Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|12.26.07

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Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani

Well, Mr. Armani, sir, we've got to hand it to you -- you know how to make a phone, and a darned good one at that. Of course, our tongues are firmly planted in our cheeks here; we know full well that Giorgio Armani and crew did little more than slap its name on one of Samsung's more upscale fashion phones in an emergency countermeasure to LG's KE850 Prada, but regardless of the circumstances, the P520 Armani is a gorgeous, well-constructed, well-thought out phone of the highest order. Let's put it this way, then, Giorgio: you picked the right Samsung to grace with your legendary marque.

The phone is dang small -- about the size of the P310 "credit card" phone -- which evokes educated guesses of what an iPhone nano might look and feel like. The P520's interface is a thinly veiled rehash of the same UI found on most of Samsung's modern handsets, though there's plenty of Armani media installed to make it clear exactly what it is that you paid extra for (not to say the extra-fancy box and brassy sheen aren't neat, too). Unlike LG's KU990 Viewty, we found the touchscreen to be a pleasure to use (very iPhone-like, actually) with a smooth, glassy surface that's bright, clear, easy to actuate, and easy to slide across. Make no mistake, this isn't a smartphone -- in fact, it barely qualifies as a feature phone in some respects -- but the Armani is easy to use, easy to carry, and a surefire conversation starter. Whether it's the right phone... well, that all depends on your priorities, we suppose.

Thanks to the good folks at Wireless Imports for the hookup!

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