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Samsung i780 review: Samsung i780

The Good Good connectivity; great mini-touchpad; good keyboard.

The Bad Non-standard power connector; below-par camera; big and bulky.

The Bottom Line We like the i780's mini-trackpad and keyboard, but we're not so keen on its bulky dimensions and we still find Windows Mobile 6 quite awkward to use. If you're a Windows Mobile fan, it's worth a look, but we doubt it'll win over many Blackberry users

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7.5 Overall

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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 i600, 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.

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