Samsung Jet S8000 review

Billed as 'better than the iPhone'... but can it even compete?

The Samsung Jet S8000 - is it a budget alternative to the iPhone?
The Samsung Jet S8000 - is it a budget alternative to the iPhone?

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The samsung jet s8000

We've noted the Samsung Jet S8000 feels a little cheap on numerous occasions. To be fair to the designers, it's meant to be a slightly less expensive handset in order to entice the more tech-savvy consumer who doesn't want to throw oodles of hard-earned cash at his or her new phone.

We liked

Overall, although there's a lot to pick at with the Samsung Jet S8000, as a package it just works. We're not sure what it is that tickles our fancy, whether it's the near perfect palm-sized dimensions or the glorious OLED screen, but when we usually find niggles with a phone we start to dislike it quickly.

The opposite has happened here. We weren't sure with the hands on, but quickly warmed to a phone that does manage to do a whole lot and do it well. The music and media on it may be a little lightweight, but is certainly up to the task (especially recording from the radio) and the camera is an excellent bit of hardware in a teeny package.

We disliked

Sadly there's a lot to dislike as well, which is mostly the result of using the TouchWiz 2.0 OS. We obviously have no idea how the cost structure of pricing phones works, and Samsung wants to position this as a low cost handset against the spiralling price of the likes of the iPhone and HTC Magic, but surely the Jet together with Android would be a much better proposition, even if it cost £30 more?

The internet browser was by far the worst thing on the phone, which is actually a backhanded compliment, as it was a lot better than before, with multiple tabs and three way searching via the address bar.

The home screen and widgets just don't do it for us either - we can happily set up a bookmark link to YouTube or Facebook Mobile without the need for a fancy graphic, and it feels like a little bit of a cheat to pretend there's social networking integration on there just by placing these on the widget bar (which can't be added to with the widgets of your choice, just Samsung's suggestions).

The verdict

The Samsung Jet S8000 is a phone that does a lot of things, and does them pretty well, and all in a small and well formed package. We're not sure about calling it affordable when it's hitting the market at around £350 SIM free, although it is significantly cheaper than its rivals and is on offer for some pretty cheap contract deals too.

When reviewing these products you start to get a feel for the star rating as you go, and we believed this was going to be a nailed-on 3.5/5 as we started to explore the intricacies of the Samsung Jet S8000. But weirdly there's a sense that it works, the package comes together to offer a good proposition that will satisfy many but heavily impress few, so the final score isn't too bad in the end.

Samsung has had a really good effort with the Jet S8000, making a phone full of decent hardware and not forcing users to break the bank to pick it up. It's good, but we feel it could have been a lot better with some very minor tweaks.

Overall, the Jet S8000 is worth looking at for those that love their technology but have a bit of a budget to work to.

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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.