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 i200 review: Samsung i200

An elegant smartphone that both excites and disappoints at the same time.

Brett James
3 min read

You can begin to understand why the Samsung i200 has a rather subdued feature list when you consider that it's a business device. In the modern business world you could excuse the lack of a radio or a featureless 2-megapixel camera but we would have at least expected Wi-Fi or GPS for navigation.

7.3

Samsung i200

The Good

Interface. Slim design. Good screen. Easy to use keypad. Windows Mobile 6.1. HSDPA for fast Web access. Decent battery life.

The Bad

Proprietary headphone port. No Wi-Fi or GPS. Poor camera. Not much memory. Expensive for what it is.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung i200 is one of those devices that is instantly appealing due to its slim profile, responsive keypad, and HSDPA support. It lacks Wi-Fi and GPS, uses a proprietary port for headphones and its 2-megapixel camera is not what you'd call ground-breaking.

Design
The Samsung i200 is a little taller than some smartphones, but with a depth of 11.8mm and weighing in at just over 100g, the phone does feel comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand.

The clear and vibrant 2.3-inch screen is joined by a responsive five-way D-pad, phone buttons and a keypad underneath. The latter was great for typing texts or emails. On the sides you get a customisable camera shortcut button, a microSD slot, volume controls and a propriety headphone/USB port.

The proprietary port used for the headphones (and the USB and mains cable) is placed to the side of the phone and hidden behind a protective cover that tended to stick out from the casing.

Features
The inclusion of Windows Mobile 6.1 does provide several enhancements. For a start, you now have threaded SMS support, so you can follow your texts in a conversation format. It's now possible to copy and paste between emails, texts and input areas of Internet Explorer, plus you get the latest Office mobile, which includes OneNote and the ability to edit existing Office documents.

Additional software comes in the form of a video player, Exchange support, podcast software, a PDF viewer and an RSS reader.

HSDPA was welcome for Web access, but the inclusion of Wi-Fi or GPS would have been useful, especially as the Samsung i200 is aimed at business users.

Performance
The Samsung was pretty easy to use (despite not having a touchscreen), as a quick press of the start button reveals a list of your recently accessed programs. Alongside the customisable speed dials (which can open applications), you get an enhanced picture viewer and a content manager for providing quick access to your multimedia files, documents and storage card.

Battery life is enhanced by an auto light sensor option and we got nearly six hours of video playback. While the battery life is optimised to a certain degree, and with Wi-Fi or GPS hardware to drain it, we did notice that when playing games or watching videos full-screen within Windows Media player there was a significant drop in its life.

With the inclusion of HSDPA, Web browsing was fast and the call quality during our test conversation was loud and clear.

The 2-megapixel camera's lack of flash and autofocus did hinder image quality indoors, but on a positive note some outdoor shots came out pretty well.

While the Samsung i200 performs well, its memory is still thin on the ground, with only 64MB RAM (23MB free) and 128MB ROM (25MB free).

Conclusion
Despite its proprietary port, 2-megapixel camera and lack of Wi-Fi or GPS, we still enjoyed using the Samsung i200. Its slim profile and responsive keypad provided a useful text and email experience.

Its HSDPA access and responsive Windows Mobile 6.1 software should offer just about enough features for most small business needs, though having a look around your local mobile phone shop does reveal alternative products that are better specced for a similar price per month.