Samsung SGH-Q105
By Joachim Bamrud, Thu Jan 10 00:00:00 GMT 2002

An excellent GPRS/WAP phone from Samsung...

It's small. It's light. It's sleek. And it offers WAP and GPRS. No, it's not another Siemens or the latest compact from Ericsson, but Samsung's SGH-Q105. Definitely our favorite in the category of small WAP phones.

Ease of use: 5/6 stars

The Internet button on the cover, next to the screen makes accessing the wireless web easy. The flip cover is also easy to use. The four-way navigating button works well.

However, the small size of the phone does make it a bit hard to use the buttons on the keypad. To avoid accidentally touching the Internet button when you don't intend to, it only works when you open the flip cover.

Design/style: 5/6 stars

The design is basic and simple, yet works well. It almost looks like a smaller version of that WAP classic, the Nokia 7110. The weight and size are a big plus.

Vital statistics: 4/6 stars

Network: GSM 900/1900 GPRS
Weight: 85g (2.99 ounces)
Dimensions: 112 x 42 x 18.5 mm. (4.4 x 1.6 x 0.7 inches)
Talk time: Up to 3.5 hours
Standby time: Up to 120 hours
Mobile Internet access: Openwave browser, WAP 1.1
PIM (Calendar, scheduler, to-do list)
99 phone book entries (plus 300 SIM card entries)
T9 text entry
18 ring types and 2 customizable melodies
Alarm clock
Trilingual (English, Spanish and French)
PC synchronization for SMS edit, phone edit, melody creation and wallpaper download.

WAP browsing: 5/6 stars

Following the custom in Japan, the Q105 comes with a button on the front that connects to the wireless web. The button is prominently located on the right of the screen. The phone also is GPRS-enabled (with transfer speeds of 56 kbps), so access to the wireless web is made fast and easy. The phone we tested, in the Miami area with service from US operator VoiceStream, worked well in terms of GPRS and access to the net.

Openwave provided the browser and the default homepage was iStream, the wireless web portal of VoiceStream. The portal is pretty extensive and also provides personalized settings.

The screen provides for about five lines of text per item, although because it was set with a larger-than-normal font, we only typically could read part of a sentence at a time without using the navigation button or pressing a softkey that linked us to "More." However, the navigation button works well, so you can quickly scroll down any article or item.

WAP-related features: 2/6 stars

The Q105 features SMS capability. However, due to the lack of inter-operability between operators in the United States we were not able to test a simple SMS-type solution. (You can send a text message to another phone using another operator, but it basically entails sending it to a regular e-mail or special e-mail which is then accessed on the other phone using ID and password, etc. and requires that the recipient looks for the message (no alert, like the SMS messages).

Instead, we used the SMS-system to send a message to an e-mail address. The messaging software was more difficult than we liked. First, we tried following the instructions on VoiceStream's manual for its messaging service called PingPong). That didn't work, however.

We then called customer service, which gave us a completely different method - which did work (after we were able to figure out how to over-ride the T9). Then we followed both instructions and were able to write "This is a test, sent from a mobile" in about ten minutes. Obviously not a very attractive option - more for emergencies than anything else.

One pretty annoying feature is that if you take a couple of seconds break, the message you were writing will disappear and you will return to the homepage screen.

We also tested the ability to receive text messages from a PC, which worked fine.

Overall: 5/6 stars

Despite the text messaging applications pulling it down, the overall score was still 4.6 (rounded out to 5). This is clearly a winner in the category of small phones with WAP and GPRS.

In the US market, at least, the text-messaging craze of Europe has not caught on, so the phone's weakness in that area becomes less relevant.