Samsung S8000 Jet
Pokey processor eclipsed by user friendliness?
Review The main selling point for the Samsung S8000 Jet isn't its OLED screen, or its 5Mp camera, or even its sleek and compact good looks. For this model, Samsung is highlighting a major element of the modern multimedia phone that often gets overlooked – the processor. The Samsung S8000 Jet comes with an industry-leading 800MHz processor – more powerful even than those on the big smartphones – which should make everything about it run faster and smoother.
Samsung's S8000 Jet: it's all about the processor
Appearance hasn’t been overlooked either, as the Samsung S8000 Jet has a sleek, compact look and at 109 x 54 x 12mm and 110g it's really quite a petite slip of a thing. However, in the hand it feels a little cheap and plasticky to be honest, and though we wouldn't necessarily hold that against it if the specs are up to scratch, we know many prefer something that feels more substantial in exchange for your hard-earned.
The 3.1in active-matrix OLED touchscreen takes up most of the real estate on the front and it is eye-searingly beautiful, with an extremely sharp 480 x 800 resolution. Above it are 0.3Mp camera for video calls, light sensor and loudspeaker, while the space below is taken up with call start and stop buttons and a hexagonal navpad.
On the sides are a volume rocker and lanyard hook, screen lock button, camera shutter button and a menu button, while on top are the micro USB slot covered by a plastic grommet and 3.5mm headphone jack. Around the back is the camera lens (uncovered) and twin-LED flash. It also has a classy-looking prismatic finish, that flashes when the light catches it.
The screen is resistive rather than capacitive. While it may be a little more sensitive than previous examples we've seen from Samsung – which have suffered a little in requiring several pushes or brushes to take effect – it's still not up there with the likes of the iPhone and HTC's offerings yet.
This latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz user interface offers three home screens that you brush sideways to access. Each has a different wallpaper and set of widgets to choose from, and you can customise them to bring your favourite functions to the fore. Fortunately, you can also double up on widgets, having the same one on different screens, which wasn't possible previously.
I know this doesn't affect people who upgrade their phone/car/partner/life every year, but my experience of two small OLED displays is that they deteriorate quite quickly. I think it is significant that Kodak had a camera with one a year or two back, and now they don't...
I own one.
...and it's not so bad. But, because we all like to slate products - here's it's bad points:
My phone freaks out and tells me the inbox is full when it reaches 200 text messages (instead of the 500 the specifications promise). In fact, I had nearer to 300 texts combined between my Sent Items and Inbox when it told me it was full - but the 'Memory Status' read as 200/500. Bug-tastic!
One bad thing is that it makes you pick a wifi network / data connection in the settings of each app instead of being intuitive and either letting you pick the connection you wish to use as you connect, or it should automatically 'guess' which one you want to use (ie, trying for wifi first, and then using data).
The default web browser is shite. Thank god for Opera Mini (though even Opera Mini will cause problems with people with fat fingers on this screen. Fatties, maybe carry a makeshift stylus?).
The camera is pretty good - shame it takes at the aspect ratio it does, and not the nicer 6x4 size a 'proper' camera would - but other than this, there's a wealth of useful settings. The flash is a bit harsh on just about everything, but there are enough settings to take a good photo - you just need to know what to do with them.
Widgets are nice, some pointless, but quite a lot of the ones you hope will be good are just bookmarks. Lame. What's more they have a widget to download more widgets that just takes you to a website once you've found the widget you want to download. Also lame (and hard to navigate when it's so small). I've looked into developing my own widgets and there doesn't seem to be an obvious way to submit them so others can download them ala an 'App Store'.
I can't scrobble my music from the default player to Last.fm. :(
There are, however, many things that this phone can do that are nice ideas that, say, the iPhone can't. Being able to shake the phone to get rid of the app you're using, tapping the phone (anywhere - not just the screen!) to stop and start music, the camera hardware, the tactile feedback, to name but a few.
For a phone?! Is this some sort of joke? I don't think I'd pay more than about £15 for that sort of thing. What the hell can it possibly do that makes it worth over three HUNDRED quid?
It is my fondest hope, that some day, phoneset makers will realize that a good phone is defined by the craftsmanship of the design and the responsiveness of the UI, not on 'how close we can make it look like an iPhone until someone tries to use it'. Sidekick (RIP) and Android got this. Why must we have so many also-rans that don't?
If someone wants an iPhone, they'd be buying it (or waiting until the exclusivity expires). If they don't want an iPhone, they won't be buying something that looks like what they don't want.
How quick, for example, does it take to turn on?
How quick, for example, does it take to get into camera mode and ready to take a picture?
How quickly can I start going in to my address book from hitting the power key.
All of these things I care about. And yet, I still have no idea how quick this "jet" is.
Apart from their lousy advert, did you see their attempted vile viral campaign they tried to promote through B3ta. Utterly poor.