Think Samsung's Omnia, but squatter. It's no surprise that two Samsung touchscreen handsets released in short succession should look so alike. There are subtle differences in the shape and size of the mechanical keys, and the Omnia's 3-inch display is a 2.8-inch touchscreen on the F480, but otherwise these guys are like twins separated at birth
The F480 has a pleasing weight and its brushed metal finish feels nice to hold. Samsung has opted for a capacitive touchscreen in the F480, as opposed to the resistive touchscreen technology it tends to employ, and while these technologies are vastly different, the end result subtly favours the F480. Capacitive touchscreens react to fingers only (or contact with any part of your body), so you cannot use a stylus, but the upside is a more responsive display.
Samsung has designed a good touchscreen interface for this handset. Incorporating the company's TouchWiz widgets homescreen and large colourful menu items, we've had no significant difficulty in navigating the menus or performing basic phone functions. We're still not sold on the usefulness of the TouchWiz widgets, though our review unit came with four Telstra widgets which are great links to Next G services.
Comparisons with Apple's iPhone are inevitable, on the merit of the touchscreens and colour menus mostly, but there are important differences to note. Firstly, the F480 isn't a smartphone. It runs on Samsung's proprietary operating platform and as such you cannot develop or install third party applications to this phone, other than Java-based software.
Also, the F480 doesn't include Wi-Fi hardware or a GPS receiver, like Apple's smartphone. Instead the F480 sports strong consumer phone features, including a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash and access to Next G services and mobile Foxtel.
In unison with 7.2Mbps HSDPA data speeds the F480T has an excellent pre-installed web browser. Its interface is simple and clean, and it does a great job of rendering pages in a single column mobile view, which is lucky because zooming requires more keystrokes than the finger gestures iPhone users will be accustomed to.
The F480 supports a range of multimedia including DRM-free MP3 and AAC music files and MPEG4, H.264 and H.263 video files. The music player interface is serviceable, but it has nothing on the slick iPod Coverflow menu found on the iPhone.