Thе Samsung B7722 (also known as Star Duos in certain markets) is an enticing offer for people who definitely need the comfort of using two networks, or two SIM cards from the same carrier simultaneously on a brand name handset. The ability to change cellular subscription lines with the touch of a button on a phone with a comparatively generous 3.2” touchscreen makes it quite a novel handset. Samsung has decided that this is enough of a distinction in the overcrowded cell phone market, and has conceived the B7722 as a feature phone instead of providing it with an operating system. Let’s explore the features then!
What’s in the box:
- Samsung B7722 handset
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
- Stereo headset with microphone
Samsung B7722 Video Review:
The Samsung B7722 is a chubby (14.3 mm thick) device with an all-plastic build. The front houses a 3.2” resistive touchscreen with WQVGA 240×400 pixels resolution, supporting 256k colors. Nothing really exciting in terms of color representation or contrast, and the phone is struggling for legibility in direct sunlight, even at maximum brightness.
Samsung B7722 is a 14.3 mm thick device with an all-plastic build
You can compare the Samsung B7722 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Under the screen there are three physical buttons – the middle key has Samsung’s edgy shape found on a lot of its feature phones recently, and serves as a back key to return you to the previous screen. It is flanked by the send and end keys on both sides. The dual-SIM phone has a front-facing cam as well as a 5MP primary one with an LED flash beneath it on the back. The rest of the physical elements are hosted on the sides – the left has the volume rocker and the microUSB port, while the right side finds space for the lock and camera buttons, plus a dedicated key to toggle between the SIM cards.
The sides of Samsung B7722
The Samsung B7722 is fairly light at 122gr, and comfortable for one-handed operation due to the average-sized screen. It even has a setting for left or right hand operation that in contacts, for example, moves a search slider to the respective screen side, which is a nice touch.
The phone is built durable, with plastic that doesn’t flex or creak when pressed hard. It feels solid in the hand, unlike the flimsy offerings we come across sometimes.
The user interface is… you guessed it… Samsung’s TouchWiz, with all its home screens and widgets. Here this means three home screens, four icons on the dock for the most used actions – keypad, contacts, messages and menu (which can’t be changed), and numerous widgets. The main menu has three pages of useful applications, including Google Maps, MySpace and Facebook – all of these can be placed as widgets on the home screens too. The choice of colors and font in the menus looks like something out of a beta version, and somewhat hinder the first impressions about an otherwise pretty functional interface. Thankfully, as on all TouchWiz phones, the interface font can be changed to something more wacky.
Samsung B7722 uses the TouchWiz interface
The phone keypad is also pretty uninspiring in the default color and font combo, but the buttons are big enough to press easily. There is a smart dial option in contacts, and the letters are typed via an on-screen numpad, old school as it is. Contacts appear in a simple scrollable list with an alphabetic slider for a quick find, or you can use the search box above contacts. There are no capabilities to aggregate your Facebook or other contacts into your phonebook, like on some Samsung smartphones lately.
Despite being a feature phone, the Samsung B7722 easily allows an abundance of actions with your messages. Attaching multimedia to your text message is just a tap away, and the email app can download up to 5MB per message in the inbox to a maximum of a thousand messages back. Unfortunately even popular email services have to be set manually, but there is the Google widget, with dedicated Gmail, Maps and Search buttons, if El Goog is where you belong. There is also an Exchange server application for all your corporate email needs, and a built-in document viewer for those pesky Microsoft Office attachments.
The phone has a pretty responsive accelerometer, which quickly changes the mode from the portrait numpad to the on-screen QWERTY keyboard, and vice versa. The keys are arranged in four rows, they are well spaced and easy to type on, regardless of the slow keystroke register due to an overall interface sluggishness.
Connectivity and Data:
The Samsung B7722 offers both 3G and Wi-Fi chips, but has no GPS unit. Unfortunately 3G can only be used on one of the two SIM cards inserted. While in dual-SIM mode, the phone shows signal bars for both cards, and highlights in green the one you are currently using for outgoing calls or data. Syncing the phone with a computer is done via the standard Samsung Kies software.
The browser is Samsung’s Dolphin 1.5 concoction, based on WebKit. Pages render slowly, and you can forget about text reflowing. Double-tap to zoom works after every last bit of the page has loaded, and there are two arrows for one-touch zooming capability, which never worked right. Zooming large pages often gave an error as well.
