The first thing that actually struck us when we powered the F490 up was that you don't really get all that much in the way of screen acreage when viewed as a percentage of the phone's frontal area. It may be largely a matter of perception but we couldn't help but think that either the screen should be a little larger, or the phone a little smaller. Or maybe a bit of both.
The obvious comparator on this front is the iPhone, which is exactly the same height as the F490 and while only an extra 5.5mm wider has a screen that is 0.3 of an inch bigger corner to corner. A third of an inch doesn't sound much, but it looks a fair bit in the real world.
The F490 is far easier to manage one-handed
iPhone comparisons notwithstanding, the 240 x 432, 3.2in screen is bright, crisp and clear and seems to promise great things for video playback especially as it has a near perfect 16:9 layout.
Alas not. Disappointment number one - according to the spec sheet the F490 will play WMV, MP4, H.263 & H.264 files up to 640 x 480 30f/s. Well, we tried every which way to get it to play WMV files, but all we ever got was "format or bit rate not supported".
Disappointment number two - no matter what resolution we transcoded our videos to, it simply would not play them at full screen. This came as a real kick in the pants as we had expected the full cinematic stretch, but instead ended up with our widescreen movies playing in the piddly central two-thirds of the screen.
Review has missed a few things.
I've got this phone and at first it was great however there are more issues.
The screen is difficult to see in daylight.
The answering method is annoying to get used to as it can be multiple key presses to answer and end calls.
There are very few extras available for this phone and I've not yet found a game that works with the touch screen.
Two extra good points. The annoying beep's can be turned off and you can watch videos in full screen you just need to get some other free software to do the conversion
We invented the imperial system before "you Yanks" went and messed it up, so the identity conflict is just between the British and European cultures, nowt to do with you...
If it's anything like the F700...
I had the F700 for about a month, and I've just sold it and gone back to my N73.
The slider forever caught on my pocket, activating the screen. Many's the time I took it out to find it surfing Vodafone Live.
The UI just doesn't make sense... the Samsung interface just isn't logical. Perhaps I just I'm just used to Nokia, as I am with touch screens from my iTouch - the Samsung just can't compare, it's very unpredictable and inaccurate. This is of course assuming it uses the same screen as the F700.
The F series really are best avoided for some of the better LG, Nokia and Sony offerings.