Samsung f700 vs AT&T Tilt
July 28, 2008 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Smartphone Comparison: Samsung f700 vs AT&T Tilt

After 3 years on a Sidekick 2, I'm ready to make the move to a better smartphone. I was looking at the iphone and the n95, but didn't like the lack of qwerty keypads. Now I'm trying to choose between the Samsung f700 and the AT&T Tilt (8925). They're similar phones - both have touchscreens, slide out qwerty keypads, fast HDSPA and the rest of the normal smartphone capabilities (music, camera, video, gps). Prices for unlocked versions of the phones seem similar on ebay, with the Tilt being slightly cheaper. Does anyone have any information about comparisons between the two?

My main interest is the overall "feel" of the phone. Does it feel solid and comfortable in your hand? Is it clunky and awkward? Do the keys feel good and easy to type with or are they small and cramped?

I will be buying an unlocked phone for use with T-Mobile in the US, will one phone have better functionality or service than the other? I understand that there are certain codes I need to use to connect to internet and MMS. I also understand that the samsung f700 is a triband (no 850 mhz). However, T-Mobile seems to use 1900 mhz exclusively, so will that be a problem?

Are there any other differences between the two?
posted by Nickel to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I have a Tilt, on AT&T through my work, but can't speak to the Samsung. I like my tilt, although as with any Windows Mobile, there are quirks. I've wiped most of the AT&T bloatware, and am running with the HTC frontends and such, much nicer than AT&T's UI overlay. It does just about everything - I've been on a train, checking corporate email and Gmail, carrying on IM conversations, Twittering, and watching a Doctor Who ep I converted and loaded on my memory card. The only problem when you do this much is battery life. The slideout keyboard is nice when you're doing serious messaging, but most of the time I find myself using the onscreen kb and stylus for short messages and the like. It's not small, but feels decently solid, the 'slide and tilt' mechanism is more stable than I thought it might be at first.

As for using it on T-Mobile, can't say a whole lot. I didn't think they had quite the 3g (HSDPA) rollout AT&T have at them moment, but it's been over a year since I dealt with T-Mob at another job.

If you do go for a Tilt, browse around online and find some of the forums that deal with utilities and customizations, there are reg editors that help you tweak out the settings for better performance and battery life. KaiserTweak gives you back some options the hone companies try and hide.
posted by pupdog at 10:33 PM on July 28, 2008


Well, before you consider phones, look at the network options. Since you want to use it on T-Mobile - please note that 3G is almost non-existant outside of a very select few metropolitan markets (it will only be in about twenty at year end). Also, if I'm not mistaken, T-Mobile USA will be using a completely different HSDPA/UMTS frequency from that of AT&T and most of Europe (again, not sure) which means that buying a 3G phone overseas will most likely not work with their network (for 3G, calls will be fine). T-Mobile uses 1900Mhz for their own network but has 850Mhz roaming agreements with AT&T and other GSM carriers to expand their coverage, so buying a phone without 850Mhz is not ideal but it wouldn't be the end of the world. If data is really important to you, you might want to check out AT&T, otherwise EDGE is pretty solid with T-Mobile.

As for the phones themselves, it's really a matter of taste. The F700 is a snazzy phone and I lusted after it for a while but came to my senses and purchased an iPhone. It looks great, but has a kind of small display that isn't terribly bright - check which version of software you're getting as carriers throw different versions on with significantly different UIs. On paper, the feature set is great but I'd check out reviews from sites like GSMarena and MobileBurn as they get really in-depth with these handsets. To use this phone with the T-Mobile network, you'll just need to know the MMS/EDGE settings which isn't too hard to find, the EDGE APN is wap.voicestream.com. As for the Tilt, it's not a bad phone. I've had many, many negative experiences with Windows Mobile so I'm biased against phones that run it, but I know a few folks that like it despite the crashing and sluggishness that comes with any WinMo phone. However, WinMo also offers you an active community of developers and users that tweak and hack the OS to offer extra functionality, but again, it comes with buggy-ness.

It really depends on your style of usage and needs, but I'd give the iPhone or iPhone 3G another look unless you are a maniac with the SMS and e-mail ;)
posted by cgomez at 1:49 AM on July 29, 2008


I have a Tilt.

Good:
-You can flash the phone with the HTC firmware. This makes it faster and less AT&T cruddy. If your phone messes up, you can re-flash it with the AT&T firmware before sending it back.
-You don't need to buy an unlocked Tilt; you can do it yourself for free.
-Slide/tilt does work well.
-The phone is very sturdy. I have dropped it many times. The case has been scratched, but the phone works fine.
-Good community developer site.
-Can get videogame emulators for it.
-Recordable video length is only limited by memory size (you could take a 16 hour video with a 4 GB card).

Bad:
-They have a notorious "lack of video driver" issue that causes sub-par video performance and bad blood between HTC and consumers.
-My "o" key sticks sometimes.
-Taking a picture in anything other than blazing sunlight takes an exceptionally long time.
-The video isn't great, fast movement is a blur. I recorded my cat scratching herself; her leg looks like it's standing still.
-Some of my songs skip when played from the memory card. It is a class 6 (high speed) card and it happens with different players.
-Screen resolution isn't as great as some other phones.

On the whole, I like the phone. I just recommended it to my brother-in-law. The camera is sort of a let-down though.
posted by poopdbq at 10:55 PM on July 29, 2008


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