As we have already opened the phone, we are now looking at the keypad. It is black, as the entire mobile phone, with white illuminated legends and silver stripes, separating single rows from each other. Keys go properly; by pressing them, we can clearly feel breaking a membrane and hear a soft click. Only the top row could be further from the sliding part, because a finger frequently breaks on it.
Main menu of the D500 is of a matrix form as at other new models, but icons are bigger and more detailed; picked item is animated. Entering the main menu is possible by pressing a cursor key or numeric key shortcuts, which continue to the lowest level of the menu. These "deeper" levels are just of a text form, as it was before. The new feature that we can find here is a horizontal list. We have to use left/right arrow keys to move and select in the list, it's not possible to roll it out. It took me some time to get used to it. Colors of the menu can be selected from four different variants.
Main menu • next level menu • four color variants of the menu
The phone is very fast except the delay of the camera control application. It reacts immediately on every action; messages' writing goes fast. I do not have any remarks. I was fighting only with stability of the phone. Samsung D500 restarted itself always when I tried to turn off Bluetooth while the connection was active and it also "crashed" once during dialing a number.
I usually write about memory of the phone in a chapter about controls and user interface. This time I will thrill you a bit longer …
One more time I have to praise very good sound of an earphone during a call. It is not due to a function for quality improvement, which has not again an audible influence. The sound is overall high quality and that also stands for the built-in handsfree. As at the earphone, the sound is pretty bass and full, clear and authentic.
We can improve the sound quality when we connect an external loud handsfree - Sound Mate. It is a black pyramid, which can be split in two parts and then we can plug it to a connector on the right side of the phone. The sound is not louder but richer and more bass. With the D500, you will get also a personal handsfree combined with stereo headphones.
D500 displays phonebooks from the memory and from a SIM card together and can contain up to a 1000 contacts; you can save twelve items to each contact. And now, behold! A premiere: it is possible to synchronize the phonebook, as well as other Samsung D500 databases, with a PC, with Microsoft Outlook. It is the very first time when Samsung has offered this possibility. I will write some more regarding the synchronization in the conclusion chapter, where I will describe software available for this phone in detail.
Detail of a name in the phone book • editing an entry • calls register
I've already written that you can access the list of names just by pressing a single key. Then you can search by a continuous writing letters of a name. You can assign a picture to every name in the phone memory; you can also differentiate them by a ringing tone and classify them to caller groups. In addition, caller groups can have its picture and ringing melody assigned. Profiles are not available, likewise a calls filtering.
Searching in the phone book • picture at an incoming call • caller groups
Ringing tones consist of 64 voices with a very good quality. It does not matter that the melodies are still the same because Samsung D500, again for the first time, supports MP3 ringing tones. Just load an MP3 file to a memory and set it as a ringing tone. Only for messages, you can use just ten standard sounds that cannot be extended in any way. The phone cannot play a tone and vibrate at the same time; perhaps it can do it just at some special melodies containing a vibrations track.
Standard melody • music in MP3 • only ten most common sounds can be used for messages
There is also a new feature in the messaging: it is possible to turn off T9 dictionary permanently. To be exact, the phone keeps the last setting in memory and repeats it when you next time enter the editor.
Choice of messaging functions is not standard. You can write text messages, create multimedia messages but also there is an e-mail client, which we have seen at Samsung's for the first and the last time at the sliding model D410.
Messages main menu
Text messages editor is clear; one page can contain eight rows of text. You can work with EMS objects and set size of the text. The editor counts down written characters and displays how many parts is the message split on. There can be twelve of them. Internal memory can accommodate up to 200 text messages. Samsung D500 offers also another new feature: SMS barring. You can set up to ten phone numbers you do not want to receive messages from. You can be sure that you will not get any until you turn the barring off.
Writing a text message