Samsung i620 has been around for a while in two color versions: Silver and Black. We had the Silver variety, though the label is truly misleading as it's only the QWERTY keyboard that can pass as silver. The otherwise white casing has a shiny chrome-like framing on the front adding some to the sharp looks of the phone. The sliding mechanism is at the usual high level we've come to expect in Samsung sliders. We were delighted to find out that fingerprints are no issue at all with this nice and friendly slider.
Other than that, there's somewhat of a mixed identity issue with the i620, as seen on the UK Samsung site. We had the same thing reviewing the Samsung i780. Anyway, our unit has no LED flash. The other differences are in the keyboard layout and the loudspeakers, which position can vary from the back to the sides of the handset.
With the slider closed, Samsung is quite a compact device, measuring 94.9 x 59.3 x 16.3 mm at a weight of 126 grams - a good overall achievement for a QWERTY slider. Sadly, at 2.2" the display is a tad smaller than the Samsung i600 screen, keeping the same 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
Under the display we face six touch-sensitive keys and a large 4-way navigation key/scroll wheel. Control and navigation are seamless with Samsung i620. The scroll wheel is commendably responsive, and so are the touch-sensitive Soft Keys, Home and Back key and the call keys. Other than that, the D-pad offers traditional 4 way navigation. All in all, the friendly handling and ergonomics are the Samsung i620 strong points.
Sliding the phone up reveals the good old QWERTY keyboard. It is virtually the same as the one in Samsung i600. The handset's compact dimensions have inevitably taken their toll on the size of the keys - they are not as big as we would've liked, especially compared to alternatives available on the market. However, with a little practice tackling the rounded knobs becomes less of a challenge.
The keypad consists of 37 keys arranged in 3 main rows and a fourth one for special function keys. The keys are white with black symbols, except for the numpad keys with their dark-grey tops. Each button serves two symbols, which you switch between using the Fn or number input key. There are no dedicated keys for either phonebook or internet browser, except one for messages in the bottom right corner of the keyboard.
The function of the message key varies between a short and a long press defaulting to the messaging menu and the MMS composer respectively. The short press function can be also reassigned to one of the following: SMS/MMS inbox, Outlook email inbox or Gmail inbox. The long press can be reassigned as well. MMS composer, SMS composer, Outlook Email or Gmail composers are the options to choose from.
The left side of the phone sports the volume rocker key and the memory card slot with its plastic cap. On the right side we face the Quick List key, which upon a press-and-hold doubles as Camera key. The proprietary Samsung universal connectivity port used for connecting the headset, charger, and data cable is also here hidden under a plastic top. The port itself is the older type used in the first Ultra series such as Samsung D900.
There's little to note at the top and bottom of the handset, except the power key topside and the mouthpiece all the way down.
|"...Under the display we face six touch-sensitive keys and a large 4-way navigation key/scroll wheel. Control and navigation are seamless with Samsung i620. The scroll wheel is commendably responsive, and so are the touch-sensitive Soft Keys..."|
On the rear there's a pair of speakers at the top. Sliding the phone up reveals the 2 megapixel camera lens and the self-portrait mirror. There's neither autofocus, nor LED flash although the UK Samsung website state there is a camera flash.
Removing the rear panel reveals the standard 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery. Speaking of standard, it one of the physically largest Samsung batteries we've seen. It's quoted at up to 320 h of standby time and up to 6 h 30 min of talk time. The SIM bed is under the battery.
The display backlighting is adequate. In direct sunlight, the small fonts require some effort. On a different note, the soft keypad backlighting is strong and even.