Samsung G810 Review: Zoom On Symbian: Display, Keypad, Telephony, User Interface, Customization

By 03:25 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

Display is good… when the weather isn't

The display of Samsung G810 can hardly be called anything but typical Samsung. It has remarkable picture quality indoors with fine contrast and brightness levels.

The display has very fine picture quality

However in brightly sunlit environments the legibility is severely reduced. It is still better than Samsung G800 with its glossy front panel but not by a large margin. It's very hard to find a proper angle for working with the phone in those conditions.

Keypad is a disaster (at this point)

The keypad is probably the most disappointing element in Samsung G810. It looks fine at first, with large keys and distinguishable borders. However every nice impression is gone the very moment you start typing.

The keys are overly rigid, the problem being most obvious with the two keys inside the metal frame - 5 and 8. Almost impossible to press and offering absolutely inadequate feedback, using them is quite a pain. The totally flat keypad has poor overall tactility, making typos very probable.

The keypad was a real downer in our unit

The four controls around the D-pad are another story. The key under the left softkey is the menu key but the customary Symbian symbol is nowhere to be seen. The key on the opposite side is used for accessing the audio and video players and the Frequency Modulation (FM) radio. We can't assist missing pictograms on those keys, even if it would have somewhat spoiled the looks.

The red and green receiver keys are well hidden: they were dismissed to the lower deck and share beds with the alphanumeric keys. That's an understandable solution, which however doesn't prove that convenient. In fact, we couldn't assist getting annoyed with it during the time we had with the device.

The only ray of light in the otherwise dismal picture is the D-pad. Its ample size and commendable tactility greatly benefit usability. In addition, the confirming center is also large enough and quite responsive.

The backlighting is strong, although not the most even we've seen. It is still usable enough in the dark, causing no problems whatsoever.

Backlighting is strong enough, but not perfectly even

We should once again warn you here that ours was a beta unit so the keypad might be altered in the retail version. The keypads of the units we tested at the MWC in Barcelona were different, so we sincerely hope a much needed change will be made to acquire a usable result.


Symbian muscle and multimedia riches aside, the top discontinue G810 will still be used for calling. As you may have guessed Samsung G810 didn't let us down. Signal strength is fine and voice quality is fine on both ends of a call.

Dialed digits are large and easy to see

User interface

Samsung G810 is running on the Symbian 9.2 Operating System (OS) and uses the well known S60 3rd edition graphic user interface. The Feature Pack 1 also comes pre-installed. In fact, the Operating System (OS) is probably the most obvious incompatibility from Samsung G800.

It's worked out well here - Samsung G810 is really quick and responsive. The icons are also quite nice. They are the same as in Samsung i450 and we happen to like them a bit better than those of Nokia phones using the same UI. However, the Feature Pack 2 that we saw in the newly announced Nokia handsets in Barcelona was really promising.

The S60 UI is very snappy

As a Symbian device, Samsung G810 naturally features an active stand-by mode. You have a bar of shortslit icons for instant access to pre-selected functions at the top of the display, and scheduled events from the calendar together with the currently playing track or radio station (if there is any) underneath.

When choosing items for the Active Standby, you can choose any application or even a website. The functionality of the two soft keys is configurable too. Another standby classy screen feature that we really like is the Google search bar which gives you instant access to the search engine.

"...The display of Samsung G810 can hardly be called anything but typical Samsung. It has remarkable picture quality indoors with fine contrast and brightness levels. However in brightly sunlit environments the legibility is severely reduced..."


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