Summary: |If you’re looking for a mobile phone on which you want to be able to go online to check your email, keep up on Social Networks such as Twitter and Facebook and upload photos and videos, don’t assume that an iphone is your only option. I recently purchased a Samsung Jet S8000 at a cost of Â£10 for the handset and Â£15 a month for 300 minutes and unlimited texts on a 24 month contract with Vodafone. I’m very happy with the Jet’s performance, it does everything I need with aplomb and was about the half the price of an iphone.
Background: As my mobile phone contract was nearing conclusion in December 2009, I decided that I’d need to upgrade my old phone and find a phone that would work well on mobile internet. As the editor of two European travel blogs, it’s important for me to have quick and easy access to the internet when I’m away from base. I’ve had a netbook (small laptop) since February 2009 but I don’t always want to carry that with me and it takes a couple of minutes to open up and get going.
I was aware that iphones were all the rage but the cost of around Â£35 a month on a 24 month contract encouraged me to do some research to find a lower cost alternative. I wasn’t planning to do that much online on the phone, just check email, use Twitter & Facebook and upload some photos and videos, so wasn’t convinced that I really needed an iphone.
Research: I spent a few hours trailing around mobile phone shops looking at various handsets. I reckoned that a Blackberry didn’t have a large enough screen for me to read and that the keys were too small for my fingers to manage efficient typing. I tried a few touch screen phones with on screen qwerty keyboards and found them very easy to use. I liked the iphone and but thought it was too expensive.
One of the most important things I learned that day is that only some mobile phones are wifi enabled meaning you have the option to connect to wifi if you are in a hotspot as opposed to be totally dependent on a mobile broadband connection
I decided that it was crucial that my new phone had:
1 A large enough screen with zoom for me to read easily.
2 A qwerty keyboard for easy typing.
3 Wifi so that I’d have the option to get online in a hotspot not just through a mobile broadband connection.
4 Included a camera and camcorder so I could upload to the web directly from the phone.
5 Bluetooth so I that the phone and netbook could communicate wirelessly e.g. transferring photos from the phone to the netbook.
6 A monthly cost of not more than Â£20 a month to include at least 200 minutes, 200 texts and 5ooMB mobile internet download.
Evaluation: After some time online the Samsung Jet S8000 was looking like a serious contender. I used the Esato features comparison to compare the the Samsung Jet and the Apple iphone. To be honest I’d didn’t understand all of the listed features so I stuck to the six criteria I’d listed as essential.
The Jet has a 5mp camera as opposed to the iphone’s 3mp. The Jet’s screen is slightly smaller 3.1″ with a 480 by 800 resolution, whereas the iphone’s screen is larger at 3.5″ but has a lower 480 by 320 resolution. The Jet has only has Google, Facebook, youtube and Flickr preloaded but I thought it would be easy enough for me to add Twitter myself. Both phones are wifi and bluetooth enabled.
What appeared to be the biggest difference in the criteria of importance to me was the price with the Jet a lot cheaper than the iphone. I read a lot of reviews of the Samsung Jet and on the whole they were favourable. I suppose that Techradars review summed up my own findings, “Overall, the Samsung Jet S8000 is worth looking at for those that love their technology but have a bit of a budget to work to”.
My next step was to find a Samsung Jet on low priced contract with the required minimum inclusive minutes, texts and data. However there were hardly any low priced contracts which included data but most UK providers will add on a data package for between Â£5 – Â£7.50 a month.
I found the best pay monthly contract deals for Samsung Jet with Mobiles.co.uk choosing a 24 month contract with Vodafone at a price of Â£10 for the phone and Â£15 a month (Â£10 a month discount already deducted) which included 300 minutes and unlimited text messages. There’s the option of signing up for 500MB on mobile internet for Â£5 a month for the duration of the contract or Â£7.50 a month on a flexible basis. Therefore if I signed up for the ongoing mobile internet add on I would be just in budget at Â£20 a month but I’d have 100 minutes more than anticipated and unlimited texts.
Conclusion: It has taken me a few weeks to get used to the phone but I’m delighted with it. It’s amazing to be able to take a photo or video and upload it to the web within minutes.I’ve had a free month on the mobile internet, coverage has been patchy but to be fair that’s been mainly in rural areas, so I don’t think I’ll sign up for the ongoing Â£5 a month mobile internet option. I’ve used the wifi option a lot when travelling and in the office. I’ve observed that wifi on the phone is only serviceable when signal is very strong as I’ve been able to work online on my netbook when phone can’t connect. The photo quality isn’t great on digital zoom.
So if you’re looking for a budget friendly, competent alternative option to the iphone, the Samsung Jet S8000 could be ideal for you.
Photo and Video samples: Here’s a video I took with the Samsung Jet of the Christmas Light Show in Brussels uploaded to Flickr by wifi.
A photo taken on the Catalunya Experience BlogTrip09 trek in foothills of the Pyrenees in Catalonia, Spain.
Your opinion: Have you used a Samsung Jet S800, how would you rate it?