Samsung S5550 Shark 2 preview: First look
Unboxing the Shark 2
The Samsung S5550 Shark 2 comes in a standard package. In the box we find the phone itself along with a charger and a headset. The headset connects to the phone through a proprietary Samsung port so if you plan to use a pair of standard earphones you'll have to get yourself an adaptor first. The next thing on the shopping list would be a microSD card since there is none coming with the phone.
Samsung S5550 Shark 2 360-degree spin
The Samsung S5550 Shark 2 measures 101.8 x 48.7 x 14.8 mm and weighs 99 grams, which sounds like most sliders in the Shark 2 price range.
Design and construction
Samsung S5550 Shark 2 comes with a nearly standard (for this class) feature pack so the only thing left to the midranger is to grab attention with design. Well, we have to admit we're not really into that new design theme. The S5550 feels chubby and quite out of place in 2010 even in the lower midrange. We can't quite see the point in this new design concept - the S5500 is far away from the elegance of last year Samsung sliders.
While the Samsung S5550 Shark 2 front doesn't bring any novelties (save for the gemstone-like D-pad), the back is a completely different story. It seems heavily inspired by aircraft fuselage and the visual result is nice alright. The back cover is plastic though despite the initial impression it may leave. It's also a fingerprint magnet.
If you still can't imagine how compact the phone is, take a look at those couple of images of S5550 together with the Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH.
The Shark 2 will first show up in black but reportedly a pink version should come out as well.
Right above the display, in the dead-center there is the triangular earpiece. Next to it, on the right, is the secondary video-call camera. And below the screen we find the diamond inspired D-pad surrounded by four other knobs (two soft buttons and Call/End keys). All of them are comfy and feature a nice tactile feedback.
The numpad is equally comfortable. Buttons are flat but well sized and solid to press, so typing on the Shark 2 is a real pleasure.
The left side of S5550 Shark 2 features only a volume rocker and a lanyard eyelet.
The right side of the handset hosts the camera button as well as the proprietary Samsung connectivity port used for plugging in the charger, USB cable or headset. The port is treated with a small plastic lid to protect it from dust and dirt. We kinda miss the standard microUSB port here - we though Samsung have long gone for that one on their phones. Obviously, we were wrong.
Backstage we find the 5 megapixel autofocus camera lens, accompanied by a LED flash. The loudspeaker grill is also here.
Removing the battery cover reveals the 960 mAh Li-Ion battery. It is quoted at up to 623 hours of stand-by and up to 11 hours 40 minutes of talk time but as you might have guessed, we won't be able to comment on those numbers in this short preview.
And under the battery, right next to the SIM card slot is the microSD card slot which is ready to accommodate cards of up to 16GB of memory (even if the manufacturer claims that only up to 8GB cards are supported).
The unusual S5550 form improves phone's ergonomics and gives a nice grip. The Shark 2 is very comfy to use - both for making calls or texting. The slider action is solid and smooth - it's quite a pleasure to use.
Brilliant AMOLED display
The Shark 2 comes with a 2.2" 256K-color AMOLED display of QVGA resolution. The image quality indoors is commendable. However, under direct sunlight the situation changes - displayed images and texts are not as legible.
The Samsung S5550 Shark 2 isn't the first among company's affordable feature phones to sport an AMOLED display. Let's remind you that the M7600 Beat DJ, S7220 Ultra b and the S5050 also pack brilliant screens like Shark 2's and all of them are already available across the globe.