on 20 October 2009
I would have LOVED to have this phone 10 years ago!
I got a SonyEriccson C905 about 9 months ago, but working in the Oil/Construction/Foundry industry, the fancy phone was getting murdered. So I went for a tough-type phone. I've never had problems with Samsung, so that was my choice.
It's like the Jason Bourne of phones. You can leave it on a brick wall in the rain, 30 feet up, and don't worry if it gets knocked off. Just get someone to call it, and the mud starts ringing. Dig your phone out, and it's perfect. Wash it off, and it keeps on going. After about 9 months, I'm getting the odd scratch on the screen, but it's been hammered with sand, rocks, you name it. The casing is scratchproof, the buttons are fine, Even the exposed camera lens is not marked in the slightest, and i've never covered it with anything. that's the externals sorted. Durability 10/10.
Downsides? The PC interface software is a bit sketchy, it loses USB connection when uploading or downloading my shots. Not all the time, but enough to be a bit irritating, and not as good an interface as Sony's PC Suite. PC Connectivity 7/10
The only other downside? Hearing my phone ring when machinery or stuff is going on, that can be difficult. And so to be safe, sometimes I'll set it to Sound Off/Vibrate On. If it's not actually in my pants, I can't feel it all the time. I'm told it's because the case is so SO TOUGH the shell won't transmit the vibration very well. So Ring Vol/ Vibrate mode 5/10.
Internals? The interface is dead easy, like the anti-motorola of phones. Pick up and play. The screen isn't beautiful, it seems a bit basic, but the colours are bright, photos look brilliant, and it's got everything I need, including internet access, as good as any other phone i've used. Get a memory card, (SD, fits behind battery) and you're sorted. The sound is great, never get anyone at the other end saying "Can't hear a thing...it must be your end" The torch now seems totally essential, is blinding, and obviously lasts as long as the battery is charged, i.e days and days (the battery life is brilliant), and i even use the compass, especially when i'm in a city i've not been to, very useful in Prague new town or Barca. So, Features 10/10.
Basically if you treat your phone like it's not a precious jewel, but still want all the stuff you need this side of an i-Phone, this is the phone to get. As i said at the top... Bulletproof! It may not look pretty, but neither does a Land Rover Defender.
on 7 February 2010
Bought this one month ago for work and leisure. Very pleased so far. Does everything I need it to and more. Calender reminder alarms very useful. The Samsung PC Studio software,(download from Samsung Website), is very useful to connect the phone to your PC, so you can type in phone numbers, set appointments, write texts, etc. without having to use phone keys, and backup to PC. Radio uses headphones as aerial and has very good quality sound.
Annoying that it connects to internet when middle button pressed in idle mode with no apparent way to change this setting. Manual very basic (download from Samsung Website), only telling you what the phone I capable of, without examples of how to do it and leaving much to the imagination for the novice. This is also the case with PC Studio. I needed to download settings from the Samsung website to enable Internet, email and MMS to work, although very easy, there was no mention of this in documentation. Camera basic but usable, but video very bad quality.
Once mastered though, a very good solid useful phone.
on 12 July 2010
With the B2100, released in 1st quarter of 2009, Samsung re-enters the outdoor mobile phone market with a well designed water and dust proof mobile at a very modest price.
Technology: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (Quadband)
designed to withstand water (submersible up to 1 meter for 30 min), dust, shock, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, vibration, and extreme temperatures (complies with IP57 and MIL-STD-810F)
built in torch
1,3 MP camera, music player, FM radio, voice recorder, bluetooth support. E-mail client
Micro SD Slot (supports Micro SD cards up to 8GB)
Phone Design: Candy bar
Available Colours: scarlet red, modern black, dark green
Weight: 103 g
Dimensions (WxDxH): 49 mm x 17 mm x 113 mm
Battery: Lithium Ion, 1000mAh capacity, up to 9h talk time, up to 600h stand-by
Included accessories: Power adapter, earphones
price: less than 100 (SIM free)
Who needs an outdoor phone?
Of course one could say in most people's everyday lives mobiles are never exposed extreme conditions and that therefore special protection is useless. However even if you do not have an outdoor job, if you do not do much sport outdoors, there still remain many opportunities in everyday life to destroy a normal mobile unwillingly, like dropping it in the staircase or forgetting it in the car in the midsummer heat or when you walk outside and your clothes get soaked in heavy rain. After all it reassuring to know that, no matter what happens, you can at least rely on your mobile phone.
Every beginning is difficult.
