With all the buzz of the coming iPhone 3G, I'm pretty excited about it myself. But before I can get a chance to touch it, I got a chance to review the Olympic phone by Samsung - The F480... ... The other thing I love about this phone is the 5.0megapixel camera. I hate it when my camera phone does not have the auto focus feature. When I got this phone for trial, i couldn't stop snapping and twitpic-ing, flickr-ing and tumblr-ing almost everywhere I go!

With all the buzz of the coming iPhone 3G, I’m pretty excited about it myself. But before I can get a chance to touch it, I got a chance to review the Olympics phone by Samsung – The F480. I know its strange why I am reviewing this instead of the much talk about Omnia. Well, since its already so much talked about, no point me writing for it again right? So how’s this small, sleek and rather sexy Samsung F480 has that was compared with the iPhone 3G?

“The Apple iPhone 3G and Samsung F480 Tocco are similar phones. Each of them comes with similar features and capabilities. Which one is better is a question that many people want answered.” by Caroline Telford

Well, you can read what Caroline has to say about comparing the two for now. Here I’m going to share how I feel about the Samsung F480 aka the “Olympics phone”.

F480 with leather cover that came in standard package

The first thing that impressed me was how Samsung took into consideration how users would want to protect their precious phone. There’s 2 battery covers that come in their standard package. One is a matching cover with the back material that’s a little not-so-user-friendly as it’s quite hard to slide out. And the other is this black leather version where there’s a flip on the other side to protect the screen. Overall the phone looks very executive like with the cover. A plus for beauty and functionality of the cover.

This is how it looks like from behind…

The other thing I love about this phone is the 5.0megapixel camera. I hate it when my camera phone does not have the auto focus feature. When I got this phone for trial, i couldn’t stop snapping and flickr-ing, tumblr-ing and twitpic-ing almost everywhere I go! (Thanks for mobile broadband!)

Demo of the features for the camera…

Here are more shots taken with the Samsung F480 5.0mp camera…

Close-up of my purse

It’s pretty clear for a shot like this. View the *higher res here.
*Not at the highest possible resolution of the 5.0mp. It’s only shot at 1280×960.

Here’s a test for the zoom function of the camera…
At wide view…

Standing at exact same spot with full zoom…

And here’s a shot taken in the cinema while watching the Olympics Opening on HD5

Looks even better than some taken with the pns camera right? Wahahaha! Full HD on hugeeee screen okay! Siew lah!

And finally this taken indoor (my room). The color is quite nice still even at low light condition.

More photo samples can be found here.
YES! The answer is Samsung F480! Winners announced at end of this post.

Overall I give this phone a 4.5 out of 5 for its camera feature. The last time I had a decent camera phone was 2 years ago with the Sony K750i.

I think the one thing that is almost like an iPhone is the menu and type of applications. The menu (as seen in the photo below) are nicely colored and has most of the basic function of a mobile phone. I think there are more that can be downloaded. I didn’t quite explore that.

Menu view

The thing I find user friendly is the widget menu that’s similar to the Samsung Omnia phone. The sidebar which slides out when called is very useful for applications which the user uses often.

Widget view

Widget sidebar

For me, the changing of profile setting is quick and easy using this widget sidebar feature. You may also customised this sidebar with any of the applications in the phone. To activate/use the applications in the sidebar, all you need to do is touch and drag the icon out of the sidebar and choose the settings you desire. And then touch and drag it back into the sidebar.

Video of the sidebar in action…

Some other points which I noted of the Samsung F480 are…

1. The touch isn’t as clever as compared to the iPhone. And I had problems trying to use the phone while its laying flat on the table. It doesn’t seem to react to my touch when its flat. I had to tilt it up than the touch was sensitive enough for the action to take place.

2. The browser does not support flash players and files. Not sure if there’s any way users can download the plugin for this. But with the increase in demand for full internet browsing feature on mobile phones, I find that it is a must to have flash compatible browser installed. Heard that the new iPhone 3G will have that. Let’s wait and see.

3. The battery life is pretty good. With high usage of the internet browser and camera, the battery could last me about 2.5days with a full charge. But do note that I do not use it often for calls and SMS during those 2.5days.

4. There’s no Qwerty keyboard! It would be nice if there’s a choice to switch between keypad and Qwerty. But I guess the touch buttons would probably be ultra small (smaller than iPhone) if they do have it on the F480.

5. There’s smart-view feature for the web browser. Which is quite clever. Watch the attached video clip to see it in action!

Web browsing on F480…

Overall I find the Samsung F480 quite a nice and friendly phone. Its suitable for both man and woman as the touch buttons were quite big. If not for the tempting new 3G iPhone that’s coming out, I would probably give this phone a go. Price tag isn’t that expensive too with a mobile contract. Too bad I didn’t get to keep the phone for my own use. (But don’t you think I deserve to own one since I did such a detail review? LOL! *wink wink*)

And finally! There were 2 correct answers for my guess the camera contest. I did a coin flip and the winner of the mystery prize goes to… Darran! Yeah! Congrats!! I’ll be contacting you soon to pass you the prize!

*This review is made possible by the Samsung Touch Ambassador program.