Samsung’s P207 Speaks Out

66 Comments

samsung p207I’ve spent the last four days toying with the Samsung P207, and it has convinced me that soon I will never physically type another text message again. Otherwise an unremarkable EDGE-capable, $79 clamshell phone—the Samsung P207 comes bundled with some innovative voice recognition software that translates speech into text, promising to take the pain out of text messaging via mobile phones. Amazingly, the speech recognition technology works. Very well. Developed by VoiceSignal, a Massachusetts based startup, the P207’s software is easy to set up, and even easier to use. First I calibrated the phone to recognize my voice, and speech patterns. To do this, I spoke a series of 122 words and phrases into the receiver while holding down the camera button on outside of the phone—this button activates a “talk” feature, much like using a walkie-talkie. As instructed, I spoke slowly, leaving hard pauses between each word, giving the software time to recognize each word. The whole process took about three minutes, after which I was told the P207 could “recognize” my voice.

From there, I was ready to speak my first text message. Sending it was almost anticlimactic for its simplicity. I just hit “create new text message” on the P207’s menu, held down the camera key and started jabbering—slowly. Speaking slowly and clearly is paramount—failure to hesitate between each word lead to some amusing translation problems.
I’m not sure how large the P207’s word library is—I’m guessing several thousand words—but the P207 automatically recognized most words, including proper names and multi-syllabic words such as “facilitate” and “consequences”. There were misunderstandings of course, but the software made it easy to remove unintended words, and usually offered
additional suggestions for words. All I had to do was hit “0” on the keypad, and the phone would usually provide a few alternatives. You can also spell out additional words via the keypad to “teach” the phone to recognize new words. Overall, it’s a remarkably useful application. (And to answer the question I can already hear you asking: No, the P207 doesn’t know any really good swear words out of the box. But it *can* be taught.)

Without getting too breathless, Samsung is onto something with this feature. Not only does the P207 represent a significant evolution for voice recognition—making text messaging far easier—it’s also easy to envision how this software will soon make sending emails and multi-step commands via mobile phones far more viable. Expect to see
this feature in many upcoming Samsung devices.

Review by Matt Maier, wireless and gizmo correspondent for Business 2.0 magazine. Subscribe to his Weekly Wireless Report.

66 Comments

PEDRO

I just ordered this phone, mainly because it has pop3 email capabilities. I read the reviews and nobody mentioned it.

Is there anything I don’t know?

victoria

nobody knows where to get this phone without a contract? cuz id killl to know

Flipper

I just got this phone.

I switched to cingular because everybody I work with who has that service gets greta reception in my office.

low and Behold, with my brand new model Samsung p207 I get zero bars in areas where other people with older phones get perfect reception.

This phone looks great has great features, I wish I could keep it
but it is useless if I get no reception.

Very Very disapointed.

nick

well i ordered mine on monday and they emailed me saying it would be here on thursday and that it was on its way and such so i guess they got more already

Leah

this phone is WAY too much…i am jus a poor little white girl. i cant afford this phone, but it is a badass phone.

Mike

I just bought this phone and i love it so far but, there are a couple drawbacks….

I actually had a questions for anyone that has this phone….

How do i transfer my pictures i take to my computer?

and

what exactly does the Data Connect Kit do?

Thank you.

Nick

Hey! I just ordered this phone on April 28. They kept on canceling my order, execpt it wasn’t really canceled. The P207 is on backorder and suposedly they will receieve some 19,000! by May 19. An agent claimed they got around 1000 in today, theirfore some of us may get ours soon! Lets hope!!!!

Jenna

I think the voice-text is a good option, because i text while i’m driving (VERY dangerous, i know) but my friend is at work every night, so i can’t call him, so it will help me keep my eyes on the road while i’m driving. (we text while he’s at work, he just can’t call me and be talking on the phone, that is why i don’t call or leave him voice-mail. cuz we actually wanna carry on a convo) so it’ll help while i’m driving and the recieving end can’t talk. I think i’ll get this, but i saw this question before, and am curious myself, how much is this phone if you already HAVE a contract?

Maggie

I’ve gotta get this phone for my boyfriend. He’s text-challenged and I’m practically deaf. I wish all my friends had this phone. Market the phone towards friends of deaf people!