The mobile comes in a relatively small box, which just contains the phone itself, the battery, the charger, the manual and pair of earplugs. Before the first run the battery cover has to be removed to install the battery, the SIM card and the memory card, which is, unfortunately not included. According to the manual, the lock can be unscrewed with a coin or a flat-head screwdriver. One important detail which is not mentioned in the manual, is that after turning the screw a half turn counter-clockwise, there is a clearly noticeable resistance which conveys the impression that one has to stop in order not to break the thread of the screw. As opposed to common sense, the screw has to be turned another eighth turn counter-clockwise, this makes the cover come off by itself. Without knowing this, the cover seems to stick firmly to the rest of the casing and one is likely to use and break one's fingernails or even a knife or a thin screwdriver to get the case open which may cause ugly scratches on the brand-new mobile phone.
After solving the riddle of the tricky battery cover and installing battery, SIM and memory card, it is time to plug in the charger switch on the mobile phone by pressing the hang-up-button. The start up routine takes about 20 seconds at a rough guess, including entering the PIN code. All data are available immediately without additional loading time. After turning on the phone the very first time a set-up assistant automatically starts in order to help the user entering time and date. The B2100 lies comfortable in the hand, however the rubberised keypad feels fairly stiff and needs getting used to. Compared to other phones it takes a little more strength pressing the keys until they respond, because of that texting could become an exhausting exercise.
The menu navigation is easy and intuitive, even people who are not used to Samsung phones, will get along with the user interface immediately.
The B2100 provides a number of multimedia functions, however one has to keep in mind that the phone is not meant to be a smart phone, which becomes most obvious considering the size of the display and of course the price category. However one gets the impression that Samsung's intention was it to cram as many features as possible into the phone.
The integrated FM radio produces nice sound, is easy to handle and useful for sports or for lying on the beach. The radio only works in conjunction with the included earphones because they function as antenna and there is a special Samsung connector which only fits with the included earphones, however adapters for standard jack plug can be bought separately. Considering the radio the only real point of criticism is that the names of the radio stations are not displayed.
Another well-intentioned, but not very well engineered feature is the MP3 player. Just like in the radio mode, the sound quality is pretty well, however the range of functions is very limited. It is neither possible to search for single songs, nor to display the music collection in the way they are sorted in folders on the memory card. The only way to find one particular song is to pick it out from the list of all MP3s stored on the memory card, this list can be sorted by the file-name, by the name of the artist, the name of the album and by the genre. This of course requires a perfectly organized MP3 collection with correct and complete ID3 tags. Since hardly anybody has that, there are two ways of dealing with the MP3 player, either investing lot of time sitting in front of the computer, renaming files and filling out the ID3 tags or just keeping the player in the shuffle mode and hoping that the songs are played in the order you want to hear them.
The B2100 also offers a simple email client and web browser, which basically work well. However the browser fails to display websites which were not adapted for mobile phone web browsers. When trying to open such a web page with a high resolution "Error - document too large" is displayed.
The integrated camera is just good enough for quick snap shots by daylight, since it neither has autofocus nor flash, taking sharp pictures is first of all a question of luck.
Enough talk about playthings.
The phone cannot really convince with its multimedia features, anyway it is time to concentrate on the qualities, that distinguish outdoor mobile phones from usual ones. What makes the B2100 special is that it complies with two certification marks, IP 57 and MIL-STD-810F. The IP or International Protection Rating consists of two digits, the first indicates the level of protection against the ingress of objects. In this case 5 means dust protection, while the second digit indicates the protection level against water. The digit 7 means that the ingress of water is not possible in a water depth up to one meter under defined conditions. According to Samsung it is guaranteed that the phone will endure at least 30 minutes under water without any damage. The US military Standard MIL-STD-810F validates that the mobile withstands blowing rain, dust, shock, salt fog, humidity, water, immersion, solar radiation, vibration, and extreme temperatures from minus 20 up to 60 degrees Celsius. Furthermore the battery performance, with up to 9 hours talk time and 600 hours or 25 days, is remarkable. As it is suitable for an outdoor phone, the talk quality is excellent, both speakers, the ear speaker as well as the external speaker are very loud at full volume, so using the phone is in noisy environment is no problem. A really great feature, not only for outdoor use is the built in LED torch, which is amazingly bright for a mobile phone torch.
One little point of criticism has to be said about the mirroring display which is very had to read in direct sunlight.
To sum up, the phone, in relation to its outdoor qualities does not leave much to be desired. Apart from the mirroring display, the only annoying thing is that it has a special Samsung connector for charging, data exchange and headphones, instead of a standard USB connector for charging and data exchange and a 3,5mm jack plug for the headphones. Unfortunately the excellent impression you get is from the phone's endurance and solid construction is a bit spoilt by multimedia features that do not work perfectly, so there is still room for improvement in this respect. Because of that. the phone can only be recommended to people who are primarily looking for a durable and solid phone, people with high-wrought expectations to the multimedia applications will certainly be disappointed.