Samsung Marvel S5560

There are currently too many touch-screen phones today, and coincidentally, they all seem to look alike. There's one for every price range, too (from Mr. Cheapo to Mr. Big Spender), and somewhere along the middle, you get the type that isn't too expensive but has more than the basic features like the Samsung Marvel S5560.

The Samsung Marvel is no different in appearance from many other touch-screen phones Samsung has produced. There's the 3-inch display with a weird-shaped menu button up front. There's the 5-megapixel camera at the back, which is matted for better grip. And there are the usual buttons for the camera shutter, volume, and screen lock on the sides. Well, Samsung has long been successful with this design, so why fix what isn't broken, right? (Okay, maybe they can improve on the screen resolution and on finding ways to reduce the glare when it's used outdoors.)  

On the interface the Samsung Marvel uses, there are also minimal qualms as it's equipped with the TouchWiz 2.0 interface. The main menu allows for 3 pages you can personalize by rearranging which widgets and icons you want to use. The Samsung Marvel also has the common keyboard layouts – standard numeric and QWERTY – that you can choose from when composing messages or emails. The minor complaints? No automated email-account setup and the screen can be relatively small for users with thicker fingers.  

Web browsing is real easy and convenient with the Samsung Marvel being Wi-Fi capable. Using its Dolphin browser, all you need is a Wi-Fi hotspot, and you've got your portable workspace right in the palm of your hands. Too bad 3G connectivity isn't included in this unit, but hey, is this asking for too much from a mid-level touch-screen phone? Um, maybe.

The camera, with autofocus function and the small LED flash, is a more-than-useful substitute for your digital snapper even on low-light environments. The snaps are decent enough, but forget about making videos with this one. The video capture resolution is only 15fps QVGA, which, on a phone of this caliber, is a big letdown. 

As a music player, the Samsung Marvel is also no pushover. It has the 3.5mm audio jack on top for your favorite ear/headphones and a microSD card slot for all your MP3s, and that's a lethal music combo right there. Just don't max out the volume for your eardrums' safety and the quality of the sound output.

Battery life is also not an issue. With normal use, like Web browsing, texting, calling, and playing the addictive Bubble Popper, a fully charged battery lasts almost 2 days. In a word, amazing.

The problem with mid-level phones like the Samsung Marvel is that they're not the flamboyant types. There's no major hype on a trailblazing new feature that some high-class gadget is banking on. It has just enough features to be an effectively functional phone with multimedia capabilities. Effectively functional is one fancy way of saying simple and boring. But to sum up what the Samsung Marvel has got going compared to the pricier models, you could use just 4 words: bang for your buck.

Click here to see the Samsung Marvel S5560 in the Buyer's Guide.


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  • Web connectivity and browsing is easy
  • Good enough as a decent digicam and as a music-player sub

  • No 3G and automated email setup
  • Bad, really bad video capture and playback
Bottom Line
  • This phone's for you if (a) you're easily satisfied with overall functionality or (b) you're not filthy rich
Editor’s Pick No
Price P11,990
Tech Specs
  • Network
    • 2G: Quadband GSM
    • 3G: n/a
  • Screen
    • Type: resistive touchscreen LCD
    • Size: 3 inches
    • Resolution: 240 x 400 pixels
    • Colors: 256,000
  • Memory
    • Internal: 70MB
    • Expansion: microSD (up to 16GB)
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g
    • Bluetooth: ver. 2.1 with A2DP (stereo Bluetooth)
    • Cable: microUSB 2.0
    • GPS: n/a
    • Infrared: n/a
  • Input: touchscreen LCD
  • Camera
    • Stills Resolution:  5 megapixels
    • Flash: LED
    • Autofocus: 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA) at 15fps
    • Video Recording: yes
  • Audio Formats Supported: MP3, WAV, eAAC+, WMA
  • Video Formats Supported: MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV
  • Battery Life
    • Talk: up to 9.5 hours
    • Standby: up to 620 hours
  • Size: 106 x 53.5 x 11.9mm
  • Weight: 96g

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