Keith

I TOO JUST RECENTLY ORDERED THIS MARVEL OF A PHONE, AND YET CINGULAR HAS YET TO SHIP IT. IT HAS BEEN ON BACKORDER FOR ABOUT 3 WEEKS. BUT LO AND BEHOLD I FINNALLY GOT THEM TO SEND ONE OUT. I THINK THE VOICE RECOGNITION IS A ADDED PLUS, BUT I CHOSE THIS MODEL DUE TO SAMSUNGS NAME, QUALITY AND RELIABILITY. THEREFORE WHEN I READ YOUR POSTING I WAS, TO SAY THE LEAST, SHOCKED WITH THIS NEW FEATURE!

Lydia

I ordered this phone the day it came out and everytime I talk to cingular they act like their hands are tied! Anyone know how to expidite this process? its been over 2 weeks.

Michael

Can you assign diffrent ringtones to diffrent people or do you have to put them in groups and then assign a tone to a group? Hoping the former and not the latter i hate having to group people and might be a killer for me. Saw a couple of people saying their phone was on backorder just ordered mine today will repost when i get it

erini

i want to know if the phone has a speaker phone and i want to know how much this phone would cost with no contract???????

Chris

I would like to know if the Samsung p 207 has a speakerphone. Does anyone know?

John

i really want this phone and i want ta no if any1 knows of any online stores that dont have this phone on backorder.?

joekilluv

sucks i wanted to buy this phone and i was all happy and called cingular to order it to find out its on backorder.. any one know if its in any cingular stores yet? and if im still on ATT could i unlock the phone and use it on ATT?

Eddie

Om and friends –

I just called Samsung America sales toll free at 800-726-7864 (press 1 – 1 – 1 to get through to a live human). I asked if the phone has Bluetooth (I have a Bluetooth headset and want to use it!). The answer is no. But more interesting, the sales agent gave me some sort of bogus line stating that “Until one month ago, Bluetooth was copyright and not available to license so Samsung hasn’t put Blueooth into their phone yet but we plan to soon.” What type of crap-ola response is that? My goodness there is a TON of DISINFORMATION floating around in today’s noisy world!

MIKE

I ORDERED THIS PHONE LAST SAT AND I AM STILL AWAITING IT ARRIVAL CINGULAR HAD SOME KIND OF SCREW UP IN THERE DATABASE AND NONE OF THE PHONES COULD BE SHIPPED. SO AFTER 30 CALLS TO CINGULAR IT IS ON ITS WAY..MY THOUGHT THIS CELL PHONE WILL BE BACKORDERED SHORTY. I SUGGES IF U WANT ONE GET IT NOW. ILL POST AGAIN AFTER I GET IT GL

Arthur Wu

Other than the fact that it’s a beautiful phone I think the voice recog might come in handy, especially if you use it to take notes or keep the calendar in your phone organized. Sending SMS using this method seems redundant but I’m sure it’ll have it’s moments.

Jesse Kopelman

SMS is not the same, or as good for that matter, as IM. Again for this feature to be really useful, it needs to be on the receive end. It would be great to switch my phone into a silent mode where all incoming speech becomes text and a no look mode where the reverse occurs. There is not as much utility in having this feature on the send side.

Jesse Kopelman

Rob, I agree this would be useful for IMing, but I don’t think that feature is in this phone. SMS

Matthew Maier

Jesse:

My guess is that SMS is a little less intrusive and, therefore, used differently than voicemail. Folks that really want an immediate answer will call, those that don’t necessarily need an immediate response can text… I dunno, I suppose it differs from person to person (and situation), but I feel like the two serve different (albeit similar) purposes.

Matt

rob

sometimes i will text someone when I know they are in a meeting. They cant check their voice mail. Ditto with some of my other friends who can be at work (retail) and want to check messages easily.

also think about people who message alot via their cell phone on y! and aol.

i will keep my eye out for this phone…

Jesse Kopelman

But Ron, why would you text someone aloud when you could just leave them a voice mail?

Ron Misener

For those of us who have not mastered the art of texting blindfolded, this is a great feature. Sure you text aloud, but I have not noticed any trend for people to tone down their live conversations or when they leave a message so how is this really so much different? Just because the recipient will read the message instead of hearing it?

I’m not sure why there is any resistance at all to texting aloud other than people have a natural inclination to resist change. This is just the next step in the evolution of using this technology as far as I can tell.

Jesse Kopelman

Considering that talk time is now as cheap as texting, I don’t see the advantage of texting someone in this fashion. I think I’d rather have the reverse where it could read a text message to me, for those time where my eyes are otherwise occupied.

the yukon

But Om, is this a feature people will use often? Text messaging is a silent activity for most mobile users. I doubt people will use this feature in most circumstances. I would find a la one way nextel a little weird in public. But that’s just me..

Comments are closed.