type and location spot on.
Battery life is also good, with the phone managing 14 and a half hours of continuous music playback and a further two and a half hours of battery life after the music player refused to oblige further.
There is a lot to like about Samsung’s SGH-F490. The user interface is mostly well thought out, and the vibrating response really helps. A manual hold button is a godsend and HSDPA is great to have around. If you fancy the SGH-F700 but don’t need the keyboard it could be ideal. Just don’t buy it for the camera.
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