To be honest there wasn't much to choose between the end results, the pictures taken on the K850i being perhaps just a little crisper and having slightly richer colours. On the hardware side of things though the time taken to reset between shots was significantly slower on the 490 and it has a camera hardware button that doesn't actually launch the camera application. You need to do that via the touchscreen, which is an altogether less elegant solution than the two-key set up on the side of the K850i.
Click for full-size images
When it comes to day to day "phone stuff" the F490 does a good job. Signal reception was good across the board, calls sounded clear and the speaker phone sounded great. Battery life was pretty impressive too. Samsung quote 4.5 hours of talk time and 350 of standby. In a 3G area and with Bluetooth left on we got two long days of heavy use out of a full charge and still had juice left.
The bundled software package is comprehensive and pretty user-friendly - the slow data transfer times to the on-board memory and restricted video transformating resolutions notwithstanding. Synchronising with Outlook was straightforward, as was connecting to the internet when using the phone as a modem. When we synchronised our contacts to the F700 we noticed that certain data fields seemed to vanish; either we were just unlucky or Samsung have tweaked something, because we didn't notice the same problem with the F490.
We're beginning to thing that Samsung is knocking out new handset designs so fast it is losing the knack of landing a killer punch with any one of them. The F490 is a nice phone to own and use, bleeping noises notwithstanding, and comes with a decent spec and a not half bad camera; but had Samsung bothered to equip it with video playback that actually made full use of the rather fine 3.2in screen it would have made it much, much more desirable. With 16GB MicroSD cards now knocking about - at an admittedly eye-watering 90 odd quid - the 490 could have been a superb amalgam of mobile phone and PMP. As it is, it is simply a decent phone and we reckon that is a missed opportunity.
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.