X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test phones

Samsung B2700 review: Samsung B2700

If the two main features you need in a phone are a decent media player and convenient calling, then the B2700 won't disappoint.

Irene Mickaiel
When Irene's not finding reasons to go globetrotting, with a camera almost permanently fixed to her face, she's reading up on all the latest gizmos and gadgets or trying her hand at adventure sports.
Irene Mickaiel
4 min read

Design

Made from black plastic and hardened rubber, Samsung's B2700 is a rugged and tough-looking phone.

6.8

Samsung B2700

The Good

Flashlight. Loud speaker. Decent media player. Good call quality.

The Bad

Battery life. No Wi-Fi or GPS. Low quality video-call camera. The flashlight can't double as a camera flash. Unreliable compass and altitude.

The Bottom Line

If the two main features you need in a phone are a decent media player and making calls, then the B2700 won't disappoint.

We envision big, burly men to be carrying this hefty (114g) and thick (115x52x18mm) phone around as it's not exactly stylish or sleek when compared to, say, Sony Ericsson's rugged phone. So perhaps when the box says "robust durability in style", Samsung is comparing it to the hammer and screwdriver in your toolkit.

Along the left side of the device is the volume rocker button and just below that, under a plastic flap, is a proprietary port for the included headphones, USB and charger. On the right side are two buttons, which control the camera and flashlight. At the top is the flashlight's bulb (which many people confused for the phone's on/off switch).

The keypad, like the rest of the phone, is made of rubber and has decent-sized keys that even men with large, stubby fingers can operate them without mistyping. And because the phone is dust and water resistant, there are no gaps between the keys (which also means the microSD slot is hidden away behind the battery).

The only parts of this phone not made of rubber are the 2-megapixel camera lens that is recessed at the back of the phone, the 1.9-inch, 176x220-pixel screen and the video-call camera just above it.

A carabiner strap is included in the box, but this doesn't feel or look as sturdy as the phone.

Durability

The B2700 has an IP54 certification, where IP stands for International Protection and the number 5 means that while the phone is resistant to dust, it is not entirely protected from it. The number 4 means splashing water on the phone should have no harmful effect, but it is not waterproof. Underlining that, Samsung has stipulated in its handbook that "water damage to your phone can void your manufacturer's warranty". The guide also advises against using your phone in dusty, dirty areas. So to be on the safe side, treat this phone like any other phone, and hope that its "robustness" and "durability" save you from those occasional accidents.

Features

Besides looking burly and tough, what exactly can this phone do? Well, seeing as it's a pretty basic phone, not that much.

The B2700 is quad-band GPRS/EDGE compatible (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and supports Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP for streaming tunes to a wireless headset. It doesn't have GPS or Wi-Fi and only comes with 26MB of storage, but it does give you the option to expand up to 8GB with a microSD card.

The Samsung B2700 covers the multimedia aspects well, which is nice to see on a rugged phone. There is a media and video player (MP3/e-AAC+/WMA/AMR/SMAF and MPEG4/3GP), stereo FM radio and voice recorder.

Worth mentioning are the included applications: a digital compass/altimeter, pedometer, RSS reader, currency converter and world clock. The only thing missing was an electronic spirit level.

The app that grabbed our interest was the digital compass and altitude. Unfortunately, after calibrating the compass as instructed by the phone, it was consistent in its belief that north was to the west. Along with the compass app is the altimeter, which seems to think we're always at sea level (even when we were at the top of Sydney Tower). Perhaps the phone was knocked around when it was delivered to our office, but it seems that it no longer knows which way is up. We also found it odd that it would have a compass and altimeter, but no GPS.

Performance

There was no noticeable delay when switching between apps, but when viewing photos taken with the phone they took up to two seconds to load. Speaking of photos, the images were of average quality with some details blurred, but were reasonable for a 2MP camera. Though due to where the flashlight is placed, and without an LED flash, taking night-time shots was not possible.

Video recording struggled a bit when moving the camera around as images became blocky and blurry. Even so, results were much better than they were with the secondary camera used for video calls. The video-call camera didn't display colours accurately, making everything look a bit green. And if the phone is moved, images became a blurry mess.

While there were no equaliser settings, it was a joy listening to music on the B2700 with the supplied headphones as well as through the speaker. In fact, with the headphones on it was ear-splittingly loud at top volume. (If you have the ringer on at top volume there is no way you will miss hearing it either, even if you have it tucked into your Hard Yakka socks.) So remember to have a macho song as your ringtone.

Calls came through loud and clear and recipients also said they had no problem hearing us (as well as all the background noise from our surroundings). When using the speakerphone, the caller's voice can be heard at arm's length, but keep in mind that the phone has to be around 45cm away from your mouth to be heard.

Battery life was a huge disappointment. According to Samsung, talk time is up to five hours and up to 350 hours on standby. We used it to listen to music for five hours straight and made three phone calls that lasted on average two minutes each and the battery didn't last to the end of the day. If this is standard battery performance, the phone would need to be recharged at least every night or second night depending on how often you use it.

Overall

The Samsung B2700 does the basics really well, the music player is a nice touch, but the apps could do with some work. The B2700 certainly looks and feels like a tough phone, but whether it can be used like one might not be worth risking for $300.