Samsung’s SGH-i640 is a sizeable Windows Mobile Smartphone. It is visually unappealing because of its overall size of 95mm tall, 61mm wide and 16mm thick.
These dimensions make it appear rather more square than many smartphones, and it is chunky for the hand and pocket. Moreover, it is a slider and, when you engage the slide mechanism to reveal its small QWERTY keyboard, the handset grows to 133mm tall. Still, at least it is not overly heavy at 126g.
For those who find some smartphones a little fiddly to get to grips with, this larger than average offering might seem on paper to be ideal. But the QWERTY keys are not so easy to hit at speed. Their tall, thin shaping gave us trouble and we found that in order to be accurate, texting and writing e-mails was a little slower than it should have been.
The i640 runs Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard, so it does not have a touchscreen. This means control of applications is down to the buttons that sit beneath the screen.
The good news here is that the navigation pad can be pressed up, down, left and right and additionally can be rotated for scrolling through lists. The bad news is that the softmenu, Call, End, Windows Mobile Home and back buttons are touch-sensitive. They respond well enough, but we found it easy to hit one by accident, something that happens much less often with physical buttons.
The i640 comes with two batteries, one of which offers longer life than the other. It also comes with a separate battery charger so that you can keep one battery in the device and the other topped up for use as required.
There is no Wi-Fi here, but the tri-band handset incorporates 3G with HSDPA. There is a front-facing camera for two-way video calling and a main camera whose back-facing lens is protected by the slide mechanism when it is not needed. It shoots stills at resolutions up to 2 megapixels.
The i640 is a Vodafone exclusive as we write, and Vodafone has overlayed its own theme onto Windows Mobile. This give the handset a distinctive look, though if you are used to the standard Windows Mobile arrangement of applications it may take a bit of acclimatisation. You can switch to the standard Windows Mobile arrangement if you prefer.
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