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I promised a couple of weeks ago I would blog a review of my new cell phone, the Samsung SCH-i730 from Verizon Wireless. So far, my experiences have been positive. The minor annoyances I have had have been more a result of using a RIM Blackberry for the past four years and making the transition to a new form factor and Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition.

The highlights are a great data service, wifi (which I can enable and disable as needed – it is a battery drainer) and a slide-out qwerty-style keypad. The voice quality is good and it works well as an “everyday” cell phone. Of course, you pay for all the extra features in the larger-than-everyday cell phone form factor.

I was concerned at first that the slide-out keypad would slide out when I least expected it to, or wanted it to. This I am glad to say, has not been the case. In fact, I sometimes find myself sliding it out to answer a call, when that action does nothing at all. I think I have been trained by flip phones and Star Trek re-runs! I also have a habit of using the included stylus too much and not relying on the keypad and included navigational buttons to move around the OS. Ever drive down the highway and try to grab a phone number out of your contacts with a stylus? It isn't pretty … but this is obviously my shortcoming and not the phone’s.

I am disappointed in the reception I get on my Nokia Bluetooth headset with this phone. With the Blackberry it was always crystal-clear. A majority of the time with the i730 it is extremely static-filled. To the point it makes talking while using it unbearable.

The phone also comes with a SD I/O slot but I haven't had the opportunity to take advantage of this yet and fill it up with .wma files to play on the included Windows Media Player. I did, however, check out some streaming media from MSN Videos and the quality was excellent as was the response time on the 1x\EVDO network.

ActiveSync also works well with my employer’s Microsoft Exchange Server setup. It gets around the limitation of not having an “active push” for email by texting the device when I have new messages. When the phone receives the text message, it initiates an Active Sync connection and downloads the new messages. I will be curious to see how the Mobile OS handles the upcoming Exchange Server SP2 which will introduce “active push” for email. I will have to do some research and see if it is only going to be compatible with Windows Mobile 2005 devices.

All around this is a fine phone. I doubt the price point makes any sense for a personal purchase though. I am going to do some more investigation in to the Bluetooth issues and try to get some more time with the advanced features of the phone. After two weeks though I am happy with the unit.

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2005 6:07 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Samsung SCH-i730

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
1) "Sliding out the keyboard" Star Trek style can in fact answer the call. This is configurable under Settings>Phone>Option: Call Control.

2) The reason your Bluetooth headset very likely doesn't work is because many BT headsets (esp Nokia) are extremely poor in complying with RF spectrum usage and interference. Because the i730 has 3 radios on it, it has to be very exacting with regard to what frequencies it uses. Well-behaved well-tested (and generally more expensive) BT headsets work fine. Jabra, Sony Ericcson, Anycom, for example, are all well-tested well-spec'ed BT headsets that work fine.
Left by la_bruin on Jul 15, 2005 8:54 AM

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
I'm using a Jabra and the static is horrible. I have to have the i730 within 1 foot of the headset which is brand new and works with my other phones without trouble...
Left by cognetic on Sep 24, 2005 4:46 AM

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
I too have issues with static and the bluetooth headset on my i730, I had the Jabra BT250 and "upgraded" to the BT800 hoping to get some relief but it was not so.
Left by Kevin on Jan 11, 2006 7:02 PM

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
I have the HS850 from motorola, i've had it in a drawer because the static and popping and crackling was horrible when i use it with my i730; let an employee borrow it to test on his motorola phone and it works great - no signal loss with marginal distance from the handset. What gives; i think there is an issue with the BT 1.0 or with the radio hardware on the sch-i730.
Left by Steve on Mar 06, 2006 4:34 PM

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
holy Smokes... I bought the Motorola H700 headset which was one of the most expensive ones. I have trouble all the time. I have pretty much quite using it! I figured it was the headset. I am getting the same thing you guys are getting... static, poor reception, dropped calls... etc... I've noticed that it is better when the phone is in a vertical position (antenna straight up in the air)... Samsung did a pretty poor job designing this phone overall! Boo hissss...
Left by Eric Swanson on May 01, 2006 9:10 AM

# re: Samsung SCH-i730
Requesting Gravatar...
I too have a lot of static on my bluetooth headset with my i730. I have to have the phone with in 8"-10" from my ear to eliminate the static, which pretty much makes using the headset useless. I am using a Plantronics Discovery 640, one of the most expensive on the market when it was new.
Left by Ben on Feb 06, 2007 9:37 PM

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