Samsung G600 review: Slide and snap
Samsung G600 360-degree spin
Another go at sliders
Now, Samsung are obviously really fond of the slider form factor. Given the number of sliders and clamshells in their portfolio, it's a safe bet that the bar form factor is somewhat out of favor for the most part. The Samsung G600 is a relatively compact handset, though not exactly the Ultra stuff. It's in fact the most compact 5 megapixel handset to date.
A lot of metal is used for the body finish making for a really fine and sophisticated handset. Above the display there is a large loudspeaker grill. In fact, as with most Samsung sliders, the earpiece and the loudspeaker are nested together. There is also a special ambient light sensor that controls the display brightness - bright for sunlight, dim for darkness. It's a nice perk and this is the first time Samsung are using it. The navigation keypad is below the relatively large 2.2" TFT display, which surprisingly can visualize up to 16M colors. That's another first for Samsung. We suppose that putting a 16M color display into a feature phone was only possible by throwing in a more powerful processor. That would also explain the unusually snappy user interface. The D-pad under the display is rather conservative (we've all seen what Samsung can do with scroll wheels and touch sensitive keys), though surprisingly comfortable and user-friendly.
The alphanumeric keypad is pretty much the same - great for typing without looking at the keys at all. Although the keys are almost completely flat, tactile feedback is great. As usual Samsung does well with sliding springs (there we go again with sliders and clamshells).
The right-hand side of the Samsung G600 only features the camera shutter key and the memory card slot. The shutter key for the camera is a two-step one, much like on a digital camera. A halfway press focuses and locks the exposure, while the full press actually takes the picture.
"...A lot of metal is used for the G600 body finish making for a really fine and sophisticated handset. We suppose that putting a 16M color display into a feature phone was only possible by throwing in a more powerful processor. That would also explain the unusually snappy user interface..."
We would have appreciated a dedicated Camera mode key on the right side of the G600, much like the one we saw in Samsung E590. The microSD memory card slot is hot-swappable, which is usual for Samsung handsets.
The left-hand side of the Samsung G600 features the connectivity port used for connecting the charger, data cable, or the wired headset. Samsung have chosen to implement a brand new connector in both G600 and G800. Peripherals from past models won't do here - the same holds true vice versa. The good news though is that the G600 pre-bundled headset has a 3.5 mm standard audio adapter, so you can change it for your favorite headphones. The volume keys are on the left side of the G600, too.
The top and the bottom sides of the G600 are completely bereft of controls, quite typical of mobile phones in the slider form factor.
The back panel of the Samsung G600 is interestingly curved to mirror the curve on the front, right beneath the display, where the D-pad begins. The back curve is in the upper part and we find it a nice design touch. Or, it could've been made to accommodate the hulking camera module when the slider is closed. Sliding the front of the slider up, reveals the 5 megapixel camera and the LED flash. The camera is meant to be used with the slider in landscape position, which means that you will end up with a finger on the lens once too often.
Removing the curved back panel reveals the Samsung 880 mAh Li-Ion battery. It's quoted at up to 300 h standby time and up to 3 h 30 min talk time. In reality the battery preformed fairly - we had to recharge the G600 every three days or so when without making a full time job of fiddling with the handset.
We really liked the way the Samsung G600 feels in hand. The smooth metal finish and the comfortable size and weight make for a really pleasurable experience. If you find it hard to understand our appreciation for the classic Samsung lines, a few days of using the G600 will inevitably change your opinion.