Spending some time alone with a bunch of newly announced handsets is probably not everyone's favorite pastime, but we happen to be the other type - we absolutely love it. You can imagine how we felt when Samsung allowed us to skip bail with three of their precious debutants.
We already told you about the Samsung G810, now it's time for the rest of the gang - the Samsung F480 and Samsung U900 Soul.
Samsung U900 Soul is the most pushed forward device of them all. With brushed metallic looks, 5 megapixel camera and a color OLED touchpad, it certainly scores tech points.
We were pleased with its performance. Seems like the U900 uses a new Samsung feature phone interface, as it's totally skinnable through themes - by the way Samsung have done a great job with the default ones - creating themes of your own is also an option.
The highlight of Samsung U900 Soul is the color touchpad it uses instead of a D-pad. It works great with really fast reaction and good haptic feedback. It even reacts to press-and-hold.
The display of U900 Soul is usual Samsung - great colors and contrast indoors and poor performance under direct sunlight.
There's also a hunch that we want to share with you - we think the U900 uses the same hardware platform as Samsung G600. There's nothing wrong with it - the G600 has turned into a bestseller thanks to its moderate price tag.
The 5 megapixel autofocus camera of the U900 also got us intrigued. So, we wasted no time and fired it up. Check out the results downsampled to 1024x768. We will be posting the full resolution images when the Mobile World Congress wraps up.
|"...The highlight of Samsung U900 Soul is the color touchpad it uses instead of a D-pad. It works great with really fast reaction and good haptic feedback. It even reacts to press-and-hold..."|
All images have been downsampled to 1024 x 768 pixels with no further corrections made.
Update 19 Feb: We have added full resolution samples along with these downsampled images:
Samsung U900 walkthrough video
We also took some Samsung U900 demo videos for you to enjoy:
Samsung F480 was the other mobile that we managed to sneak into daylight. It was worth it, we may add. We really enjoyed that one too. In fact, we'll go as far as saying that we liked it even better than the U900.
The Samsung F480 is Armani revamped - this time without the fashion ring though. Standing at only 11.9 mm, the F480 has a spanking new Samsung full touch UI. We already told you a little bit about it, but seeing it for real does make a difference.
The new Samsung UI has nice colorful icons that we would like to see more of - we are already getting sick of black-and-white touch phones. The addition of widgets is another thing that easily impresses on a feature phone.
While you are on the home screen, pressing on the lower left angle brings out the Widgets bar. Then you simply drag some of them on the display. Once you are done with the widgets, you can dispose of them in much the same way - drag them back to the Widgets bar.
The other novel thing about the new Samsung UI is that most of the actions are presented with animations, so it's eye-candy all over.
Unfortunately, the Samsung UI can barely be seen under direct sunlight: the display is absolutely illegible in such conditions. The inevitable greasy smudges all over the touchscreen display make matters even worse.
We couldn't take sample images with the 5 megapixel camera, since the battery was running out but we did notice that the camera has a brand new interface too. It's probably safe to say that this camera interface is probably the best among all full touchscreen feature phones we've seen.
Well, that's about it on our up-close-and-personal with Samsung's latest offerings. Remember that we will be posting full-res images in the days to come when the fever of the new announcements has hopefully subsided and our servers have started to heal.
Samsung F480 video