Samsung SGH-D307 (AT&T) review: Samsung SGH-D307 (AT&T)

While we love the screen, we were less enthused with the navigation controls of the Samsung SGH-D307. To make way for the QWERTY keyboard, Samsung did away with the traditional soft keys and navigation toggle. Instead, the Up, Down, Left, and Right arrows are paired with the A, D, X, and W buttons, respectively; they also serve as shortcuts to Messaging, Address Book, My Media, and IM. In the center of it all is the S key, marked in orange, which acts the part of the Select key. The Talk and End/power keys (V and R) flank the Clear button (F), while the two soft keys are marked by three tiny dots above the Z and Q buttons. We certainly appreciate the keyboard and sleekness of the device compared with that of similar phones such as the LG VX9800 or the Motorola A6340, but this layout is confusing and takes some getting used to. What's more, when in landscape mode, the setup is even more perplexing because it's not clear which keys perform which functions indicated on the display. There are also no dedicated number keys when in landscape mode, and you can access only certain menu items and others not at all. We recommend that you sit down with the user guide to get acquainted before using the phone and firing off messages.

With all that said, the Samsung SGH-D307's QWERTY keyboard is spacious, and the buttons are tactile. We had no problem typing messages with our thumbs; if anything, we wish the backlighting were just a bit brighter.

Messaging is the Samsung SGH-D307's forte, but it's not too shabby in the phone department either. To start off, the mobile features a healthy 1,000-name phone book, with room in each entry for three phone numbers and an e-mail address; the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts. For caller-ID purposes, you can assign a contact to one of 11 polyphonic ring tones, a caller group, or a photo. Just remember that since the SGH-D307 doesn't have a camera, you'll have to get images on to your phone another way. The mobile also supports custom ring tones, including MP3, AAC, and MIDI formats. Business users will appreciate the Bluetooth, EDGE support, the speakerphone, PC syncing, and 30-second voice memos. However, there's love for all with inclusion of a calendar, an alarm clock, a calculator, a to-do list, a currency converter, and a WAP 2.0 Web browser.


Crazy keys: While we like the SGH-D307's keypad, the overlap of the navigation controls is confusing.

The Samsung SGH-D307's innovative design and communication features give you something to write home about, and with its full QWERTY keyboard and multiple messaging options, you can do it right from your phone. The handset supports POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail accounts, instant messages (AOL, Yahoo, and ICQ), and text and multimedia messages. We were able to log on to our AOL and Yahoo IM clients with ease and chat away with our buddies. Strangely, you can't get to the Web in landscape mode, thus ruling out access to your e-mail accounts and the benefit of having a keyboard. Nevertheless, it was useful for firing off quick text messages and notes. And if you want to give your fingers a rest, the SGH-D307 also has VoiceMode so that you can speak, rather than type, your messages--a feature introduced in the Samsung SGH-P207 . After a 3-minute exercise of reading select words into the phone, we started dictating messages using VoiceMode, and accuracy was around 75 percent. We had better luck with easy phrases such as "Call me later," but with more complicated messages, the accuracy rate dropped dramatically.

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