Samsung has bundled the new PC Studio 3.1 with the phone, and it provides a simple-to-use and easy interface should you want to ever mess about with your phone with your PC.
The new PC Studio 3.1 software has allowed Samsung to re-think the way people use their phone with a PC, and this looks and works fabulously. It essentially turns your phone into a PDA portal, and while the functions might not look or work as well on the handset, they look almost Mac-esque on the PC. There are separate windows to access your organiser, calendar, movies, photos and almost everything else, as well as being able to send text messages from your PC.
We've often said we're fans of this interface, and nice touches like being able to configure the system so that drag-and-drop files were automatically converted to a more phone-friendly format were a real bonus. A common feature of mobile phone PC software is the ability to encode files to fit the handset, and while this is possible here (for instance with MP3 playback from other less well-liked formats) the sheer amount of codecs supported (MP4, DivX, AVI) mean that you're very unlikely to need to, which is a real bonus.
We'd go as far as saying the new software was actually a new reason to connect the phone to a PC, other than as a modem or to back up contacts, as it adds a whole new dimension to the Samsung Jet S8000.
MEMORY: The Samsung Jet S8000 has an easy to swap microSD port
You can always use the phone as a modem as well, which might not please your network (especially if it's O2), although if you don't constantly use your Jet for surfing day in, day out, you might just get away with it (and also be sticking two fingers up to Apple iPhone 3G / 3GS users as well).
We recommend you check out dashboard bar at the bottom of the software, which lets you quickly access key phone functions. Other software, bar Apple and its iTunes love in, is only just starting to catch up to the phone and PC party, so we're overjoyed to use a program that actually does what it's supposed to. If it had a tin, Ronseal would be probably having a word over trademarks.
There's a real bundle of connectivity options on here, from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth to GPS.
We liked to put all these options together on one home screen, although we were disappointed in the difficulty of setting up some of them.
For instance, the Wi-Fi, which is usually a case of picking a network and entering the network key should you need to, asked us which encryption we'd like to use, and had different fields for other options as well. We consider ourselves pretty tech-savvy, but we still had to have a look at the box to work out what was going on, which is a pretty big failure as many will simply give up on the feature.
That said, Wi-Fi connectivity was swift and easy, and led to some snappy web browsing too.
GPS was pretty erratic, certainly not in the same league as Google and HTC's Magic or G1 or the iPhone 3GS, as the only software that used it, Google Maps, could very rarely find our position. Even the estimated zone (which had a 1KM tolerance radius) was wrong on most occasions.
But we're happy to report Bluetooth was nice and easy to connect - sometimes you have to accept the easy wins when you can.