The Samsung T809 reborn as a D820

My previous quest to find the perfect cell phone ended when I settled on a T-Mobile branded Samsung T809. The phone is quite pleasant to use and my only major gripe with it was the lack of Outlook synchronization capabilities. As I was on summer vacation from school at the time, this gripe wasn’t too big of a deal as I could manage with a whiteboard. Over the two months I came across a few other annoyances, mainly the inability to have MP3 ring tones and simultaneously have a music ring tone and vibration call alert at the same time. The MP3 ring tone annoyance was easily worked around by renaming MP3 files to a .3gp extension. This didn’t fix the annoyance of not being able to have the phone ring and vibrate at the same time.

In my previous blog I mentioned my intentions to flash the T-Mobile branded T809 firmware to a regular Samsung D820 firmware. A couple weeks ago I finally got around to ordering the $20 flash cable. With the help of Howard Forums, I was on my way to flash my phone with new firmware. After two grueling hours of nervousness and waiting for the 75MB firmware to be transferred via Serial cable at 115kbps, the flash was successful. I have turned my T-Mobile branded Samsung T809 to a Samsung D820 and I’ve never been happier. While I was quite content with my T-Mobile branded Samsung T809 for basic call features, the Samsung D820 firmware has turned the phone into a totally different animal.

Aside from gaining Outlook synchronization, MP3 ring tone compatibility without renaming the extension and simultaneous music ring tone and vibrate incoming call notification capabilities, a few additional features were added. T-Mobile disabled a ton of features I never knew existed when it branded the Samsung D820 as its own T809. Features such as Bluetooth A/V profile for music streaming to stereo headsets or Bluetooth compatible music devices, Bluetooth printing, customizable directional keys and PictBridge printing capabilities are also nice to have.

While I have no use for Bluetooth printing or PictBridge printing capabilities, the Bluetooth A/V profile is very nice to have, especially since I’ve begun using the phone as an MP3 player with a 1GB microSD flash card. The customizable directional keys are also very nice since I no longer have to use T-Mobile’s predefined functions. There are also two nice additional features which may become useful in the future—document viewer and TV-out. The document viewer is a nifty little application developed by Picsel and provides file compatibility with Word, Excel, Power Point, PDF, plain text, and images. With the TV-out and document viewer features I can use my new found Samsung D820 as more than just a phone. Instead I can give Power Point or PDF presentations in a device that fits in my pocket—no need to carry anything else.

There are a couple downsides with flashing the T809 with the D820 firmware. The IMEI number isn’t seen by the firmware, though this isn’t too big of a deal in the US. Nevertheless, reflashing the phone with stock T-Mobile firmware recovers the IMEI number. Users that use the integrated instant messaging applications such as AIM, ICQ and Yahoo will be disappointed as they’re no longer available. I however never used them and could careless. Aside from those minor items I haven’t experienced anything else that’s notable.

With the Samsung D820 firmware my former T-Mobile branded Samsung T809 is a whole different phone. While the previous T809 firmware was excellent for placing and receiving phone calls, the new found D820 offers features that walk the thin line of a Smart-phone while retaining the simplistic menu system and dialing features of a regular cell phone. My quest for the perfect phone has ended with my flashed Samsung T809. I liked my T-Mobile branded Samsung T809; I love it with the Samsung D820 firmware. Now to track down a TV-out cable…

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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