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.
Thanks to the 624 MHz Marvell processor, the phone feels relatively speedy -- for a Windows Mobile device, at least -- and you get 256MB ROM and 128MB RAM for storing your data and applications. There's also an SD card slot should you need more room.