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Samsung Armani mobile phone

Brand on the run?

Although you may want to save shots to the memory card to keep the on-board storage free, viewing and switching between high res images saved on a Micro SD card is a painfully slow process. It’s quicker from the phone’s memory, however, where you can browse through them with a finger swipe.

The camera takes video too. It can shoot maximum quality 352 x 288 pixel resolution footage. Quality is average mobile phone standard – so, not good.

Armani Samsung P520 mobile phone

A slim design that will slip smoothly into any pocket or purse

Other functionality found on the Armani phone includes an email client – users will have to write messages in a similar way to the texting method mentioned above – and a web browser. This can provide full web pages you can scroll around using arrow keys at the bottom of the page – although you again need to be careful about fingers straying on to the back or menu buttons beneath. There’s document viewer software that can open automatically standard format files either emailed or copied over to the handset.

A small phone with touchscreen control could ask questions about battery life. Samsung says it can run for up to 220 hours on standby, or provide up to six hours of talktime. By comparison, LG quotes the Prada Phone’s figures at 300 hours standby or three hours of talktime.

Real-life phone usage delivers different results to these optima. We managed on average around 2-3 days of usage between charges, with infrequent use of the music player. The voice call performance was reliable, although audio sounded a touch harsh at higher volumes.

Verdict

The attractions of palming a Giorgio Armani-branded phone will be overwhelming for some fashion-phone buyers. However, this phone can be awkward and fiddly to operate. Some of the phone's features don’t feel fully integrated into the Croix UI. Sub-menu scrolling feeling rather clunky and unresponsive, and it’s all too easy for distracted digits to stray to adjacent buttons when selecting some options.

In short, it has little of the elegant grace of Apple’s iPhone - not what you’d expect from the house of Armani, or Samsung.

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70%

Samsung Armani mobile phone

It has an elegant, fashionable design, but the Armani is over-priced and the basics need improving.
Price: Contract: free-£200 (O2), free-£229 (Orange). Handset only: £365. Pre-pay: N/A RRP