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  • Vodafone 360 & Samsung H1

    My contract has been out for several months and I am happy with Vodafone (I have a good deal) and so would prefer not to move. I have not been tempted enough by the iPhone to move over the last few months because I want to have a better camera than it has. But I have been looking with increasing disappointment as Vodafone fail to bring out exciting new phones.

    The Samsung H1 being on LiMo and the launch of their own software thing with Vodafone 360 make some sense of why they have been so careless of keeping at the forefront of things with Android (which was what I had thought my next phone would be likely to be).

    Vodafone 360's integration of contacts boast leaves me a bit cold and I have suspicions that, even with opening it to subscribers from other networks, it is unlikely to become a universal hit.

    But my real question is this: is the Samsung H1 a good phone that stands up to the competition or am I going to be left with not very good hardware and an uncommon OS (with few apps) just because I am bored of waiting and want to stay with Vodafone?

    [If you are not sure where I am coming from in my phone needs and feel it may help you answer. I have liked my Nokia N95 8GB. I use the camera. I use it for internet access and email. I use GPS and navigation. I listen to music on it less than I used to. I do not want a slide out QWERTY. I am adept at typing on a phone keypad and will accept QWERTY on a touchscreen rather than relish it.]

  • #2
    The hardware is pretty impeccable.
    It's running on an OMAP 3 processor, has a capacitive screen, GPS, etc.
    Samsung's 5MP camera modules are generally pretty decent.
    Apparently it can record 720p video too.
    Doesn't have an activesync client - so if you want to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server email account you can't

    There's a demo the UI here:

    It seems to scroll along quite nicely but the grid layout and icons seem unimaginative.

    On Trusted Reviews they said

    360 is a replacement for the rather mediocre Live! service and automatically syncs contacts on your phone with Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk (yes INQ/Palm Pre style). On top of this 360 backs up all your phone content online so even if your phone is run over by a bus (happens all the time), contacts, photos and video are all safe. In short, a bit like MobileMe on the iPhone or SkyBox on Windows Phone. 360 can also be used to tag and share pictures and locations with others.
    I am sure it will do all of the above-described very competently but the question is what happens about new apps and services.
    For sure entrpreneurial developers are not prioritising 360 as their platform of choice.
    They are all targeting iPhone, then platforms like Android, Symbian and RIM.

    If you want the latest apps and services stick to iPhone/Android/Symbian.

    VF should have the N97 Mini any day now, and by all accounts it's a significant improvement on the disastrously buggy N97.


    • #3

      Thank you Satsuma for your helpful reply. I am reassured that the hardware is good enough even if the menus are far from stylish (and will by comparison with the competition only become more obviously unstylish as new things are brought out).

      Your point about apps is the most telling. Everything else is about ways in which I intend to use the new phone that I already use my current Nokia N95 for.

      With each upgrade of phones I have found the new phone brings a way of using a phone that is new. With the last upgrade the new use that developed was that I began to use my phone for internet access, especially by wifi. I am coming to expect that with my next upgrade the new area of use for my phone will be apps. I would welcome any comments on whether I am right to think this or deluded by hype.

      The other thought is that the view that those creating apps are not concentrating on making apps for this phone/OS may be unsurprising from the current situation (with the first major LiMo phone being about to be released) and may change. This would particularly be so if apps for LiMo could be created by adapting those for another OS, say Android, and did not involve investing the time in developing them from scratch for a market that may not become big enough to warrant the effort. Is there any value in this thought or is it wrongheaded? Does anyone disagree with Satsuma's view and see a brighter future for the apps market for this phone/OS?


      • #4
        Frankly worrying

        I got this phone in the end.

        Now many of my troubles with it will be my incompetence but these two are probably not. It does not get a 3G signal where I live and where my Nokia N95 8GB did. It cannot find my wifi router even when I am next to it.

        I am sure I could overcome the other obstacles it poses, mostly that it complicates tasks with too many twists and turns and extra consents, but the basic failure to connect to my networks properly will see it sent back.


        • #5
          does the handset connect to any other wifi routers or access points?

          If it doesn't connect to a single one that you've tried, it might be just that the wifi module/software is messed up in some way.

          If its just yours, then it might be settings, but there's no way of knowing.

          Are you able to change your settings to an unprotected mode, or a basic WEP and try connecting then? Are you on a wireless a, g or n client on the router at home?


