Pros Easy to see screen with bright colors and big numbers, highly customizable, logical menus, easy to use. Nice picture quality for a VGA camera… even in the dark.
Cons Defaults to T9 when entering titles (you can deselect it each time but that's obnoxious), Manual is not very detailed. I have not found a way to “silence” the menu buttons, ringer could be louder.
Summary If you are a major web user or want to use your phone as your primary camera, STOP HERE and look for a different phone. Don’t give this phone low marks because it has no Bluetooth, speaker phone or megapixel camera. If you need those, this is not the phone for you so don’t complain about it… just keep looking! The P207 is the next generation phone for the “average guy.” Reasonably priced and feature packed… and, in a word, GREAT!
Now let’s be reasonable and say that the P207 has not been around long enough to discuss reliability (so I can’t give it a “10” yet), but as for ease of use and “coolness,” it can’t be beat.
The overall design of the phone is wonderful. Both the front and back screens of this clamshell phone are bright, customizable and easy to read, even outdoors without my glasses. The color picture caller ID on the external screen is a nice feature. The external screen can be backlit (to read the clock, etc.) by simply holding down the left (volume) button on the exterior of the phone for a second. This gives you 5 seconds of full backlighting followed by 5 seconds of dimmed backlighting. The backlighting of the keypad/menu buttons can be set to stay on up to 2 minutes and the blue color makes the buttons very easy to see.
Both the voice program and the camera work off exterior buttons, as well as the call volume but not ringer volume (which prevents you from accidentally muting your ringer). The circular design of the control buttons makes it easy to visualize and use, although it is rather easy to hit the CANCEL button when trying to hit the DOWN button.
The big selling feature, the voice to text messaging, works wonderfully (80-90% accuracy on the first try) if properly trained and used in a quiet environment.
"Yeah," you’re thinking, "but how much setup does it take and how easy is it to use?" Well, my wife is “electronically challenged” and didn’t want any bells and whistles on her phone. I bought her one of these though when I bought mine because of the package pricing. I did some initial setup for her (phone book entries, key tones, etc.) but 3 weeks later she was changing her wallpaper, adding ringtones, shooting stills and videos, adding graphic caller ID, and everything else the phone can do (except for its main feature; she hasn’t had a reason to use the voice generated text messaging). Also, a lot of people don’t realize that you can setup some “preset” keys to handle the tasks that you do most often.
Just be aware of what I said in CONS above: This phone defaults to T9 mode (predictive text) so when you try to put a title to a picture, it will seem like your text keys aren't working. Don't panic. Just use the right menu key to turn T9 off when you don't need it.
As for the wallpaper and ringtones… I suggest using mobile17.smashsworld.com or a similar service to create personalized wallpaper and ringtones for your phone. My wife’s phone currently has Phantom of the Opera wallpaper and the phone rings with the Phantom’s Theme. I have several wallpapers I use and mine rings with a sample from the Moody Blues’ “the Voice.” One reviewer complained sometimes the phone “forgets” what his wallpaper is and displays the ugly Cingular default. I find that only occurs to indicate that the phone is receiving no signal or is syncing up with the network. The personalized settings usually pop up in a few seconds if this occurs.
So the big question is: HOW IS IT AT MAKING CALLS?
I have only had 1 dropped call since I have owned this phone (a little over a month). I find the call quality exemplary, although I do agree that there are fringe areas in which the phone cannot establish a call where it is clearly a problem with the phone’s ability to lock in the signal strength. That is, I will be sitting there with another Cingular user with a different phone and they can make a call when I can’t. This usually only occurs inside low “brick and steel” buildings, though.
Overall, it is my opinion that the only people that are complaining about this phone are those that should not have selected this phone in the first place. It is the best phone that I’ve ever used; for home or business.
ADDED NOTE: If you do use mobile17.smashsworld.com to create a custom wallpaper or ringtone, be aware of these 2 things:
1) The wallpaper will not be the same size as the default wallpapers.
2) If you receive the download link via text message, the phone will cut the URL into pieces. To download, you will have to select the last piece of the message that looks like the URL, and then put in the first 4 characters after the http:// (which you can get from the line above it in the text message).Updated
As of June 3, 2005, there are only four scores below an 8 for this phone. Of those, two are complaints about missing features from people who don't even own the phone and shouldn't be commenting on a phone they wouldn't buy. A third is from someone who just received the phone and hasn't even set it up yet. Discounting those three and thus removing the score bias, the true user score is over 8 out of 10.Updated
I have had mine for a year now (okay, 11 months; since they have only been on the market since April 15 2005)with no problems except every once in a long while, the ringer will lose track of my custom ringtone and I have to go into options and tell it to look for it again.
I would give it a 9 out of 10 for reception and clarity, 10 for reliability, and a perfect 10 for satisfaction. That is not to say that it is perfect, but it has MUCH fewer problems than any other phone I've ever used and the issues have been easier to fix.Updated
Is a phone expected to operate perfectly for more than a year? A hard question when my 13 month old P207 is already a couple of generations behind and no longer sold by many stores. Still, I bought the phone with a two-year contract so I DO think it is fair to expect that my phone should work for at least that long.
But, alas, I am still having trouble on both of my P207s with the downloaded ring tones not ringing sometimes. Samsung sent me some "try this" advice, but it hasn't solved the problem (and it's fairly severe on one phone). More importantly, the camera has failed on both of our phones. Both of them freeze and display the message "File size too big, use smaller setting," despite the fact that I have it on the smallest setting and have all enhancement features turned off.
