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Samsung SGH-D807 review: Samsung SGH-D807

The Samsung SGH-D807 is a slim slider that should appeal to fashionistas and gadget geeks alike. Its sleek design and ample features are hampered only by its slippery navigation keys.

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
6 min read
Samsung SGH-D807 series

Although Motorola grabbed the early lead with its popular Razr, Samsung has made a name for itself in the slim-phone market. What with thin, well-received models such as the Samsung MM-A900, the Samsung SGH-T809, and the Samsung SGH-T509, the company is certainly giving Motorola a run for its money. The latest slim phone in Samsung's arsenal is the Samsung SGH-D807 for Cingular, a slider phone that appears to be an update of the aforementioned SGH-T809. With its sleek design and ample features, the SGH-D807 should appeal to a broad audience. It retails for $179.99, but you can get it from Cingular for $129.99 after a mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement.


Samsung SGH-D807

The Good

The Samsung SGH-D807 is a beautifully designed world phone, with a great user interface to boot. It also features a 1.3-megapixel camera, a microSD card, Bluetooth, mobile e-mail, and a speakerphone. Performance is great, and photo quality is decent enough.

The Bad

The Samsung SGH-D807 has slippery navigation controls that are a bit too flush to the surface. Plus, the camera has no flash.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung SGH-D807 is a slim slider that should appeal to fashionistas and gadget geeks alike. Its sleek design and ample features are hampered only by its slippery navigation keys.

It's no secret that slim phones are in, and the Samsung SGH-D807 does not disappoint. It's a beautifully designed handset that hits a home run as far as first impressions go. Wrapped in a matte-black finish and silver border accents, its slim, lightweight form factor (3.98 by 2.09 by 0.61 inches; 3.3 ounces) makes it a joy to hold, both in the hand and next to the ear. Because it's so skinny, it also slips easily into a pocket and hardly takes up room in a purse. The SGH-D807 slider mechanism is easily operable with one hand, and it slides open in one swift motion.

The Samsung SGH-D807 is a beautifully designed phone.

Another design showstopper is the Samsung SGH-D807's gorgeous 262,000-color display, which measures an impressive 2 inches diagonally (176x220 pixels). The user interface on the SGH-D807 certainly takes advantage of the extra real estate with stunning, color-saturated graphics, as well as eye-catching animated menu icons. You can also change the backlight time of the display and select whether you want the LCD to turn all the way off or just have a dimmed effect. The screen's brightness is adjustable, as are the size and the color of the dialing display font.

Underneath the display are the navigational controls, which consist of two soft keys; a four-way toggle with a middle OK key (marked with the Cingular logo); the regular talk and End/power keys; and the cancel key in between them. The four-way toggle also acts as a shortcut to four user-defined functions, and the OK key in the middle defaults to the Media Net Web browser. While the keys are large enough, they are slippery and too flush to the surface of the phone. As a result, we had a few misdials, such as clicking two buttons at once or clicking the wrong button entirely, which sometimes resulted accidental deletions. This is a concern especially if you have large hands.

Slide the Samsung SGH-D807 upward, and you're presented with a slightly recessed keypad. The keypad is also slightly flush to the surface, but thanks to minor texture details, it's possible to dial by feel. It was nowhere as slippery as the navigation controls. Rounding out the phone's design are the charger/headset port and the volume rocker on the left spine, with a microSD card slot on the right spine. Sliding the phone upward, you'll note a 1.3-megapixel camera lens and a self-portrait mirror on the back. As a result, you can't take photos with the slider closed.

The Samsung SGH-D807 has a microSD card slot.

Surprisingly for such a slim phone, the Samsung SGH-D807 has plenty of features to go around. First, the basics: Its contact list holds up to 1,000 entries, and each entry can accommodate five numbers, an e-mail address, and a note. You can personalize each contact with a photo caller ID or a custom ring tone, and you can organize them into a caller group of your choice. There are 11 polyphonic ring tones to choose from, and the SGH-D807 supports MP3 ring tones, which you can download from Cingular. Organizational tools include an alarm clock, a calendar, a task list, notes, a calculator, a unit converter, a timer, a stopwatch, and a world clock. Rounding out the basic features are text and multimedia messaging, instant messaging (AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo), mobile e-mail (Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, AOL Mail, and SBC Yahoo Mail), a speakerphone, a voice recorder, a vibrate mode, voice dialing, Bluetooth, and a WAP 2.0 browser. The phone also supports EDGE data speeds, which is especially handy when downloading additional applications.

A welcome feature on the Samsung SGH-D807 is its 1.3-megapixel camera. There's no flash, so it's not great in low light, but you can adjust the camera's brightness setting. There's also a 10X digital zoom for close-up shots, and you can take photos in six different resolutions (1,280x1024, 1,152x864, 800x600, 640x400, 320x240, and 176x144) and four different quality settings (Fine, Super-Fine, Normal, and Economy). There are some fun camera settings, such as color effects, including Grayscale, Negative, Sepia, Emboss, Sketch, Antique, and Moonlight; 24 fun frames; multishot (up to 15 shots at a time) and mosaic-shot (from 2x2 to 3x3) features; and a self-timer. You can choose to set your viewfinder in full-screen or standard ratio, and you can set the sound effects of the shutter, the zoom, and the brightness adjustments. Picture quality was satisfactory for a 1.3-megapixel camera--not excellent but still pretty good compared with the lower-quality VGA camera phones out there. As for video, you can shoot in one of two resolutions--176x144 and 128x96--and record with the audio on or off. Recorded clips were predictably low quality. After taking photos or recording video, you can store them on the phone's built-in 18MB of memory or on an additional microSD card for more storage. Then you can send them via multimedia message to any of your friends or transfer them to your computer, either via the card or Bluetooth.

The Samsung SGH-D807 produced satisfactory picture quality.

The Samsung SGH-D807 comes with an MP3 player that has a user-friendly interface, and you can download tunes to the phone via the microSD card. MP3 player settings include repeat, shuffle, two different visualization modes, and a backlight (either always on or normal), and you can set the volume of the MP3 player separately from the phone's ring or speaker volume.

You'll be spoiled with personalization options on the Samsung SGH-D807. You can customize not only the wallpaper but also how information is displayed (different color fonts; whether you want the graphical logo on the main display), the color for the skin of the phone's menu system, and the clock style when the screen goes idle. You can personalize the keypad, message, and alert tones, as well as the slider tone, which is the sound the phone makes when you slide the phone open or closed. Of course, you can also download more graphics, wallpaper, and tones from Cingular. Only two games are included--Tetris and Midnight Pool--but you can download more.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; EDGE) Samsung SGH-D807 world phone in San Francisco using Cingular's service. Calls were loud and clear, and callers reported great sound quality on their end as well. Speakerphone calls were also admirable, and the music from the MP3 player was pretty good too. We had no problem pairing the SGH-D807 with the Jabra BT160 Bluetooth headset, and audio quality remained good, despite a slight decrease in volume. Downloading ring tones and applications was speedy, thanks to the EDGE network. The Samsung SGH-D807 has a rated talk time of 5 hours and a rated standby time of 10 days; we managed to eke out only 4 hours of talk time in our tests and six and a half days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the SGH-D807 has a digital SAR rating of 0.516 watt per kilogram.


Samsung SGH-D807

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 8