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Tough to beat

tech-reviews Updated: May 25, 2010 15:35 IST
Shayne Rana
Shayne Rana
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Amongst the increasing number of Samsung Corby mobile handsets is the Corby TV — a CDMA device. How does the Corby TV compare to the original S3650? Here’s a closer look.

Form
There’s no design difference between the S3650 and the Corby TV. It’s still a light weight handset at 90g with a 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen that sports a 240 x 320 pixel resolution.

The camera and screen lock key are one side and the volume/zoom keys along with the proprietary all-in-one port. This time around, Samsung has included a 3.5mm adapter so you can use your own set of earphones if you wish, not that the bundled handsfree isn’t comfortable. The microSD card is just under the interchangeable rear panel. All in all, there’s very little to complain about the design.

Interface
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI works fine although sometimes it seems unresponsive when it comes to activating an option or making a selection.

It is however easy to navigate with multiple desktops, each with plenty of drag and drop widgets. A QWERTY keypad has also been added but the option to change the orientation of the menu to landscape seems to have been done away with. This makes it a bit awkward to use the QWERTY keypad.

Other than that, the phone supports handwriting recognition, but for that a stylus would have come in handy. I was also unable to locate the gesture-based functions that TouchWiz UI usually comes with.

Media
With Samsung’s DNSe that come with EQ presets and a 5.1 Surround option, music playback had no issues. Tones were well balanced and clear at a comfortably high decibel level.

The FM radio had pretty good reception. There’s no recording feature however. One major issue I had was with the video player. The same test videos that played without an issue on the S3650 refused to play on this one. The error message I received was — Resolution Not Supported. The resolution of the files were 320 x 240.

However lower resolution files played but of course they really didn’t look too good. When the box says multiple video format support what they actually mean is low-res MPEG4 and 3GP only. Samsung has also included a few of they’re famous try and buy games, however Pro Cricket is free. A voice recorder is also available.

Connectivity
Like I said, the Corby TV is a CDMA device which implies super speed connectivity from browsing to watching Live TV via the MimobiTV Mobile TV app.

This app comes with a quite a few channels that range from news to movies (Bollywood and Hollywood), soaps and a few of the more ‘fun’ FTV channels (if you know what I mean). Kids channels like Pogo and Cartoon Network are also provided. Streaming is smooth and quick but the resolution leaves a little more to be desired. The handset also supports 3G and EDGE of course. Other modes of connectivity include Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP support and USB 2.0.

Like with the Corby S3650, the TV version also comes with widgets for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. What’s missing is the Orkut widget. Does anyone still use that one? POP and IMAP email accounts can be set up and downloaded though you may need to manually input a few settings.

Feature
Nothing is lacking from the basic apps section. A Calendar, Tasks, Memo (Sketch memo as well), Alarms, Calculator, Unit Converter et al are all present. Under the security section Samsung’s Mobile Tracker and a privacy option to password protect certain features like your call log, messages, phone book etc.

Camera
The 2MP camera has also taken a hit as a few features like Smile detection and Samsung’s omni-directional auto-stitch Panorama mode seem to have been removed. Image quality is not bad for a 2MP camera.

Battery
On an average the battery life for just talk time clocked in over 3 hours and 45 minutes which is quite a bit less than the S3650. If you’re watching live TV and making a few calls and messages, you’ll get about day and half of usage. But the more TV you watch, the faster your battery will drain of course.