Samsung Armani review: Samsung Armani

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:

The Good The Samsung Armani is a compact touch-screen phone with tons of style, plus it comes with a megapixel camera and a nice music player. There's also haptic feedback, which provides tactile confirmation in the form of tiny vibrations.

The Bad The Armani's touch screen doesn't always respond appropriately, and photo quality was not as good as we thought it would be.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Armani is one supersexy phone but it falls short of perfection due to lackluster features and a tricky user interface.

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When the LG Prada hit the scene more than a year ago, touch-screen phones were still a novelty. It stood out from the rest of the crowd with its sleek, minimalist look and designer house backing. Since then, the Apple iPhone has taken the touch-screen crown and has become the phone to beat, with many manufacturers coming out with touch-screen handsets as well. Samsung is no exception and has followed the LG Prada route by partnering with a major designer fashion house--Giorgio Armani--to produce the appropriately named Samsung Armani. The look and feel of the Armani is certainly deserving of such a brand, from its slim and compact body right down to the flashy menu interface. Sadly, its features are rather staid and do not match up to its looks. The Armani will certainly fulfill your desire for an attractive and glamorous phone, but we suggest looking elsewhere for something with a few more features. Also, since you can't buy it with a U.S. carrier, you'll have to cough up around $579 to get your hands on the unlocked version.

The Samsung Armani absolutely epitomizes its namesake. Decked out in a glossy black steel case, the Armani has a very sleek and attractive design that earns its fashion phone branding. It comes in a very fancy black box showcasing it like a piece of jewelry, with a soft microfiber cloth case. Measuring 3.44 inches tall by 2.14 inches wide by 0.41 inch thick, the Armani is one of the more compact touch-screen handsets we've seen and can be easily slipped into a jeans pocket. It's a good thing it comes with a microfiber cloth case, since the glossy black surface does make it prone to fingerprint smudges.

The Samsung Armani has an onscreen dialpad.

As with most touch-screen handsets, the Armani doesn't have any keypad buttons--all navigation is done via the 2.6-inch diagonal touch-screen display. Though not as wide as the one on the Prada, the display is still a showstopper with 256,000 color support and 240x320 pixel resolution. Images look great, and it really shows off the Armani's glowing menu interface--each menu icon has a subtle gold hue, which fits in with the Armani brand. You can adjust the brightness and font size, but not the backlight time.

The Samsung Armani has a 3-megapixel camera

Navigating the Armani is actually fairly intuitive as far as touch-screen phones go. You use your fingers to navigate the phone since the phone doesn't come with a stylus. From the home screen, there are two onscreen buttons along the top that lead to the main menu, plus the onscreen dialpad. In the middle, a square button leads to five shortcuts, which correspond to the music player, the contacts list, the messaging menu, the call log, and the main menu. If you have the calendar display toggled on the home screen, you can actually swipe the screen to switch between the calendar and clock display, similar to the Cover Flow technique used to flip through album covers on the iPhone.

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Where to Buy

Samsung Armani

Part Number: CNETP520ARMANIBLK Released: 25 Sep 2007
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date 25 Sep 2007
  • Talk Time Up to 360 min
  • Technology GSM
  • Combined with With digital camera / digital player
  • Service Provider not specified