The browser of Samsung B7722
Camera and Multimedia:
The camera interface of the Samsung B7722 is the one found in all recent handsets from the manufacturer – simple, and with a lot of preset modes. The camera application fires up quickly from wherever you are in the menus, but the focusing cycle is annoyingly slow, and the phone has a habit of freezing at times if you skip the half-press-to-focus step to quickly take subsequent shots. Expect at least 4-5 seconds between the snaps. The pictures are not that great either, despite that it was a sunny day – a good amount of blur ruins the otherwise good color and detail impressions
Sample pictures taken with Samsung B7722
Video recording capabilities are a must in today’s world, even in feature phones, and the Samsung B7722 is able to capture 30fps in QVGA resolution via the 5MP camera. Videos are watchable despite their QVGA resolution, but without much detail, and with a fuzzy image.
The music player is basic, but does the job by supporting playlists and album art, as well as equalizer presets. There is no search function, though – the songs get categorized by album, artist, most and recently played, and even genres, so it is not hard to find what you are looking for. A nice addition to the music player is the ability to leave it running in the background, while you are doing something else. The same works with the FM radio too.
The music player
There is no dedicated video player on the handset, thus videos have to be run from the file browser, or from the “Quickview” option in the lower right corner of the camera interface, as there is no gallery icon in the applications menu either. Both image and video editors are provided for simple tasks like cropping or adding background music. The supported MPEG-4 videos play in QVGA resolution, and the player interface is very basic and unresponsive.
Using a feature phone nowadays doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice features. The Samsung B7722 has numerous preinstalled applications, and additional Java ones can be downloaded from Samsung Apps. To keep things organized you have the standard fare TouchWiz calendar, plus task, memo, units converter, world clock, dictionary, calculator, voice recorder, timer and stopwatch applications. Your craving for interaction is satisfied by the dedicated Facebook, MySpace and Twitter widgets. For simultaneous posting of your dog’s pictures and updates on a bunch of multimedia sites, the Samsung B7722 includes the company’s Communities app, which works with most of the popular services.
As far as entertainment options go – there are a few games, all of which are unfortunately trial versions, even the Tetris knockoff. The YouTube widget simply takes you to the mobile version of the site. There are also an FM radio with recording capabilities, and Find music application, similar to Shazam.
Here we should mention the software that manages the dual-SIM card abilities of the Samsung B7722. It is accessed easily from the touchscreen via the home screen widget or a menu icon. The application registers the two cards, and allows switching between them with the tap of a button. There is also an automatic scheduler, with which the user can set which time of the day the phone should switch to the other card, and for how long – pretty useful. Pressing the dedicated physical key on the right side straight out switches between the cards, no questions asked.
Performance and Conclusion:
As a phone the handset operates decently, the earpiece is powered well, and we were hearing the voices loud and with low ambient noise, but sounding a little flat. The other party said we sound a bit quiet and the voice quality was subpar. The loudspeaker’s volume is high, while the supplied headset provides decent sound, but connects via the microUSB port, instead of a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
One of the advantages of having a feature phone is usually the extended battery life compared to a smartphone, and the Samsung B7722 is rated for the respectable 13hrs of talk, and 17 days of standby. The last number is not that impressive, but we guess the second SIM card also juices out the battery to maintain network signal in standby mode.
There is only a handful of choices for a dual-SIM phone from major manufacturers. With the B7722, Samsung is carving a niche for itself by manufacturing such phone and providing it with a fairly large touchscreen. Above all, you can use both cards simultaneously, which is its main added value. As a feature phone the device also functions on par with the other offerings from the company, which means pretty decent already, and has a well-sized 3.2” screen. Thus, if you are in the market to replace those two bulging holsters on your belt housing your work phone, and the phone with the family plan, the Samsung B7722 is your piece. We can’t guarantee that it will easily replace your slim and light smartphone, though, despite the fact that Samsung is charging a smartphone price for this one from what we saw here and there.
Looking around for alternatives of the Samsung B7722, we notice a few dual-SIM phones like the LG GX500, or the WM6.5-powered GIGABYTE GSmart S1205. The GSmart is actually a better stop if you need a smartphone with 2 SIM cards. However, if that’s not the case, the Samsung B7722 is still a pretty good choice for the 2 SIM fans out there.
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