Samsung SGH-D980

Samsung's SGH-D980 is designed for users who need a dual-sim touchscreen smartphone. Is it any good?

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Samsung SGH-D980
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 15, 2009

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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 5-megapixel
Data services: GPRS
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 40MB

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In today’s world it’s not uncommon to find a person has two mobile phone numbers. In most cases this is simply to help separate personal calls from office-related ones and while this may make it easier to distinguish between calls, it also poses a problem as the user in question has to deal with two separate handsets. This is not something everyone would like to do and thus certain handheld manufacturers have turned to producing phones capable of working with two mobile SIM cards. The SGH-D980 is one such handheld but unlike its predecessors, this phone features a touch-screen interface.

Using the phone over a one month period, we found the touch-screen interface incredibly responsive and useable. Like RIM’s BlackBerry Storm (also reviewed on, the SGH-D980 provides feedback when you touch the screen but unlike the Storm, the screen is far more responsive. This became immediately obvious when it came to typing text messages and dialing phone numbers. The phone also supports gestures like the Storm and Apple iPhone and these felt quite natural when used. For example if you wanted to quickly scroll through a list of options, a quick swipe of the finger from up to down, had the phone scrolling through each item quickly until it reached the end. Swiping our finger a little slower had the same result but with the phone scrolling through items far slower.

Moving on, we found the phone’s dual-SIM functionality a piece of cake to work with. Once you’ve fed the phone both SIM cards, the SGH-D980 allows you to name each as you wish and then, when you receive a call, it will display the appropriate name depending on which SIM has been dialed. This makes it very easy to skip work calls if it’s after hours. Dialing a number or sending text messages you simply need to proceed as normal and then, when you’re sending the message or dialing a number, you simply need to select which SIM card you want the phone to use.

As this is a high-end smartphone it features a number of features such as a five megapixel digital camera as well as FM and music playback capabilities. In testing we found the camera was quite capable shooting in daylight; the pictures were detailed, sharp and when compared to the original subject, looked very natural. The camera is also quite useable in low light conditions as it features a built-in flash and when used, the Samsung still returned fairly useable photos. We noticed a little noise on these photos but overall the captures were still quite useable. As a result, the SGH-D980 is ideal if you like to click photos but don’t want to have a separate digital camera on you at all times. The camera can also capture videos and here too we found ourselves impressed with the quality of its captures.

As a media player the SGH-D980 is something of a mixed bag. The downside is that it cannot playback video content other than the videos shot with the camera itself. On the plus side, we found the built-in FM radio receiver quite good in that it latched onto almost all the local radio stations and wasn’t thrown off even in covered parking lots. A media player allows you to listen to tunes too and depending on whether you want to listen in private or share your music with others, it allows you to use headphones or the built-in speakers. When you’re listening to tunes, the media player also shows itself on the phone’s main screen so you can interact with it directly rather than having to go through the menu system to access it again Nifty.

The phone sports 40Mbytes of internal memory for photos etc but if you want to add more, you can do so via a microSD card. In the connectivity department, the phone features EDGE support but sadly lacks 3G and WiFi capabilities. These are surprising omissions given that most phones today offer these capabilities. On the battery front, the SGH-D980 proved surprisingly resilient as it lasted three full days on a single charge despite mixed use, which involved phone calls, clicking photos and listening to tunes.

Verdict: The SGH-D980 is easy-to-use, packs a solid camera and offers great battery life but its appeal is diminished due to the lack of video playback support, WiFi and 3G support.

2946 days ago
Isaac Bervell
User rating: 2 stars

Pros: liked the dual Sim feature

Cons: NO 3G, no key pad to fall on in case the touch screen malfunctioned.

It is not a good phone at the price it is going for, because within a year of purchase, the touchscreen function broke down and i cannot access anything on the phone. I really feel cheated.The phone is seriously over-hyped.

3382 days ago
User rating: 4 stars

Pros: Responsive screen. Good Quality in the colours. Camera reasonable. OK speed in the menues, easy to use. Ok camera

Cons: No 3G Meny System Scrolling can be annoying.

I have used sgh-d880 before and it has started to really get annoying when I cant see who is calling me and buttons are almost worn out. I decided for the Sgh-d980 foremost it doesn't have the slide function that after a while breaks or looses connection for some reason. Only con that I can see is the lack of 3G but for the 2 sim card I don't know any other phone manufactorer who has and that's why I do like and I do think it's a good phone if you don't want to use 2 two phones at the same time.

3425 days ago
Juliet Nnamdi-Uzoezie
User rating: 3 stars

Pros: can carry 2 sims on one phone

Cons: the touch screen is irresponsive at the moment, can access my phone book and cant use any menu controlled by the touch screen feature

Im worried that after spending so much on a dual sim phone, the touch screen feature started giving problems. My phone isnt up to a year old!

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