Samsung has been flooding the market with a bevy of phones, a lot of them geared towards customers in the entry-level to mid-range categories. The Samsung Ultra B S7220 is aimed squarely at that mid-range market, sharing cues with its higher-end brethren the UltraTouch and its numerous variants.
Physically, the Ultra B sports similar design aesthetics as the UltraTouch, albeit without the slider form-factor. As a result, they turned out a slimmer, more masculine-looking handset, with an even more attractive appearance (to me, at least). It sports a smaller AMOLED display at 2.2 inches with QVGA resolution, while retaining the gorgeous display quality consumers have fawned over on the more expensive iteration. In terms of controls and design, it's a more conventional phone, which is likely a good fit for its target demographic.
Overall navigation is great - very intuitive and fast. This helps a lot when working through the phone's various features, which include an FM radio, Java apps support, chronometer, built-in video editing and more.
Calls and SMS are good. There is a notable problem on the voice communication, though. Maybe it's just this particular unit, but some (not all) calls had a very sharp tone. It would be wise to test the calls for yourself before you purchase one.
Media playback uses the same familiar Samsung interface, which works very well. There's even an option to put a simplified media player right on the phone's home screen, making it instantly accessible. Both video and audio quality are good, more than what a lot mid-range phones are able to offer. It plays MPEG-4, H.263 and H.264 capably, with the smaller screen being the only hindrance to full enjoyment.
It comes with a pretty sweet 5 megapixel camera module, complete with dual-LED flash. Like most cell phone camera modules, though, it takes great pictures in broad daylight but suffers a pronounced dip in quality with indoor shots. There's also an included VGA camera out front for video calls.
Surfing via 3G is fine, although nothing notable. They're a bit slower to load than higher-end devices, but I don't think you should expect mid-range handsets to function otherwise.
The Samsung Ultra B S7220 is simply one of the best mid-range phones out there today. While it isn't perfect, any misgivings aren't bad enough to change the overall experience. Plus, it looks particularly pleasant - especially for a guy.
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Photo Credit: MyHPhone