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Samsung D820 review: Samsung D820

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The Good 1.3 megapixel camera. Voice recorder. Bluetooth connectivity. Up to 60 minutes of video recording.

The Bad Awkward slide design.

The Bottom Line The Samsung SGH D820 is a good all-round quad-band phone with some great features including a 1.3-megapixel camera, decent quality voice recorder and an MP3/AAC/AAC+ music player. Largely it is easy to use without requiring in-depth study of its user guide but occasionally the design lets it down.

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Design
From a design perspective, the D820 is an attractive and slim slider phone with a large 2-inch screen and internal antenna. The black design with 262K colour screen looks stylish when closed, however, the operation of sliding it open is a little clunky. It feels somewhat heavy to push open and we tended to hit buttons on the front of the phone when sliding it upwards. This generally means that the incoming call options page or music player facility is accessed accidentally and as a result, on multiple occasions, when opening the phone to answer calls, the caller was cut off. However, you don't need to open the phone to answer it, which means you can avoid cutting off calls

With an incoming call, the LCD screen lights up and displays incoming caller ID. You can accept or reject the call through option buttons on the front of the phone while closed. Otherwise, the keyboard and most of D820's functionality can only be accessed by sliding open the phone.

Inside, the keypad is well set out with plenty of room to tap out messages and dial.

Features
There are several attractive features on the Samsung D820 including a 1.3-megapixel camera, video recorder, voice recorder and music player. It has 73MB of internal memory for archiving images, video, music and other data and can store up to 60 minutes of video and a hour's recording of a voice memo. You can increase this capacity by using an external microSD memory card if necessary. The D820's central file manager ensures that data and files for these features can be saved, archived and retrieved, quickly and easily.

The 1.3-megapixel camera requires some working out but once you understands the menu options through the keyboard, image size, quality, balance, exposure and ISO can be set prior to capturing images. This includes a night shot mode. The D820 also lets you select different capture modes -- multi shot, single shot and mosaic shot. This last option means that multiple stills can be taken and saved in a single frame enabling some impressive results.

The function keys to change the photo set up options are outlined in the user guide and once you have worked out which buttons do which function, the D820 takes good quality photos although you need to keep the camera as still as possible while capturing the shot to avoid blurring. It also has a rotating lens that is effective for taking shots from different angles.

There is a selection of cute comical frames with birthday, Christmas and general decorative themes as well as emoticons and clip art that you can use to frame your captured photos. There is also an image editor to manipulate the quality of images after they have been taken. You can clear up the focus, change colour and balance of the shots -- a handy feature to have to clean up shots when required.

The video recorder also records a high quality picture for a mobile phone. In testing the video, there was a good result in many different types of environment, whether the subject is still or moving and it handled different light conditions well. Otherwise, it was also easy to access and again, the file manager ensured that video clips could be stored and recalled quickly.

Text messaging is covered with predictive, ABC and numeric input modes and the Samsung D820 allows the user to send out data through various data modes -- multimedia and e-mail. The phone offers a calendar, clock, world clock, timer and stopwatch and these are all straightforward to set up although slightly irritatingly, the clock only displays in 12 hour format.

Performance
The sound quality of the Samsung D820's music player is good and can be listened to via the phone speaker or supplied headset. There are several ways to download music files -- MP3 and AAC --- and this can be done through inserting a memory card into the handset, via the phone's Bluetooth facility or the inbuilt Web browser application. You can also set up downloaded music files to become alarm and general ringtones, or select a file as a ringtone for a specific phonebook entry.

The microphone in the D820 is of a high quality ensuring a decent voice recorder which is also easy to set up. As previously mentioned, it can record memos lasting for up to an hour. While recording, the recorder can be paused and resumed and it includes fast forward, rewind, volume and playback options. While testing in different situations, the subject speaking to the microphone could be heard clearly despite different levels of background environment noise.

Perhaps only of a concern for users who use their mobile phones as an alarm, you are unable to change the duration of the snooze function -- the alarm is set to go off again after five minutes when the snooze button is hit, there is no menu option to change this -- and it rings a maximum of five times after the original alarm before switching itself off. Not a particularly satisfying snooze!

Overall, the phone offers a wealth of means to organise and transfer data to other devices. The Bluetooth capability on the phone is great in the way it is so straightforward to set up and you can quickly transfer phone book details, images and other data to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Users can also access data stored in the phone by other means. The Samsung D820's display can be output for viewing on a TV to share videos and photos captured through the phone. Alternatively, data can be transferred to a memory card and read via a card reader/writer on a PC.

The Samsung D820 is a good phone packed with useful and easy to access features. With a 2-inch LCD screen (240 x 320 pixels), the display is a generous size to view videos and pictures and is bright and clear. It's also light and easy to carry measuring 99 x 51 x 15.2mm. The open/close design of the slider however, is a little clumsy, which occasionally affects the user experience.

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