You can begin to understand why the Samsung i200 has a rather subdued feature list when you discover that Orange lists the phone on its Web site as a business device. Though in the modern business world you could excuse the lack of a radio or a featureless 2-megapixel camera, for the price on contract -- from £28 a month -- we would have at least expected Wi-Fi or GPS for navigation. It's also available SIM-free online for around £200.
The Samsung i200 is a little taller than some smartphones, but with a depth of 11.8mm and weighing in at just over 100g, the phone does feel comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand.
The clear and vibrant 58mm (2.3-inch) screen is joined by a responsive five-way d-pad, phone buttons and a keypad underneath. The latter was great for typing texts or emails.
On the sides you get a customisable camera shortcut button, a microSD slot, volume controls and a propriety headphone/USB port.
Orange has provided its standard icon adjustments and home screen, which contains shortcuts to various phone functions. Thankfully you can choose from several additional Samsung home screens that are much easier on the eye.
The inclusion of Windows Mobile 6.1 does provide several enhancements. For a start, you now have threaded SMS support, so you can follow your texts in a conversation format. It's now possible to copy and paste between emails, texts and input areas of Internet Explorer, plus you get the latest Office mobile, which includes OneNote and the ability to edit existing Office documents.
Additional software comes in the form of a video player, Exchange support, podcast software, a PDF viewer and an RSS reader.
The Samsung was pretty easy to use (despite not having a touchscreen), as a quick press of the start button reveals a list of your recently accessed programs. Alongside the customisable speed dials (which can open applications), you get an enhanced picture viewer and a content manager for providing quick access to your multimedia files, documents and storage card.
With the inclusion of HSDPA, Web browsing was fast and the call quality during our test conversation was loud and clear.
Battery life is enhanced by an auto light sensor option and we got nearly 6 hours of video playback (though the player does not display videos full-screen).
The propriety port used for the headphones (and the USB and mains cable) is placed to the side of the phone and hidden behind a protective cover that tended to stick out from the casing.
While battery life is optimised to a certain degree, we did notice that when playing games or watching videos full-screen within Windows Media player there was a significant drop in its life.
HSDPA was welcome for Web access, but the inclusion of Wi-Fi or GPS would have been useful, especially as the Samsung i200 is aimed at business users.
Price of contracts start from £28 a month on Orange, which for the features on offer is a little too expensive -- you could pay an extra £26 upfront and get a superb Nokia E71 for the same deal.
The 2-megapixel camera's lack of flash and autofocus did hinder image quality indoors, but on a positive note some outdoor shots came out pretty well.
While the Samsung i200 performs well, its memory is still thin on the ground, with only 64MB RAM (23MB free) and 128MB ROM (25.2MB free).
Despite its proprietary port, 2-megapixel camera and lack of Wi-Fi or GPS, we still enjoyed using the Samsung i200. Its slim profile and responsive keypad provided a useful text and email experience. Its HSDPA access and responsive Windows Mobile 6.1 software should offer just about enough features for most small business needs, though having a look around the Orange shop does reveal alternative products that are better specced for a similar price per month.
Edited by Nick Hide