Samsung has made a name for themselves when it comes to releasing touchscreen phones at affordable prices. Star and the colorful Corby-range struck a chord with the consumers and now they’ve released the Champ (C3303), with a similar intention. We managed to get our hands on the Champ and this is what we think.
In the box:
Champ is the cheapest touchscreen phone available from Samsung and is bundled with an AC adapter, 3.5mm earphones, microSD card, leather pouch and user manual and warranty card. Samsung is not bundling a data cable with the device, which is a bit surpising considering the phone is pitched as a “full-touchscreen music device” and most users would want to copy songs via a USB cable rather than copying directly to a memory card.
Champ has a well-thought out design. The phone easily fits in one’s hands and is really lightweight, which measures 96.3 x53.9×12.9mm and weighs just 90 grams. The front part of the device is covered by a small display, call/end/back buttons and a speaker whereas the back area integrates a camera. The top portion of the phone hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port and stylus; left side has a phone-lock button and right side boasts a volume rocker. All in all, the phone looks good when held and doesn’t give the slightest hint of cheap build quality.
Display and User Interface:
Champ features a 2.4-inch touchscreen display supporting up to 240×320 pixels. The display is a resistive one, which is understandable since Samsung wants to sell this phone at a low price. But despite the resistive display, the phone responded well to touch inputs. For those who still prefer the old-school way, Samsung has also included a small albeit handy stylus pen.
Samsung has integrated its in-house created TouchWiz user interface but a lighter version dubbed as TouchWiz Lite, which is optimized for touchscreen devices. TouchWiz Lite also makes use of the widgets but unlike the full fleged version, this interface allows using only one widget per home screen (user can put seven home screens). Another downside is that it does not support downloadable widgets, restricting users to use the pre-installed widgets only.
Samsung has two variants of Champ – C3300 and C3303. We received the latter one and apparently this model features a VGA camera (0.3 megapixel) instead of C3300’s 1.3 megapixel. Needless to say, the phone’s camera is something not worth boasting about. The picture quality was average and being a fixed focus camera you need to have steady hands to click a picture or risk it to blur.
The camera also supports video recording at QCIF resolution.
Music is Champ’s USP and we can safely say, it delivers on that front. The music player supports decent number of audio formats, allows playing on the basis of albums, artists, genre etc. and supports EQ settings.
The audio quality on the bundled earphones is good but the audio is excellent via the loudspeakers as well. The loudspeakers are pretty loud for a small phone like Champ.
Another advantage on the music front is the integration of FM Radio. Champ’s FM Radio is a little different as it integrates the wireless antenna, which means a user can directly scan and listen to FM stations without having to attach his earphones to the phone.
Champ allows users to surf the web with the pre-installed web browser. The browser works well for most mobile optimized websites but crumbles and runs out of memory when you happen to load large web pages.
Samsung also thought about social networking junkies, which is why they have added support for various social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr etc. However, don’t expect a full-fledged app because these are nothing but links to the respective sites, enabling quick access.
The Champ also supports Samsung Apps to install additional apps and limited to Indian region devices, it has a calendar highlighting Indian festivals and holidays and Mobile Prayer that plays a hymns or a verse according to the religion.
So is the phone worth it? If music with a decent touchscreen experience scores top on your list, Champ will suffice your needs. But if you’re looking for an all-round touchscreen phone experience with decent camera, web browsing, you might want to raise the budget a bit to get a phone from the Corby or Monte range.
The phone retails for around Rs. 4,000.