"One of the very best smartphones out there today."4.5 starson by leemcc
Pros: Small form factor. Great features and price.
Cons: Activesync/tethering is a little spotty.
Summary: Ok, I have reviewed a few smartphones over the years. I had a Blackberry 7750, an Audiovox XV6600, a Samsung i730, and now I recently traded up to the Samsung i760.
The Samsung i760 is right up there as one of the best smartphones available today. I highly recommend it and it is a worthy succesor to the absolutely brilliant Samsung i730 that it replaced.
First a bit of history. I owned the Samsung i730 for two years, far and away the longest time I have ever owned a device of this kind. The unit satisfied all of my needs and although many would disagree I consider the Samsung i730 the best device of its kind and still a wonderful device even after two years. It is sturdy, beautiful, with a form factor for business to get the job done. Not only does it have a portable MS Office suite, but you can play full length movies, MP3 Player, web browsing at broadband speed, and access to all your email and connectivity options. So naturally the bar was set high with the new Samsung i760 unit.
When I first saw pictures of the Samsung i760 my reaction was "that is one butt ugly phone!". I don't mind butt ugly really. In fact I kinda dig it. I'm the kinda guy who goes for function over beauty. My thought is why get a useless cat when you can get useful warthog! Why get a supermodel who can't cook when you could have an ugly girl with a nice body who cooks and cleans? (Just kidding girls)
So the i760 was to me the ugly girl with the nice body who cooks and cleans. But a funny thing happened. The more I looked at it the better it started to look to me and now I think of it as beautiful. Funny huh?
In any event lets talk about the phone.
For starters this is one of those "everything and the kitchen sink" phones. Every mobile phone feature you would expect to find in a high end windows mobile smartphone you will find here including Windows Mobile 6, bluetooth, WiFi, 3G broadband, MP3, Video Playback, MS Office and multiple email account capability.
The first thing you notice is it is very thin by smartphone standards, almost blackjack thin. It is about .77" inches. It has a 2.8 inch touchscreen and a full numeric keypad on the face which is a feature you will find on almost no other windows mobile smartphone. It also has a slide out landscape full QWERTY keyboard. The processor is 400Mhz which is slower than the i730 which had 520Mhz but the tradeoff is you get better battery life. I did think that the i730 was a little quicker to launch and use applications though. The screen is vibrant and the colors outstanding. The phone has many useful soft key buttons which allow you to navigate features and functions easily.
The unit has a very good speakerphone and call quality is excellent whether by speaker or through the receiver. Bluetooth pairing is easy and some significant improvements over the i730 were that the Wifi is MUCH better on this unit than its predecessor. It finds and recognizes many more hotspots than the crippled Wifi the i730 had. Also, it is much more stable than the i730 which requires frequent reboots when programs or things begin to malfunction.
Battery life is decent but with smartphones don't expect to go longer than a day without recharging. Thats just the general rule.
The broadband response seems better and I was able to get 980kbps regularly on this unit while the highest I ever got on the i730 was about 800kbps. The i760 has no external antenna but that is something that I could have used. Why? Just form really. With the i730 I would often grab it and stabilize it in my hand with its big nubby antenna but with the i760 I have to be more careful because handling it is like handling a slippery fish with its polished black surface.
The unit takes MicroSD and you can easily increase memory from the included 128MB to 2GB, 4GB, or even 6GB cards that recently became available. It works just the same if not significantly better than my i730 for all of my business needs including remote access to my home computers through logmein.com as well as MP3 and movie playback. The one thing this unit has that the i730 didn't have is a camera. But Samsung REALLY dropped the ball here. This is a super high end device and they gave it a puny 1.3 megapixel camera with flash. It records video too but sadly only 15 seconds worth.
What are the downsides to the device?
> The screen is squishy. The i730 had a rock solid screen that was like tapping concrete. The i760 has a squishy almost Treo-like screen. One user described is as having a "marshmallowy center". It's like pressing the LCD on your computer monitor and watching the image distort a little. On the i730 this NEVER happened but the i760 screen seems less durable. Get a screen protector trust me!
> The unit does not come with a charging cradle so you will have to buy an aftermarket one. The old i730 came with a cradle that charged the phone and an additional battery so it was better in that regard.
> The unit is much less stable on activesync. I found I would often drop connection when hooked in through the USB cable.
Well thats it in a nutshell. The i760 is one of my new toys. By the way from an aesthetic standpoint it is brand new and just came out. You are sure to get some compliments or interested inquiries about it. If you are a Verizon customer you cannot go wrong with this phone. One major difference now as opposed to when the i730 came out is that, back then there were far fewer choices and the i730 was far and away the best available at the time. Now that the i760 is out, there are comparable choices from other carriers as well such as the AT&T Tilt or the HTC 8525, Sprint Mogul, HTC TyTN just to name a couple.
Hope that helps.