Samsung D500 review: Groundbreaking

Marek Lutonský, 21 January 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 123456»

Tags: Samsung

Just name the key features: Bluetooth, MP3 player, very good megapixel camera, huge memory, and excellent display… That's Samsung D500 - the first Samsung phone, which will satisfy also the technically demanding users. This phone is Samsung's correction of all reproaches that we've ever had to its mobile phones.

Key features

  • conservative and elegant design
  • excellent 262K colors display
  • Bluetooth support
  • MP3 player
  • memory capacity
  • synchronization with MS Outlook
  • reasonable price

Key drawbacks

  • MP3 player don't play on the background
  • stability (phone being restarted by itself several times)
  • e-mail attachments must contain together less than 200 kB of data
  • it plays a sound when entering the Java menu
  • memory card would be nice


Samsung is stylish and it prefers impression to functionality. The definition that can be otherwise related to every contemporary Samsung phone is not valid anymore. The SGH-D500 model is a completely new type of Samsung phone. Of course, that you will not be short of tackily colored interface, voiceful ringing melodies and other well-known features but Samsung also comes up with other features that will attract those users, who would not otherwise even touch a Samsung phone. For all of them let me name e.g. Bluetooth or MP3 support.

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500
Black color fits to the phone

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500

I am very glad that I did the Samsung E630 review in the end of last year. That time I was saying that Samsung phones almost haven't changed during a year. If I would get a new D500 after a year, I would be thrilled how the Samsung has improved within a year. Nothing like this - it has not improved. It is an overnight jump to a higher class and the older models did not even signalize that this could happen.

Get ready for a very positive review. Samsung took it seriously and rectified perhaps all that we've reproached to its phones in last years.

Black elegance

D500 is a sliding phone; using the same construction as the older models E800/E820 or E630. It resembles the E630 also by its look. The sliding is fortunately - in contrary to the "cheap" E630 with the plastic-to-plastic friction - supported by a special mechanism. So just touch a protrusion below the display, push a little and the upper part slides easily. The phone gets closed in the same way. If I would be a D500 owner, perhaps I would always play with the sliding - therefore I am curious what the mechanism can stand. However, I cannot evaluate duration yet in this review.

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500
Sliding mechanism is constructionally a bit different than e.g. at the Samsung E800

Samsung D500 is a mid big and a mid heavy phone, even it does not look like on the pictures. Its size is 94 x 46 x 24 mm and it weighs 99 grams. The E630, which looks likewise, is noticeably smaller and lighter. New model has very elegant black design and I've got a good first impression from the construction, too. Despite the sliding system, the phone is very solid - in short typical Samsung. Black color is not always the same - glossy and matte spaces are shifting on the phone. Covers are made of plastic and they are not exchangeable.

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Comparing to a credit card

Display: we can do 262K colors

It seemed after introducing D410 model, Samsung has given up displays featuring 262K colors and D500 is the next one that disproves our assumption. Size of the display is 30 x 39 mm and hence it is larger that at the other Samsungs (except the D410). With resolution of 176 x 220 pixels, we can anticipate that the display belongs to the best ones and it is active, of course. You will presumably be disappointed from the introductory animations and greetings. It is likely that Samsung has used older pictures with less color. But you will be amazed from the quality of the display from the moment when the standby display appears. The image is excellent..

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500
Display is larger that at the most of Samsung phones

Bigger resolution allows different arrangement of items on the display. Wallpaper is in the center, as usually, and it can be animated - I recommend the rolling sweeties. Status bar is placed atop and there is still some space left where you can find a clock displayed in a large font. You can turn off an operator logo or, if you want, set the text color according to wallpaper that you currently use.


Main display demonstration (note the new bar with a clock) •
setting the font on the main display and also an example of new horizontal list

The look of the main display indicates a change inside it. It is true, but I will write about the internal menu later on. Missed calls and messages, which appear on the display, are stored in folders, from where you can pick them one by one.

Missed events appear in the folders

What a pity that there is no place left for a lighting diode, which could warn you of missed events even when the display is off. Actually the display is not turned off; just the illumination is turned off and then you can see a display saver with clock, date and icons of call or message. This information is readable from some angles but also you can miss them easily. Lighting diode just would have been nice.

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