Samsung H1, we tested Vodafone 360
In September, Vodafone presented its new strategy for mobiles, Vodafone 360, with which they want to bring our contacts, social networks and different interactions closer to the screen of our phone. This experience will be offered in a good number of terminals, but they have released it in two exclusive ones.
And the one we have been testing is the Samsung H1, a high-end terminal in which the operation of this platform is fully appreciated. In fact, it is designed to get the most out of it. Let's go over it.
Samsung H1 Specifications
The truth is that the Samsung H1 paint us as a good device. The screen has a size of 3.5 inches and a resolution of 800 × 480 pixels. And if that seems little to us, suffice it to say that it is AMOLED and that the technology it uses is capacitive.
Connectivity is also superfluous, supporting HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB. A 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, 16 GB of internal memory, receiver Gps and MicroSD card slot show us in which range the phone moves.
All this working with the LiMo operating system, based on Linux, although this detail will be difficult to appreciate, since all we see is the Vodafone 360, its different options and the applications that the operator has installed in this terminal.
The first Vodafone terminal that uses 360
A somewhat complex operation
For those of us who are used to tinkering with a lot of phones, when you face a new one, the usual thing is to expect to find a home screen to use. Instead, the Samsung H1 offers us a somewhat different interface, centered on three screens accessible from the bottom three buttons.
To this is added an upper area for notifications and to access applications that are running in the background and a couple of more buttons for direct access located on the side, one for the camera and one for searches, sending us to a screen with which we can search on the mobile, on the Internet, ...
The center button will probably be the most important, since it allows us to access our contact list. Or better, to our contact lists, as these are grouped by various concepts, either depending on the origin (Facebook, Hotmail, ...) or by type (Work, Family, ...)
The 3D interface of this screen, although spectacular at first, is not practical at all, and I think that everyone will prefer to use the 2D interface, the typical list with our contacts and with quick access through letters. When we access a contact, we are shown the various ways to interact with it.
For example, we may send a SMS, send an email, call, write to him by instant messaging, ... A multitude of options that, in some cases, are not easy to recognize, since the icons do not always make it clear what each one does and there is no text to help us . This is a constant in the interface of the Samsung H1.
In exchange, we have access to a multitude of social networks and the importation of contacts from them, from Facebook to Hotmail through Gmail and others. All this can be managed from the mobile or from the computer, through the 360 service, something that will come in handy to join the duplicate contacts, since they are only automatically joined if your email address is the same.
The button on the left shows us the events screen, in which we see the latest interactions we have made with the phone: calls sent and received, messages, SMS,...
Finally, the button on the right takes us to the applications screen, where we find a grid in which various concepts are mixed: widgets, applications, shortcuts, settings, ... Here it would be desirable if there was a better way to organize all these icons.
Widgets play an important role on this screen, because we can not only open the application from them, but we can expand the widget so that the information is shown to us right there without the need to open it in full screen.
Samsung H1 is a good multimedia phone
One of the aspects that has most surprised us about the phone is how well it behaves in the multimedia section. If music is ours, we have a player that is easy to use and that integrates with the Vodafone music store. Copying songs is as easy as tapping the phone on USB and use it as an external disk.
The music store comes with a flat download fee, that is, we can download all the songs we want from it. With 16 GB of space it will take time to fill the entire capacity of the phone.
But if we bet on the video, the phone does not disappoint us either.Support for MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, DivX, XviD and WMV They make that there is almost no problem to copy our files directly to the mobile and play them from it. If it supported subtitles, the experience would have already been 10.
Extra points also for the browser, with a good operation and a simple system to open links, because when you click on one this is expanded to do click it is not a problem in it, something very suitable to avoid having to zoom and be able to select between various links that are very close together.
The camera also scores well. Even in indoor photos the result is quite remarkable, always taking into account the limitations and comparing it with other similar phones. Autofocus and flash LED They help you do this.
In general, the Samsung H1 has responded well to our expectations, although the truth is that its operating system means that we have to take off some acquired habits that we have from other terminals.
We liked, for example, that the virtual on-screen keyboard is easy to use and precise, something that the capacitive screen also helps. Too bad autocorrect is limited to showing us the suggested words and not automatically changing them.
Another point in favor has been its autonomy, really remarkable for a phone whose function is to spend the day connected. It has been able to spend more than a week on standby with hardly any battery drain, although with intense use we would talk about a day and a half of autonomy, which is not bad either.
But it also has points against it. One of them is that it is not always as fluid as you might expect, and sometimes we do not know if we have not pressed the correct option or the terminal is performing the function and does not show it on the screen. Also, it lacks integration with Mac as it only syncs with Windows via Samsung software.
For music, video, photos, ... this is not a problem, since it works as an external disk, but it does with contacts, which we must update from the web (to make it faster). Considering that not everyone puts their phone on Facebook, if we do not put the number at hand we will not be able to call many of our contacts.
Altogether, the Samsung H1 has left us happy, although the truth is that it is much more useful if our contacts are also in 360, because we can perform more functions with them, for example send them our location or recommend music. We will wait to see how the service is integrated into other terminals.