The biggest problem of all is that despite these vital features failing, it's STILL my favorite phone ever. I will have to replace it at some point in the coming months, but I might just stick with it through the summer and maybe even keep it until Christmas.
"Good sleek phone"on by Benny879
Pros Screen, Design, Size
Cons Limited VoiceMode option
Summary All in all a very nice phone. The VoiceMode takes a bit to train and get used to but should work well after proper usage. Every other option pretty much standard now on all new phones. A couple things I didnt like is that you can not use the VoiceMode with AOL or emails. The only place where it works is with text messages. However, a nice feature is that when the phone is closed and if the camera button is held down it will turn on making it easy to take pictures of yourself using the external display. A couple reviews stated that the external display cannot be turned on with out opening the phone. This is not true. If the scroll button on the left side is held down for a couple seconds the backlight will turn on making it easy to look at the time.
Pros Great camera/video, awesome voice recog, slick looking, easy to use
Cons The external display stays light for 3 seconds only, and cannot be changed.
Summary This phone is great. I just got it, and I love it. The phone itself is small, very light, sleek black, and it is an eye catcher. The camera has many options and is easy to use, as well as the video, with plenty of storage. It has a Memory Status section that allows you to see how much memory you have used up in your multimedia, which can hold 13,312KB, or 200 of the phone's best quality photos.
The voice recognition takes 3 minutes to set up and is very cool. It makes sending text messages extremely fast and simple. It usually will mess up about 1 word per sentencec you speak (at first), which you then highlight and hit '0' to change to other words it thinks you may have said, or you type it in if it was completely off. The good thing is that it remembers that selection, and it learns your voice better the more you use it.
The menus are easy to navigate, very simple address book editing with plenty of options, such as groups with their own ring tone, or picture caller ID.
The only thing I disliked about the phone is the external display. When you close the phone, the display stays lit for three seconds before turning off, and there is no button to turn it back on for another three on the outside. You must open the lid most of the way and then close it. Its just a little annoying, but I think that is a small negative outweighed by the tons of positives this phone has to offer.
Pros Aesthetics, options, ease of use, price
Cons Ringer and earpiece volume too quiet, battery life not as advertised
Summary Received this phone (finally) on Monday. Had trouble activating it since I switched from AT&T. Luckily got in touch with a very helpful customer service rep who "held my hand" until I reached the correct department. Cingular's customer service seems like a quagmire of disorganization, but the reps are very helpful.
The phone itself looks and feels great. Solid construction, light, and small. Ringer and earpiece volume is too low, though I may be used to my old Nokia that sounded like a siren when turned up all the way.
The VoiceMode feature is a great idea, but it needs a little refining. Since the voice dialing has to guess what you say, it takes a couple more steps than a simpler voice-dial feature on older phones.
The dictation for text messages works, but not perfectly. I have only "trained" the phone once, so maybe I need to do that again.
Menu structure is logical, though sometimes too many steps are required to do a task (sending a text message, for example, takes 6 steps after the message is written).
Battery life has been less-than-advertised on Cingular's site. This may change as the novelty of a camera phone wears off for me.
"Disappointed"on by KBeck
Pros Voice recognition, appearance
Cons Call quality
Summary What I don’t like:
I expected to be easily impressed, having come to this phone from my 4 year old Nokia 8290. Nokia makes good phones, but I had expected cell phone technology to advance during the past four years so the Samsung would at least be equitable to my old Nokia. I am disappointed. I live in the country and work and go to school in the city, so I have the opportunity to test the p207 in both excellent and poor reception areas, and in both cases it has fallen short. It has dropped calls repeatedly in full reception areas, and there is usually a slight hissing sound in the background, which never happened with my old Nokia. While cell phone reception in the country is universally spotty for all phones, my old Nokia could hang on while I walked to a spot with better reception; the Samsung can’t. It drops the call every single time. I’ve noticed that the phone has the hardest time with changes in signal strength; if I can find a place where the signal stays the same, it’s fine, but if the signal strength changes, it drops the call, even if it doesn’t lose the signal altogether, but goes from five bars to four for example. I find this exceedingly annoying; I never had these problems with my Nokia. If you tend to talk on your phone undisturbed in one place, you’ll be fine with this phone. If you move around or live somewhere windy, you may want a phone that can handle signal strength changes better.
What I do like:
I expected the voice recognition feature to be a pain, but I’m actually very impressed. It was able to understand me after only three tries for the basic phone commands (call, look-up, go to, etc.), and while it still needs some work with the voice messaging feature, it is more accurate than I ever expected.
I like the overall design of the phone. Both the voice recognition program and the camera have their own buttons, which is very convenient. The phone itself is beautiful; I get compliments on it all the time. The circular design of the menu buttons is also really cool looking.
Things to know:
The keys are small and apart from a gentle wave across the bottom of them, are flush with the keypad. I have no problems with this, but I have small fingers. The people with big hands and fingers who have played with my phone have had a hard time with this.
The wallpaper and ringtones that come with the phone are so awful you’ll be forced to download new ones. Trust me. And speaking of wallpaper, sometimes the phone “forgets” what my wallpaper is and displays the ugly Cingular default. Grrr.
This phone was not what I expected or hoped for in terms of call quality, which for me is the most important part of a phone. I still like the phone though; maybe I was spoiled by my Nokia; people with other brands of phones who have tried my phone have had no complaints. But for the $99 it cost plus the $1300 Cingular is going to extract from me over the next two years, I think I DESERVE to be spoiled by a phone. This is a good phone, but it's certaintly not the best phone.