The Samsung Chat 335 (styled as Ch@t 335) is an entry level phone meant for users with a strong SMS habit who also want online connectivity without shelling out too much money. The Chat’s stand-out features apart from its inexpensive price-tag are its QWERTY keyboard and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Along with the QWERTY keyboard, the Samsung Chat 335 has a 2.4-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 320x240 pixels and 256K color output. It has a 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones and uses a microUSB port to charge and connect to the PC. The Chat has 60MB of internal memory and supports microSD cards up to 8GB (it comes with a free 2GB microSD card). The Chat supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but no 3G and GPS. The Chat also has a 2MP fixed focus camera with no flash that can record videos in CIF resolution (176x144).
The Samsung Chat also comes pre-installed with a couple of social networking and chat applications that include Facebook, Twitter, Palringo, MSN and Yahoo.
The tale of the Samsung Chat 335's design and usability can be told in two parts- the surprisingly good and the surprisingly bad.
Design & Usability
The tale of the Samsung Chat 335’s design and usability can be told in two parts- the surprisingly good and the surprisingly bad. The good is that the Chat is one of the best looking phones under 10K. It looks stylish and elegant with a brushed metal look on the keyboard and the front buttons complemented by a metallic rim. The Chat is light but feels solid in the hand and is quite slim too. The presence of the optical trackpad is also nice since when done well, the optical trackpad is better to use than a D-pad. Also, the Chat’s UI is easy on the eyes and has a simple design with a couple of customization options.
The bad begins with the keyboard which is very disappointing to use in spite of looking good. The keys are too soft and aren’t sufficiently raised making it difficult to type on. Also, on pressing a key almost every other key around it wobbles which takes away from the usability. The optical trackpad is also a little too sensitive and not very accurate. Even after I had set the trackpad’s sensitivity to its lowest, it was difficult to control.
The Chat’s screen is average but at least the UI looks good on it. However, it handles terribly under sunlight and videos, even indoors, don’t look great on it.
Browsing, Multimedia etc.
The Samsung Chat 335 is definitely not a phone you want to browse the Web on. In fact, it won’t let you browse most of the Internet as it almost always runs out of memory on most sites that aren’t optimized for mobile browsing. Also, the optical trackpad makes it difficult to browse on the small screen.
The Chat has a surprisingly capable 2MP shooter. Although you probably shouldn’t rely on it for anything more than casual shots, it takes colorful and sharp pictures although it does falter indoors because of the absence of auto-focus. The Chat records very ordinary videos which are only good for watching on the phone’s screen.
Images shot with the Samsung Chat (click on images to enlarge in new window).
The Chat is pretty good at playing music. The phone is capable of loud volumes and it has a decent set of EQ settings too.
The Samsung Chat 335’s looks, features and price (Rs. 5,149) put it directly against the Nokia C3. The Samsung has an edge over the Nokia in terms of looks, screen quality and multimedia whereas the Nokia has a better keyboard, is better to use. It’s actually quite difficult to separate the two although I would say the Nokia has the slightest of edges over the Samsung. Although if you have an extra 2K, you’d be better off opting for the Nokia E63.