Samsung F490 Review: Fingertip Away: Image Gallery, Music And Video Players, Audio Quality

By 01:18 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

Picture gallery amazes with semi-transparent menus

The file browser in Samsung F490 is pretty much the same as in most Samsung feature phones. The F490 offers 128 Mega Bytes (MB) of built-in memory available to the user, which is shared among user files, MMS and emails.

There are different tabs for the phone memory and the memory card but they have similar folder structures.

There are folders for most different file types - images, video, sounds, allowing the handset to sort the memory contents. Unlike the Armani phone, here you can drag-and-drop files to go around folders.

A flaw we have found in several recent Samsung handsets is luckily not present in the Samsung F490 - the unusually slow card reading. This time Samsung have got it right.

Browsing the files • opening an image

The Samsung F490 picture gallery is part of the file manager and not a separate application. Accessing it is as simple as opening the Images folder. Once you open an image, the rest of the images in the folder appear on a semi-transparent bar on top. You can scroll them back and forth until you find the image that you need. A simple tap will then display it fullscreen. In fact, that way it looks much like the LG Viewty gallery, but improved.

Browsing the thumbnails above the image and choosing a picture to open fullscreen

The image gallery supports landscape orientation too. Zooming on the images is available. However it is way too slow and might acquire on your nerves, like it did with us.

You can view the image in landscape mode • zooming is however is painfully slow

Here is a short video walkthrough of the image gallery functionality:

showVideo("", "gsmarena_z002.flv", 530, 298);

The F490 also has an image editor onboard with all the basic editing options - auto levels, brightness, contrast, color. You can even add text and clipart to your images. Unfortunately, the rich functionality seen in the Scalado image editor used in the Samsung Armani handset is not present here.

The Image Editor options

Cross-like music and video

The music player is the best of the Samsung crop and allows filtering by multiple criteria. The music player controls are so intuitive that it seems it's the place where the whole cross-thing originated - the cross-like pattern is the very essence of music control with Samsung F490.

The horizontal axis on the music player classy screen displays the current track running time. Thus moving the cross with your finger can skip portions of the track. A longer horizontal sweep skips to the next track in the playlist or album - a feature that was absent in F700. You can go the cross along the vertical axis too. That changes the current volume level.

The music player has various filtering options • the music player interface is great

Additional options allow you to easily change repeat and shuffle settings, the current equalizer preset (there are several of them) and also give tracks a rating, to later utilize for creating favorite playlists. Album art is also available, along with a convenient way of browsing your current playlist and changing albums on the fly.

When minimized to play in the background, the music player displays the current track on the standby screen, along with the album art, if any. And you can change tracks straight from the standby classy screen by a mere finger sweep on the info bar.

Browsing the album during playback • rating a track • player options • the current track shows up on the home screen

Here is a short video walkthrough of the music player functionality:

showVideo("", "gsmarena_z003.flv", 530, 298);

Audio quality

Generally the audio quality of Samsung F490 is below the usually high Samsung standards. Samsung hold first place when it comes to audio quality of their feature phones. As you can see in the table below, the intermodulation distortion is rather high when compared to the Samsung U600 for example.

The Samsung F490 is still fine at that and is almost identical to what the LG Viewty can put up. You will probably like to know that the sweet spot for getting the most out of it is two steps under the maximum volume level.

You can find more info about our audio quality test here.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk

Samsung F490+0.46, -1.45-


LG KU990 Viewty+0.29, -2.07-86.883.80.020


Samsung U600+0.41, -1.12-

Nokia N81+0.39, -1.13-86.685.80.0410.040-69.9

Samsung F490 and LG KU990 Viewty frequency response graphs

Playing wideclassy screen video was a disappointment

The video player on Samsung F490 has similar interface to that of the music player. It doesn't have many features but all the essentials are covered - it can play video files in fullclassy screen landscape mode and you can fast-forward and rewind videos. You can also jump to a specific scene in the video clip.

According to the official specifications, the video player should have been able to play WMV/MPEG4/H.263/H.264 encoded video files with a maximum resolution of Video Graphics Array (VGA) and a maximum framerate of 30 fps.

"...The Samsung Armani phone was way underpowered for the rich graphical experience the user interface trie to deliver in real time with transitions and animations. The Samsung F490 however is entirely another story. It seems that it's using the much more capable hardware of the Samsung F700..."


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