Samsung U900 Soul review: That's the spirit
Customization allows quite a number of options
Samsung U900 Soul surely doesn't like to get users bored. It offers a great number of customization options. The preinstalled themes are all very nice and we happened to particularly enjoy the one named Monolithic Purity. It perfectly blends with the brushed metal design and benefits the phone looks greatly. You can also create your own theme, tuning every single element to your taste.
Even the touchpad theme can be modified changing the color of every one of its elements. Desktop clock also has three different styles. All in all, Samsung U900 Soul has what it takes to keep the relationship alive for a long time. The thing we are missing here is the three different font sizes for the user interface. These were largely appreciated in the Samsung U600 and it is a pity they are not available here.
Phonebook is good
The phonebook of U900 Soul is typical Samsung again. Up to 1000 contacts can be stored with multiple fields. It displays the names from the SIM card, the phone memory or both at once. Searching is done by gradual typing of the desired contact's name. You can also use the Search as Spelling feature we mentioned earlier. Unluckily, Samsung U900 soul - much like Samsung U600 - searches only in the contact's first name.
Quite a number of different information fields are available for each contact. You can store up to 5 numbers, 4 email addresses, URLs and so on. Each contact can also be assigned a specific ringtone and picture, as well as a note. You can even set a video as "caller's image" - a feature that is now becoming pretty common.
Contacts can be organized into groups, which can then have their own ringtones and pictures. There is also a birthday field, which can than be exported to the calendar as an event with only a few clicks. This is quite a convenient solution. Contact details or your whole contacts list can be sent via Bluetooth. You can also save namecards to your memory card if you want to transfer them that way.
The call logging department has also been slightly improved in comparison to the previous Samsung U-models. Both the Call key in stand-by and the call log icon from the menu give you access to the same application. It has four tabs - recent contacts, dialed numbers, received and missed calls. Before those tabs were somewhat inconveniently separate but with Samsung U900 Soul this is no longer a problem. Finally, there are also data and call time counters and even a call cost feature if you provide information about your subscription plan.
Messaging is great with the Soul
Samsung U900 Soul handles all common types of messages: SMS, EMS, MMS, and emails. The first three share the same editor. You can covert your SMS to EMS by simply applying formatting or to MMS by inserting an image or other multimedia content. A rich T9 dictionary is at the user's disposal too. In case message sending fails, the message is automatically saved to the outbox, so you can try sending it later.
There is room for 500 SMS, 30 push messages, 200 broadcast messages and 30 configuration messages in the phone's memory. As far as emails and MMS are concerned, they are not limited in number and storage depends on the free memory only. There are about 110 MB available for these, which should be enough on most occasions. Incoming messages, like calls, can also be blocked based on a user-defined black list.
The email client is also very good. It can manage up to five accounts - POP or IMAP; download is user-defined, opting between headers only and entire messages. Not only any files from the phone memory, but also business cards, calendar events, tasks or notes can be emailed as attachments. The client can be set up to check mail at a chosen interval (options vary from 30 minutes to 1 day).
|"...Samsung U900 Soul surely doesn't like to get users bored. It offers a great number of customization options. The preinstalled themes are all very nice and we happened to particularly enjoy the one named Monolithic Purity..."|
The Samsung U900 Soul's file browser is not the same as the one we are used to seeing in previous Samsung handsets. It lists all the folders from both the phone memory and the memory card together. There are folders for different types of files - images, video, music, sounds, which allow the handset to sort the memory contents. However, if you misplace some file the handset will still handle it.
Functionality of the file browser is one of the best among non-smartphones. You can copy or move files - both one by one or in bulk, and you can create and delete new folders (save for the root ones).
Files can also be sent via Bluetooth one by one or multiple at once. Throughout the whole file manager, you can pick files you would like to lock to prevent accidental deletion. The downside we used to find in some of the older Samsung handsets - the really slow memory card reading - is not the case with Samsung U900 Soul. It is fast enough to read the memory card and this won't bother the user at all. Listing thumbnails of the pictures stored in the respective folder on the memory card now happens very quickly.
The Samsung U900 Soul's picture gallery is an inherent part of the file manager and not a separate application. Accessing it is as simple as opening a folder that contains images. You can now copy or move images to any folder of your liking, unlike the previous Samsung handset where only the Images folder was available for that purpose.
The pictures are seen as a list with small thumbnail next to each filename. Sorting can be done by date, type, name, and size. Once you open a picture to view, you can scroll sideways to see the next images without having to return to the image list. You can view a picture in portrait mode only, unless you apply the fullscreen view mode which switches the gallery to landscape. You can also zoom in on a picture to see greater detail though we must warn you that zooming in and out is quite slow and irritating.