It's not hard to tell that Samsung is aiming the i780 squarely at Blackberry users. It's got a similar Qwerty keyboard and touchscreen display to those found on RIM's devices, but Samsung has also added a neat touchpad controller and HSDPA support. The phone is available for free on Orange's business tariffs, but has it got what it takes to tempt long-time BlackBerry fans away from their much loved devices?
Style-wise, the i780 is a fairly typical smart phone with a 64mm (2.5-inch) touchscreen perched above a mini-Qwerty keyboard. It differs beneath the screen: where the typical D-pad would be, there's a tiny touchpad instead. The touchpad lets you control a mini-cursor and you can make selections by pressing down on the pad. It takes some getting used to, but after a while, we found that it makes the included stylus redundant.
Samsung has also improved the keyboard from the, its previous messenger phone. While the keys now have a more raised feel and are easier to type on, it's our opinion that they're still not as good as the keyboards found on Blackberry devices.
The phone runs Windows Mobile 6 and in addition to the usual applications, it's also loaded with a handy RSS reader and the Opera Web browser. On the connectivity side, it's pretty well specified. There's Wi-Fi for accessing the Web -- when you're within range of a wireless router or hotspot -- and speedy HSDPA for when you're out on the road. Naturally, Bluetooth support is also included and there are two cameras so you can make 3G video calls.