Samsung D900 review: Slim slider extreme

Jan Horalík, 26 September 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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The slimmest slider in the world is already on the market. Samsung D900 (12.9 mm thick when closed) offers almost maximum equipment. It has also been given a special final touch: a 3 megapixel camera and a superb display. Now try to imagine it all in a stylish sliding body. The price, however, is rather high.

Key Features:

  • Supreme sliding construction
  • Stylish design of mere 12.9 mm thickness
  • Brilliant display with QVGA resolution
  • Comfortable keypad
  • 3 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • Multi-field phonebook with thousand entries
  • Internal memory of nearly 60 MB, extendable through microSD cards
  • Applications for viewing Office documents
  • TV out
  • GPRS and EDGE Class 10
  • MP3 player
  • Bluetooth

Main Disadvantages:

  • Body is made of cheap-looking plastic material
  • Significant resistance of the sliding mechanism
  • No 3G
  • The phone needs to be activated to visualize missed events
  • No ringing profiles
  • Limited melody choice for SMS alerts
  • Navigation key's center opens the WAP browser when the phone is on stand-by
  • Calls cannot be filtered
  • Java applications cannot be transferred via Bluetooth
  • Images cannot be saved straight to the memory card
  • No FM radio
  • No Infrared port
  • Fingerprints are visible on the display

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Samsung D900

Mobile phones seem to have gone on a diet for good. The slim design first invented by Motorola and applied in its Motorola RAZR V3 model has become very popular among other manufacturers, of which some are slower, while others are even faster than the pioneer. There is no doubt that Samsung is the one who embraced the slim idea to the max. In a short period it has launched a slim model (being also the slimmest ever) in each mobile category existing on the market. After the ultra-slim classic model Samsung X820 and the clamshell Samsung D830 now Samsung is presenting the slimmest slider phone ever: Samsung D900.

Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900
Samsung D900 closed • rear side

Samsung D900 was first presented to the public at the CeBIT fair in March this year as Samsung D870. Later however, the manufacturer decided to change its denomination to D900, which the Koreans thought suited Samsung's ultra-slim line better.

Dark flat fashion-freak

This new Samsung model links to the famous and pretty successful Samsung D500 and D600, and more precisely to their design and functional equipment. Yet, Samsung D900 abounds in changes and improvements. Closed the phone looks like a dark flat square. Its dimensions are 104 x 51 x 13 mm and it weighs 85 g and is thus able to hide into the front pocket of your shirt. Samsung D900 is a little bit wide, which is however compensated by its extreme slimness.

All covers are made of plastic, except for the battery one. Along with matt plastics the manufacturer has also applied black glossy plastics - on top and bottom of the front cover, which make the phone look more vivid. Yet, we find these materials much too cheap-looking for the category the phone belongs to. A bit more of metal details would have suited it better.

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The phone is only 13 mm thick • comparison to a credit card • feels good

Samsung D900 brings no crucial surprises in terms of design. It is basically a "flatter D600". Decorative silver elements have been applied moderately: a band above the speaker, a frame, the central area of the navigation key, and the lateral buttons. On the left side of the phone you will find a dual volume-control key; on the right side is the key that activates the camera (it would have been more comfortable to use if it had been located somewhat higher).

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Ultra-slim handsets in competition: Samsung D900 and Motorola Razr V3i

Beside the respective keys, both sides of the handset feature a cap: the left one protects the slot for the microSD memory card, while the right one protects the system connector for hands-free, the data cable, and the charger. Both caps rotate both ways, but I cannot help myself fearing that I might break them too easily. The top and the bottom areas of Samsung D900 are bare.

Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900
Side parts feature 2 buttons, a data connector, and a memory card slot

So let us take a closer look at the rear side of the phone. Its top half constitutes of the above mentioned steel battery cover with a plastic manufacturer's logo. The rest is plastic. In an uneven oval you will find incrusted Samsung's website; two uncovered screws in both bottom corners are worth mentioning too. The battery cover is not easy to remove even if equipped with a tiny projection for thumb support. When mounting it back it is necessary to open the phone; otherwise the cover would not clap back fully. Beneath the cover you will find a Li-Ion 800 mAh battery, which is supposed to supply 198 minutes of call time or 260 hours of stand-by time. When the battery has left few minutes of life before it dies out completely, the display goes out, the keypad backlighting too, and neither the camera, nor the MP3 player or any Java application would run. This is how the phone saves its last bits of energy; yet in specific situations such functional limits may not be welco! me. The SIM card is inserted into the phone's body. Its removal with sweaty fingers may be problematic.

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Data connector and button for activation of the camera • volume control key and the slot for the memory card protected with a cap

Which button opens this slim beauty?

Let's finally open the phone... To be frank, my first try took me a few seconds: accustomed to classic sliders I was pushing onto the bottom edge of the front cover without any success. The mechanism applied in Samsung D900 is different though: you need to place your thumb between the functional area of the keypad and the display where a special projection is located and then push up. The difficulty is that the projection is rather small and doesn't help much to overcome the initial resistance of the sliding part. We happened to repeatedly press the upper way of the navigation key or smudge the display instead of opening the phone.

In other words, instead of using your finger tip you would better slide the top phone part out using your nail, sticking it between the above mentioned projection and the navigation key. Once the initial resistance has been overcome a special spring helps full-open the device. The same holds true when the phone is being closed. The phone can also be set up in a way that as soon as it is closed all running operations are stopped and the keypad is automatically locked.

Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900 Samsung D900
Camera details • inserting the memory card • the bottom part of the front side does not slide out

Critics regarding construction have rarely been on a daily base when Samsung models are tested. The new model is no exception to the rule. Its sliding mechanism is very well elaborated; no visible spaces or gaps. The rest of its parts firmly stick together too. A creak would not come out even after a stronger press.

One of Samsung D900's main advantages pops out when the phone is open. I am talking about its 3 megapixel camera with auto focus located in the top area of the back. The camera lens along with a tiny mirror for self-portraits and a LED is built into a bulge silver oblong plate. The rest of the upper part of the phone is just as thin as to fit in the display and its protecting glass.

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