          • #6
            Belkin G wifi router

            I took a suggestion off another forum that I might get a connection if I restarted the router, renamed it (having the same effect as restarting) or changing the channel. None of these worked

            However taking off the security did. Heartening to know it can connect by wifi but not a long term option to leave no security on my wifi network. I tried changing the type of security from WEP to WPA (I think these are the terms).

            Btw as I find out more about this it appears (and a Vodafone employee tells me) that I cannot connect to Vodafone 360 by wifi only by Vodafone 3G. This will up my data usage and I will need to pay Vodafone more. I suppose I can avoid using it but there a quite a few things linked into it and it is tempting to get email by this service (though not as tempting as it would be if Virgin email, my main one, could be linked to the service (currently it is set up for Google, Yahoo and Hotmail).

            Nonetheless I would be grateful for any suggestions on my wifi problem.

            The 3G/360 problems I need to take up with Vodafone.


            • #7
              I had a play with the H1 today.
              Display responds well to touch, not as well as iPhone.
              The user-experience feels kinda unfinished.
              The colour coding of the icons, the actual icons themselves, animations between a bit on the amateurish side.

              gdsl, I am sorry to hear about wifi problems. It's a bit sh1te if samsungs wifi implenetation on this phone makes it a pain to connect to a WEP protected router.....but then again this is the first LiMo phone and there are bound to f/w improvements.

              I am extremely surprised that you cannot a 3G signal and used to get one with the N95.
              The H1 uses a Qualcomm modem with pretty impeccable credentials.

              I guess if it's not fit for purpose, best to return it; maybe they can offer you a satio or N97 Mini instead?


              • #8
                If you can connect to the router, then you should be able to browse through it, which means that

                a) hopefully there is some type of settings/configuration issue with the router and the handset, and
                b) the vf guy was possibly telling porkie pies. In the past, vf and the other networks have stopped handsets from having wifi modules as yes, its more profitable for people to use the network. But if the handset, which was supposed to be built for the 360 system, comes with wifi, then i think it would be fair for them to expect it to be used.

                Most handsets usually have a setting that will allow you to configure your own email pop3 access, and i darned well hope that this handset will be the same. Unfortunately its proving rather hard to get my mitts on one to take a look - maybe getti or someone who lives/works near a vf store will have more luck?


                • #9
                  thank you

                  I will keep trying with the wifi. It is inconceivable that Samsung have made a phone that will only permit insecure wifi access. It is I am sure as you suggest just a configuration problem that is currently beyond my understanding.

                  I am not suggesting that Vodafone are limiting all internet access to their own connection, but it does seem to be born out by my experience that I can only get onto the Vodafone 360 page and its services that way and not by wifi.

                  I am heartened by what you say about it being surprising that the H1 is not good at picking up the 3G signal. I spoke to a woman at Vodafone this evening who suggested I had a dud handset and that they would swap it. Unfortunately I did not complete the conversation as the vicar came round

                  While recognising my shortcomings with the H1 (slow brain and big paws) I echo your view that it seems not to be completely thought through or a little unfinished. I will ponder whether to return my H1 for another or get something else. Thing is that there is nothing else I really want at the moment and any move of network would be costly to me; and even when the iPhone comes to Vodafone it will not be cheap and will still have an inadequate camera.

                  You can see that I am really willing this H1 to work for me for the time being. We shall see.


                  • #10
                    The problem with all modern smartphones is that there will always be something that will niggle....
                    • Satio has the vagaries of an ill-designed S50 5 and a resistive screen
                    • N97 mini similar issues plus a lack of oomph from the chipset
                    • iPhone has a crummy camera, inferior modem and battery life issues
                    • Android phones - current or near release are sitting on an OS that is still very much work-in-progress and sit on older chipsets, although the Motorola Milestone may be the exception due to its modern processor and Android 2.0 credentials - anyway VF are not ranging it.
                    So there will always be compromises unfortunately.

                    Why not let VF send you a new H1 and see if you fare any better.
                    If that is also a dud, ask for an laternative model.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by satsuma View Post
                      The problem with all modern smartphones is that there will always be something that will niggle....

                      Why not let VF send you a new H1 and see if you fare any better.
                      If that is also a dud, ask for an laternative model.
                      Satsuma makes a good point. If the phone can't be used as advertised, then they should be able to supply you with a replacement H1 and if there is a code\manufacturing issue, get a laternative model.