The fact that Samsung i550 is supposed to be a business device has had a somewhat negative impact on the camera. For one, the lack of a two-step shutter key is quite a disappointment. It makes shooting with the autofocus camera rather unnatural and makes achieving good results harder.
The camera interface isn't the most user-friendly we have seen either. The number of available features number is but moderate. White balance and effects are included and so are flash settings and self-timer. There are also three image quality options - basic, normal and high and that completes the list of options worth mentioning. You should bear in mind that the LED flash is rather inadequate so usable pictures in low light conditions are not very likely to achieve with Samsung i550.
At least the picture quality is on the positive side. Color rendering is precise and the detail levels are very good. The noise levels are acceptable even with not the best lighting. The image processing algorithm is also very good and there isn't much detail loss due to noise reduction. All in all, it is on the better side of 3 megapixel shooters. We would have really liked it if it wasn't for the lack of two-step shutter key and the speed. The camera of Samsung i550 is rather slow, taking about 5 seconds to take a photo after you press the shutter key. Our guess is that a part of the reason is that the auto focus isn't the snappiest around and that really takes its toll.
Here are the sample images so you can see how Samsung i550 performs.
Samsung i550 camera samples
As far as video recoding is concerned, the Samsung i550 is only able to manage QVGA resolution. Videos have a frame rate of 15fps and are saved in 3gp format. This means that most of the videos taken with the i550 will turn out useless but some exceptions might be expected. However we cannot help ourselves but feel that Samsung i550 camera and video are only a little short of being just great. Too bad the Samsung R&D team saved themselves the effort.
Check out the Samsung i550 sample video and judge for yourselves.
Regarding connectivity, Samsung i550 is among the most tempting offers around. Well, we mean the i550w version only. We haven't yet come around to saying this but now might just be the right time: we cannot see any point in purchasing the version without WLAN. After all, Wi-Fi is among the make-or-break smartphone features.
But first thing first - let's start with the wired connectivity capabilities of Samsung i550. The USB connectivity is truly seamless, as with any other Symbian device. You can set a default profile when a cable is connected or you'll be prompted every time.
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In the wireless department you get the aforementioned Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP support. The card slot is also an option with the good data transfer rate card readers can offer.
The network connectivity is also at the expected high level with GPRS, EDGE and 3G all covered. HSDPA is also on board to further enhance network data transfer speeds. The only thing missing is the Infrared port, but we doubt it anyone is using those anymore.
As you probably know, we do fancy Symbian web browsers. The Samsung i550 makes no exception, plus on the generously-sized display pages look really great.
Browsing the internet with Samsung i550 is a pleasure. No matter how elaborate the web page, it fits perfectly on the screen and looks almost exactly like on a PC. The virtual mouse cursor earns the handset another point. It is easy to control and generally works great. A mini-map can be activated to help finding your way around large sites where lots of scrolling is required. The zoom level is also adjustable at the expense of only a few key presses. This is where the 2.6" screen gets much appreciated, as it makes the font readable even when downsized to only a few pixels height.