Impressive Challengers

What impresses most with Samsung’s new top model is the fact that the basic functionality is so easy to use. But it also has a 3-megapixel camera, and turbo 3 g. By Linus Brohult

Is there really a new phone, asked a colleague over my Samsung Z720 when I was about to test it. And certainly, Z720, or “Ultra Edition 13.8” as Samsung calls it, looks almost just like Samsung D900. Just D900 was one of Samsung’s most impressive mobile phones last year, and this Samsung Z720 improved top model further.

Z720 is one of the phones in Samsung’s Ultra-series thin mobile phones. It’s not as thin as the thinnest häpnandeväckande, but small and easy is it really.

An elegant detail on this phone, as well as in its predecessor, is that the background image on the phone adapts to the time of day. On the day will the Stockholm City Hall in the shining sun, at night lit City Hall up out of the spotlight.

But Z720 is not only good looking surface. The basic features of this phone seems easy to use. Such detail is that the phone guess phone number when I start to enter numbers. I begin to write 0705 and the telephone number I keyed in on recently starting at just the numbers. Smart. In practice, you rarely need to key in more than three-four digits before you can press the Green handset.

For those of us who like to use the phone book feels Z720 also good. It is really smart posted with just enough many automatic field and a good solution to add the fields you want, even with notes and information about the regular address, birthday and more.

In the case of messages is one of the big advantages as usual with Samsung to phone supports many input languages with T9. You can choose from 18 different European languages. The menu is pretty easy to use but impresses not something extra.

E- mail support in contrast, Z720 a bit more impressive, since it is also possible to open a variety of types of attachments directly on your phone, such as word, excel, powerpoint and pdf files. These open in a program son shows the document as a picture where you zoom in on the text. It is not as smooth as good document management on actual smartphones, but it’s still good to be able to read the documents you received at your mail.

To have Turbo-3 g Z720 is perhaps the most important innovation compared to Samsung’s previous similar phones. It has the benefits of both in one email and other internet features. There is a Web browser in the form of Netfront installed on your phone. It’s working great. NetFront browser is the same as Sony Ericsson uses for its phones. But in the Samsung version it works slightly different. A smart detail in Z720 is to browser bookmarks are integrated in the menu system, so that the phone’s main menu, bring up bookmarks and choose among these. It makes it noticeably faster to get to their favorite page on the net than when you first launch the browser and then find their way to their bookmarks.

On the other hand, Z720 doesn’t support smart rss feeds with news feeds, which would have been good on a connected mobile phone. (I installed instead Mobilspines free rss reader on Z720, which worked well.)

The camera in the Z720 is another lure in this phone. For being such a small and light phone, it is actually a very good camera. 3 megapixels and autofocus means Z720 will challenge Sony Ericsson K800, Nokia N73 in the European market. Still reaches Samsung camera just almost up in these competitors ‘ image quality. Above all, it lacks Flash when the light is bad. But the camera has to be seen as a clear strength with this phone.

Screen in Z720 also feels good. The size is 2.1 inch and the resolution of 240 x 320 pixels (qvga) helps to screen feels really sharp.

The music player is on the other half decent honestly. The songs that are transferred to your phone from falling into the music directory without automatically sorted in any good way. But above all, it is not possible to have the music player running at the same time as, for example, read messages or do anything else with your phone. As soon as one leaves the music player closes the music. the music ringing also shuts off, and do not put up again automatically after the call.

When I interrogate Samsung about this I get to answer that it is a conscious choice to your phone’s speed should not suffer. Strange that Samsung is unable to have started your phone’s music player when doing other things with your mobile, fixed all other large and small manufacturers nowadays can do it without any problems.

This part actually reflects a broader weakness with this and other Samsung phones with 3 g. Samsung seems to have difficulty with multitasking of programs. With a Nokia N73 can you have started Web browser, msn chat and music players at the same time and switch between applications. Sony Ericsson has started to get that kind of multitasking of programs to work with simpler phones.

This makes you feel a little limited with their Samsung Z720. It really is brilliant with turbo 3 g, but it feels as if the pleasure of turbo 3 g limited part of that it is not possible to switch between functions. The need to shut down your Web browser as soon as you want to listen to some music, and turn off the music as soon as I want to surf.

Another negative detail is that the battery life is a bit small, and our battery test also shows that the phone is not really manage what Samsung is promising in terms of battery talk time.

I simply feel a bit ambivalent to this phone. On the one hand is the brilliant easy-to-use of basic functions, it has a good camera, and turbo 3 g. At the same time spread some important details fly in the ointment. But if the music player is not important to you, and you would like to have a small, lightweight and good phone so is Z720 actually a really good option.

“The hard facts of battery life”

Manufacturer: 3 h 40 min

Battery talk time: 2 h 57 min

Comment: is not really what Samsung promises, and experience after a period of use is that quite often the Z720 b r load.


“The hard facts of performance”

SP-Soil-test: we did not get our measurement programs to work on your phone.

Comment: even without measuring the program, it is possible to conclude that the Z720 feels quick, which among other things due to the fact that no programs are allowed to run in the background.


Questions and answers

Have good’s 3-megapixel camera?

I think that the images were very good, full of the best camera phones on the market, and usually possible also for paper printouts. However, the contrast of the images sometimes being well high and served outdoors on selecting white balance (daylight) instead of lazily using auoläget. Flash and photo lamp is missing, but even indoors, the images were fine as long as the light was reasonably good. As soon as the lights were Dim, however, the images are very dark.

Turbo-3 g sounds great, can I hook it up the computer too?

Yes, you can hook up your computer via Z720. But it has Samsung not done it nearly as easy-to-use such as Motorola or Nokia. If you want to run your computer via turbo-3 g, Motorola V3xx or a separate usb modem more easy-to-use options.

I have read that this phone has Google applications?

Yes, Samsung Z720 has boosted some with built-in Google services, but there is not much to say about. Actually, it means only that it is possible to start your Web browser with the Google search page directly from the basic mode, and there is a link to the Google page for mail service Gmail. But these pages one can actually access by surfing to and from any mobile any time.


Sony Ericsson K800 is the option if you want the Flash in the camera and also FM radio which is missing from the Z720. If you would like to have turbo 3 g and a phone that you can hook up your computer with Motorola V3xx is a better option (for pc). If you want to have “extra” you can wait for the Nokia N95 with turbo and 5-megapixel camera, but it also costs a couple of thousand more.

Score of 84%

Telephony & data 9

Multimedia 8

System and program 8

User experience 9

Material and quality 8



Small and lightweight


Turbo-3 g

Document viewer



No FM radio

The music player


Samsung Z720 Ultra 13.8

Type: Turbo-3 g with Edge and gsm (triband)

Weight: 80 grams

Dimensions: 104.5 x 51.3 x 13.8 mm

Talk time: 3 hrs 40 min

Standby: 320 hours

WAP: 2.0

Internet and data features: Hsdpa, edge, gprs, wap, browser (Netfront), e-mail application,

Connection to pc/mac to pc via the supplied software and usb cable

Voice Control: Yes

Phone book: 1000 contacts several numbers, email, Web page, picture, birthday, note and distinctive ring

Screen: TFT screen with 240 x 320 pixels, 262000 colors

Games: No bundled games, but Java games can be downloaded

Camera: 3.0 megapixels with autofocus

Accessories: Charger, stereo handsfree, synkprogram and data cable is supplied with the phone

Socket for external antenna: no

SAR value: 0.795 W/kg