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Samsung SGH-X820 Ultra Edition review

First Looks: Samsung SGH-X820 Ultra Edition

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Absolut Anorexic

Absolut Anorexic

Not since Supermodels Twiggy or Kate Moss has any fashion icon taken the world by storm with their waif looks. Samsung however, might have just done it all again with the world’s slimmest phone, the SGH-X820.

Thin is In...Again!

Despite a serious matte black shade that is typical of Samsung, the sleek X820 silently screams for attention with its ultra-slim profile. Wafer thin at just 6.9mm, it’s hard to describe in words just how thin the X820 really is – the awe of the engineering involved is best left to an actual hands-on experience. Even at its thickest point, the X820 is still delightfully thin at just 9mm; the feature responsible for the slight indulgence in its otherwise waif look would be a respectable 2.0-megapixel camera.

Although two megapixels might not be much these days, the imaging quality of the X820 is still nothing to snuff at and is definitely a technological achievement considering how Samsung managed to embed all the wizardry of modern day telecommunication within a gadget that weighs just 66g. Due to its slim profile, the X820’s side is sparingly furnished with a camera shortcut button, a volume control button as well as a power-in port that doubles as a headset output. In addition to the above features, interested buyers would be please to know that a spacious and intuitive keypad with backlit keys was packed into its tiny frame.

Bend It Like Samsung

Slim and fragile as it may appear, the body of the X820 is actually tougher than it looks and is certainly no "lightweight" as a barrier from cracks, scratches and stains. Even when moderate pressure was applied at both ends of the phone in a breaking motion, the phone was able to take the strain in stride and flexibly bounced back to shape almost immediately. This will quickly ease doubts about the fragility of the X820 (Editor: we would however like to remind our readers to exercise common sense when testing the phone in a similar fashion.

Yes, it's slim and built tough, but it's definitely not indestructible).

Battery Woes?

Sticking to safe and simplistic industrial design, the X820 features a simple 35 x 28mm LCD screen with a native resolution of 220 by 176 pixels. The LCD screen itself is characteristically bright and clear - as expected of Samsung. Our initial assumption that the brightness of the screen was going to have a detrimental effect on battery life eventually proved unfounded, as the phone not only has five selectable levels of brightness but also a programmable backlight dimmer as well as a keypad lighting that can automatically turn on at a pre-selected time – all coming together to deliver a longer battery life.

Digging deeper into the retail package revealed an extra battery and a travel charger. This discovery immediately sparked a paranoia regarding the X820’s battery life – was this a precursor to a terrible battery performance? Fortunately, after some stress testing, the capacity of the standard battery proved sufficient for nearly two days of operation. Besides, it really isn't uncommon to find Korean companies slotting in a spare battery for good measure. A couple of minor issues we could scrape together were the lack of a Vibrate/Ring function and that the phone would get warm to the touch 15 minutes into conversations.

Our Thoughts

Every once in a while a good product would come along to bowl us over. The Samsung X820 certainly won our heart, so much so that we were even contemplating the thought of getting one – our vain side just got the better of our logical side. Overall, the Samsung X820 is an extremely slim and well-built phone boasting a 2.0-megapixel camera as well as a generous keypad. Almost free from flaws, there really isn't much impeding us from strongly recommending the X820 to anyone looking to lighten the overall load of their mobile arsenal.