'Anything you can do, I can do better' -- a fitting expression for the relationship between Samsung and LG, particularly when it comes to mobile phones. Last year, we saw LG team up with Prada to create thephone and this year it's Samsung's turn to walk the catwalk with the Samsung Armani phone.
It's always worrying when fashion houses team up with mobile manufacturers as the results can be quite disturbing. As we gently popped open the Samsung Armani's posh box, we breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing the Armani phone -- it's small, attractive and most importantly, it doesn't look tacky.
The Armani phone feels solid and definitely looks the part. On the front, there's a relatively large touchscreen with mechanical end and send keys at the bottom. The casing is made out of metal, which adds to the solid feel and it's weighted just right -- not to heavy and not too light.
Using the Armani's touchscreen is a relatively enjoyable experience because it's easy enough to navigate. Plus, it features vibrating haptic feedback that lets you know when you've tapped an on-screen key, which seems to work better than certain other phones with a similar feature.
Our only issue with the Armani's screen is that scrolling is very fiddly. Scrolling through contacts or a Web site should be easy to do, which is why we're bothered that it's not. If you're expecting a touchscreen that responds to touch control as well as the iPhone, you'll be very disappointed. A combination of the hardware and software lets the phone down and we're not convinced that Samsung have cracked touchscreen phones just yet.
Turn it on and you're presented with the Croix user interface that's also found on the Samsung F700. It's an attractive UI but it lacks depth and doesn't allow you to do many of things you can do on certain other Samsung phones, such as install Java apps like Google Maps and Opera Mini.
Fashion phones don't always have to be under-featured but this one is. While you do get a 3-megapixel camera with LED photo light, an MP3 player, an Internet browser and EDGE (2.75G), that's about it in terms of headline features. We're disappointed given the association with a fancy fashion brand.