The world of haute couture and high fashion steps into the mobile arena through the Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani. The Samsung Armani is a high-end mobile device aimed at people who want more than the regular styling from their phone. In fact, I would not be wrong if I referred to the Samsung as a fashion accessory, something that will draw eyeballs from across the room. But does it have enough to qualify as a good phone?
Features & Specifications
Like any other high-end device, the Samsung offers most features. It supports Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS. It runs on Windows Mobile Professional 6.5 and offers both a full 3.5-inch AMOLED resistive touchscreen and a four-row hardware QWERTY keyboard. It has a microUSB slot that can be used for charging, connecting to the PC and connecting the 3.5mm headphones adaptor that comes bundled with the device. The Samsung comes with an impressive 8GB of internal memory and if that’s not enough, you can pop in a microSD card up to 16GB.
However the phone’s bulky size almost qualifies for a fashion faux pas.
The phone sports Samsung’s proprietary TouchWIZ UI over the WinMo interface. Thanks to its WinMo OS, the Armani has a well-fleshed out set of productivity, messaging and contact management features. It also has a 5MP camera with an LED flash.
Design & Usability
I am not exactly a fashion connoisseur and am probably not qualified enough to judge Mr. Armani’s design but the phone looked pretty good to me. It has a muted gold body and gold edges. The phone’s front proudly proclaims the designer’s name in the trademark font while Samsung’s name is embossed at the back. However the phone’s bulky size almost qualifies for a fashion faux pas; also, the build quality was unsatisfactory since the phone’s various parts wobbled too much. However, there were some nice additions to the build as well, for instance, after sliding out the keyboard, the phone lets you prop up the screen at an angle (similar to the N97mini). The screen itself is quite large at 3.5 inches and looks especially good since not only is it an AMOLED display, but it is also able to display a high resolution of 800x480 and an equally impressive 16M color output.
As mentioned before, the Samsung uses WinMo 6.5 Professional as its primary OS combined with TouchWIZ. As a result, the touch based usability is quite good albeit sluggish. The TouchWIZ interface manages to cover up WinMo’s faults nicely and I was accosted by WinMo’s small icons and menus very rarely. Also, the Samsung’s QWERTY keyboard is an excellent addition and was great to use.
The Samsung’s multimedia performance is quite good. Its 5MP camera takes good looking photos both indoors and outdoors. Photos looked vibrant and bright and there was little noise to speak of. One problem I did notice was that the images I shot appeared to have a slight white haze. Also, the video recording was just average.
Multimedia playback, on the other hand is excellent. The Samsung’s audio playback might just be one of the best I have heard from a phone. The audio is loud and clear and if you want to add that extra bit of punch, you can choose from a vast set of EQs and sound enhancement features. Video playback is also excellent and you can actually watch an entire movie on the 3.5-inch screen. Plus, the phone supports a wide number of video formats including DivX/XviD and H.263 and H.264 so just copying and pasting movies to the phone’s memory works just fine. I wish more phones would take a leaf out of the Samsung’s book.
The Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani costs a solid Rs. 39,950. If you are looking for that exclusivity factor that the Armani tag will bring, then the Samsung has no competition. However, if you are looking for a smartphone that impresses overall, then the Apple iPhone 3GS is a better option. If the multimedia performance is a defining factor, then the Samsung OmniaHD will give you an overall better experience at a lighter price. For a full-QWERTY keyboard and large touchscreen, the N97mini is a better option. And if you want a powerful WinMo device that also looks good, then consider the HTC HD2. Overall, though for its good looks and powerful multimedia performance, the Giorgio Armani phone qualifies as a very good product.