Samsung U100 review: Razor sharp

Jaroslav Škrabálek, 30 July 2007. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 1234»

The new ultra-slim Samsung captivates with its graceful silhouette, to unveil a multitude of functions!

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Samsung U100

Key features

  • Mere 5.9 mm thick
  • Solid construction
  • Exquisite horizontal display
  • 1000-contact multiple-entry phonebook
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • Advanced image-editing options
  • GPRS and EDGE Class 10
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP support
  • TV out
  • Document viewer software (PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT ,other)

Main disadvantages

  • A little uncomfortable keypad
  • Average display resolution
  • Poor display legibility in direct sunlight
  • No indication of missed events
  • No ringing profiles
  • No FM radio
  • Only 70 MB of internal memory, non-extendable
  • Display is easy to scratch
  • Confirm Key opens WAP in stand-by

Early this summer Samsung launched their new Ultra Edition II series, which was featured at this year's 3GSM congress. Slim shape is the underlying trait of all models in the bunch, but they represent different form factors. Along with the Samsung U100, the Ultra Edition II includes the U300, U600, and U700. The first review we did was of the leading member of the group - the Samsung U700.

Ultra Edition II by Samsung:

Samsung U100 Samsung U300 Samsung U600 Samsung U700

Samsung U100 (which is short for Samsung SGH-U100) is the successor of Samsung X820. By the way, Samsung U100 is also dubbed Ultra 5.9, to underscore the staggering 5.9 millimeters the device measures in thickness.

True Lightweight

In terms of design, Samsung U100 is a true chip off the old block. When placed next to each other, the two handsets have a lot in common. The keypad is where difference is most obvious: that of the Samsung U100 is fully level with the surrounding surface, in line with the latest trends.

Samsung SGH-U100 gets to be appreciated little by little. You'll be interested before you know it, but hardly at first sight. Having used it awhile though, you'll marvel at its size and weight. The height and the width of the phone are nothing to cheer about, but its slimness is stunning - the blistering 5.9 mm! Samsung U100 is a millimeter thinner than the Samsung X820 and is the thinnest handset currently in the wild. It is 106mm high and 50mm wide. It weighs the astounding 57 grams so be warned: you'll be tapping your pocket ever too often to make sure your phone is still there.

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Remarkably thin • the keypad is no more than a millimeter thick • compared to a common handset (Nokia 3109 classic) • compared to a Compact Flash memory card

Samsung does a little cheating, though. There's a strip at the top of the phone, where the camera is located. The strip stands out a millimeter from the rest of the body.

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Not enough room for the camera in the 5.9-mm body designers got a way around

The side trimming of the phone is solid, sapphire-blue plastic. The rest of the casing is also plastic with fiberglass reinforcement.

The front panel is accentuated by a decorative chromium element next to the earpiece. The in-call earpiece also serves as a speaker to play all sounds of the phone. The display beneath the speaker is horizontally orientated.

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Sound is very good

A tricky keypad

Keypad layout is the standard for all Samsung models. However, the keypad is so flat, almost dead level with the surrounding surface, that it's likely to cause typing errors. The hardest nut to crack though is the really minute Confirm Key inside the D-pad. All due criticism aside, the display performs nicely and we liked the consistently quick response of the phone. The backlighting is superb; it's homogenous and powerful enough; key symbols are clearly visible in the dark. Energy- saving is enabled, as the backlighting is configurable to turn on at particular times of the day.

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The complete flatness of the keypad limits tactility; on the other hand, keys are wide enough and comfortable

A few controls are placed at the sides of the handset. The top and bottom are completely bare of connectors or buttons. On the left side is the dual volume key, which controls both the in-call and the keypad tone volume levels. The same key can also reject or mute incoming calls. On the right is the camera release key, which opens the camera application and serves as a shutter button. Here you'll also find the universal connector combining a USB port, charger socket and an earphone plug. This connector is hidden under a protective cap. A notable downside, the phone is somewhat difficult to use with the earphones plugged in.

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The system connector is hidden under a plastic lid • dual volume-control button • a few extra tenths of the millimeter, without which the rear panel would have never held firmly

The one thing at the back, that sticks out a mile, is the jut at the very top. It's home to the camera lens (3.2 mega pixels) on the left and a self-portraits mirror on the right. The battery compartment cover is at the foot of the backplate. The handset is powered by a 690 mAh Li-Ion battery. It's quoted by Samsung at 4.5 hours of call-time and 300 hours of stand-by. In reality, we were forced to charge the phone every other day, using it as follows: a few SMS a day, several 5-minute calls a day, and a half-hour connection to a PC via Bluetooth each night. The battery is fully charged in approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

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Samsung U100 in hand • rear cover off

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