Samsung i450 may not be the most compact handset around but it certainly won't tear a whole in your pocket either. It stands at 102 x 50 x 17.9 mm, which is identical to Nokia N81 with only a millimeter of difference here and there - nothing to fuss over.
The difference in weight however can't be overlooked - Samsung i450 weighs a good 26g less than N81, or actually 114g. This is a great achievement as regards the Symbian portfolio but if you compare it with U600 for example, the phone might as well seem like a brick.
In all fairness, the dimensions of Samsung i450 seemed more than acceptable to us but if size is a make-or-break thing for you when buying a phone, you should probably look elsewhere.
The build quality of the Samsung i450 is good and high quality materials have been used for its finishing. The plastic is not too shiny, which makes it less prone to fingerprints. At least the fingerprints are hardly visible, except for the display area.
We didn't fall in love with the slider mechanism. Not that it rendered any obstacles to usability but its spring was far too strained - resulting in an unusual rigidity when closing it. However that may as well be a subject to some fine tuning.
Now, we start making the i450 acquaintance with the videocall camera and the earpiece. Both are located near the top end of the front panel. Below them is the 2.4" display, which will receive due attention a little later in the review.
Next in line are the D-pad and the six keys at the bottom of the slider. The round shape of the D-pad might seem a bit unnatural to some users at first,but it's no biggie.
The six keys around the D-pad are all large enough and easy to use and include two softkeys, menu key, a C clear key and the call and end keys.
Sliding the front panel down reveals the dedicated music controls - the Touch wheel key. It is a truly interesting and unprecedented feature. It allows easy browsing of the music player options for a more enjoyable sonic experience.
While it looks like a fully mechanical key, in fact the Touch wheel key is a touch sensitive piece of machinery. Its response to touch works well, however the response to presses is not that fluent. It lacks positive feedback and it requires more pressure than one would expect from a touch-sensitive key.
The 3.5mm stereo audio jack is placed on the top of Samsung i450, which, as we see it, is the most suitable spot for the purpose. Furthermore, it is hidden under a black plastic lid so that it runs with the general design lines. You cannot use that port for plugging a hands-free set, you should use the universal connectivity port for that purpose and the supplied retail hands-free set.
Next to the audio jack are the loudspeaker and the power key. The power key is also used for changing the phone's profiles, locking it and removing the memory card.
On the left side of Samsung i450 we find the microSD card slot, hidden under a stylish cap and the volume rocker. The other thing to mention here is the neck/wrist strap eyelet.
The bottom of the phone features absolutely no elements and controls, so we move on to its right side. The universal connectivity port is there, accompanied by the dedicated camera key. The connectivity port is again covered by a discreet plastic cap - a usual solution for Samsung handsets.
|"...Samsung i450 may not be the most compact handset around but it certainly won't tear a whole in your pocket either. It stands at 102 x 50 x 17.9 mm, which is identical to Nokia N81 with only a millimeter of difference here and there - nothing to fuss over..."|
The back of the phone is quite plain with the the 2 megapixel camera and the LED flash the main highlights. The camera also has its reserved spot in our review so we are not going to go into detail now.
Removing the back cover reveals the Li-ion battery. It is said to provide 500 hours of stand-by time and 5 hours of talk time, which sounds more than reasonable.
Our overall impression of the usability of Samsung i450 is good. The phone is controlled easily and feels good in hand. Its operation with one hand is absolutely no problem in almost any situation.