Even if 9.9 mm is no stunning thin any more, Samsung U800 Soul b is quite a looker. Clean lines and brushed metal exterior, the Soul b is subtly captivating. It has some of that classic solidity to make you feel there's more to it than sleek exterior.
There should be 5 different color version of the Soul b - namely Soul Grey, Platinum Silver, Metallic Black, Soul Pink and Amethyst Violet.
The 3G enabled Soul b flaunts a video-call camera in the top right corner of the front. The earpiece is alongside, dead center. The 2" screen gets the 16M-color treatment to follow the trend of the original Soul. More on it is coming up later in our review.
Next in line is the ample and comfortable D-pad, which is in charge of navigation. On its sides are the two soft keys, along with the Call and End knobs. The End key is also used for turning the handset on and off, as there is no dedicated key for that purpose.
The keypad of Samsung U800 Soul b keeps the same design and styling as the U900 Soul to prove that you don't change things that work. Of course, some changes were inevitable. The Soul b keypad doesn't have the dedicated video-call key and the Application Switch key. A C key is nowhere in sight either. The alphanumeric keypad uses really large keys with stylish ridges between rows to ensure great touch orientation. The backlighting is even and strong to to makes things even sweeter.
On the left side of Samsung U800 we find the volume rocker and the microSD card slot.
The dedicated camera key and the USB port are on the opposite side of the handset.
The top and bottom of the handset are completely bereft of controls. The lanyard eyelet is the only thing to spot at the bottom part of the phone.
The 3 megapixel camera lens is at the top of the rear along with the LED flash, placed within a slightly elevated metallic frame. Next to the camera module is the loudspeaker grill. All the way down the bottom is the battery cover latch.
It's got to be noted that we had some issues with the battery cover latch. In our beta unit it's got a clear construction fault. The release button sticks out so when you place the handset on its back on a hard surface it releases the battery cover by itself. It's highly likely that this will be fixed in the retail version.
Opening the battery cover reveals a Li-Ion battery of unknown capacity. It's quite likely for the Soul b to use the same 880 mAh unit found in the first Soul. We did have our doubts about its adequacy back then but we were pleasantly surprised with the Soul b going for about 4 days of medium usage on a single charge.
To wrap up inspecting the phone's hardware, we have to say that we are generally very pleased with build quality and delighted with looks. The brushed metallic exterior is quite a show-off. Plus, the handset manages an exceptionally pleasant feel in hand.
Samsung U800 Soul is equipped with a 2" 16M color TFT LCD display of QVGA resolution. We've been there already with the U900 Soul. The display has great image quality and brightness, but obviously struggles under direct sunlight. As a matter of fact, this is the case with almost all recent Samsung handsets.