I’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 thoughts on “Samsung’s P207 Speaks Out”
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..
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.
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.
But Ron, why would you text someone aloud when you could just leave them a voice mail?
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…
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.
Rob, I agree this would be useful for IMing, but I don’t think that feature is in this phone. SMS
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.
i need a dam cell phone people!
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.
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
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!
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?
i really want this phone and i want ta no if any1 knows of any online stores that dont have this phone on backorder.?
I would like to know if the Samsung p 207 has a speakerphone. Does anyone know?
Unfortunately, it has no speakerphone.
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???????
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
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!!!!
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?
what exactly does the Data Connect Kit do?
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.
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
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.
nobody knows where to get this phone without a contract? cuz id killl to know
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?
what do u mean it does not have speakerphone!?
the shipping sucks
what other great features do the phone have
hello i was just wondering how i can purchased a samsung P207 cell phone. i don’t want a plan or anything, i just want to buy the phone itself. so if you can, please let me know how and where i can get one, and the total price of just the phone. thank you for your time.
to get the phone without a contract simply go on ebay and get it cheap.
how did you get the phone for 79 bucks did you get a 2 yr contract?
i have had this phone for a short time now, and absolutely love it!!! It has so many features, and the call quality is great. I would recomend this phone for anyone who is looking for more than just a phone.
I have this phone. I like it, but have been experiencing a problem with the power. The phone will randomly shutdown by itself. Sometimes I can press the power button to restart, but sometimes I need to open and close the battery. This is kind of annoying. One more time and it goes back to Cingular. Anyone else seeing this?
I’ve had this phone for 3 weeks, It has locked-up and rebooted 3 times on me so far. All 3 times I was playing 1 of the built in games. Another time the phone wouldn’t recieve or make a call until I restarted it. It didn’t apprear to be locked up either. I think the jury is still out on this model.
i just bought this phone 2 weeks ago and it has been great, until tonight it went catatonic on me. the screen froze and didn’t respond to any button pushing. when i take off the battery and replace it, it just goes to the Samsung screen and stops. nothing. going to cingular in the morning.
Had same exact problem with p207. Great phone until it went haywire on me tonight….won’t turn on. It goes to Samsung startup screen then freezes, even after I took the battery out, sim card, you name it.
I need the unlock codes for this phone.. Samsung P207
omg were ever i go and i ask for the Samsung P207 they always say dat there out of em :'( so mean!
omg dats just sad :(….
🙂 🙁 :s 😀
😀 dis phone is great
I just updated my cingular plan with this phone, but after reading a few of the comments above about how it’s the P207 has been “freezing,” becoming “catatonic,” “haywire,” I’m getting worried I’m not going to be satisfied with the product. Have those of you who mentioned these problems gotten the problems fixed? or have you guys just returned the phones? Please, let me know! Thanks.
This phone is a piece of crap!! Looks cool, but very unreliable. It freezes up all the time. Had to send it back for a replacement twice in 5 months! Cingular will not let me exchange for a different model phone. So I have to wait 5 days for a new phone to arrive. Totally sucks!! Not to mention the volume on the phone is very weak! DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE!!!!!!!
I’ve had this phone for a little over a month and it was great at first, every once in a while it would freeze up, vibrate, and unfreeze, but now it does it every 5 minutes, no joke. If I put it on silent it vibrates, and if the sounds on, it beeps. Anyone else having this problem?
THIS PHONE IS FREE ON http://WWW.CINGULAR.COM RIGHT NOW WITH A NEW TWO YEAR CONTRACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM FRIGGIN HAPPY ABOUT IT TOO!!!! YAY!
I say all the people who have had problems with the p207 should get a free replacement from Samsung. They clearly rushed this phone with many problems still evident.(The reseting is the worst). Hmm…how to go about getting a petition on the web…
Im loking forward for the posibility of having a free ringtone on my samsung phone
i m hard of hearing, i can speak very well but i cannot listen sound, i heard that p207 is for nice for hoh. on this cell, speech convert in text. plz send me anyone person about this mobile. its nice or not for me. i live in india.i want to use it here. send me details and help me. thanking to all.
I have this phone in Canada on Roger’s AT&T. The voice text feature does not work on the phone. Maybe they made the software different for Canada…I dont know. Haven’t had the freezing problem though.
i was just wondering if this phone is available in australia and if the frequncies are compatible
I am still having the freezing up issue – it first started when i was texting, the 2nd time it was during the middle of a converstation and the third it wouldnt shut off when i went to bed
I have had this phone replaced 3x’s and each time i lose EVERTYTHING i had on it – including ringtones and backgrounds that they cant seem to transfer to the new one. I will NEVER EVER buy another Samsung phone – plus the ring volume is HORRIBLE – i cant ever hear it ring – heck my regular phone at home is 4x’s louder than my cell. I will gladly stick with Motorola – at least when i had a problem with my Motorola phone they replaced it and the battery ! – Cingular said they dont replace batteries only the phones with this model (P207)- so i had to buy a new battery too! Take my advice – THIS IS NOT THE PHONE FOR YOU!!
hey i just have a quick question for the P207. is there any way to make the picture on my wallpaper full screen? its really annoying how its like just a strip across and then theres white strips on the top and bottom. anyone know?
Hi there to all guys- girls..
Well I presume most of you are effected by the samsung freezing problem . Its teh software on the phone but the biggest thing,. All you guys are downloading shit from the network. games and songs.. many of them have bugs .. and thus your phone freezes..
I guess 30 phones a day with the same problem .. all i do is reset .. thats all .. you just have to reset the phone and upload the software.. now some times manual reset works.. but some times u need to upgrade the software..
so stop downloading stuff from unreliabale sites..
as people from canada.. just use rogers approved site..
Anyways for you guys.. who lock there phone and forget they lock codes..
let me give u a easy way out .. instead of you guys to go outside .. pay money .. or wait for your phone from the repair center,,
Just take ur sim card out ..
Power your phoen up now.. the screen says.. insert sim..
Wait for it to rebbot .. but plz make sure ur battery is charged.. with take a minute or so and your phoen will power up ..
voila.. your phoens unlocked…
thsi sodes notw ork for sim lock .. ok .. 🙂 enjoy..
I just became another victim of the “SAMSUNG White Screen of Death”. Last night I was charging the phone and this morning all I had was a white screen on the external display. It won’t turn off either unless I take out the battery. I have never downloaded a thing from a computer. I purchased it in May 2005 so the warranty is expired. In order to turn it on, I take the battery out, place it back in and press power on. I still get the “White Screen of Death” and in the inside the P207 welcome screen only. I read above about software reloads and system resets. They mention “Roger’s Site”, but I don’t know where this is. Can anyone help me with this? I have valuable pictures and info on the system I need to download.
Hey buddy ..
If u bought ur phoen inc anada.. may 2005.. Ur phone will still be in warranty .. we say 1 yrs.. but we give15 months.. so if u rush ur phone.. i guess it still might qualify to be in warranty .. depending what date of may u bought it .. anyways..
I dont think u can save ur pictures.. They going to reload the software and everythings going to go away ..
so .. its up to u .. what you want to do ..
My phone’s screen is totally ruined. I have done nothing to it and it is not completely black and white and dull. It has left my completely unable to send or read texts, see my background, take or look at pictures, and basically use any feature that requires me looking at my phone. Probably no help available, but if there is please tell.
The phone unlock code doesn’t seem to work on my phone.
I’m in Hungary but i bought the phone in Toronto – it’s linked to the Rogers network. I typed in the code and it says “Emergency Calls Only”