Samsung U600 is surely an eye-turner. In fact, its ultra slim and flashy design may lead people to believe that functionality is not his element. And, believe us, that would be an absolutely wrong assumption. Anyway, we'll get back to that later in our review. For now let's focus on the design. Samsung U600 will be available in several colors. We got hold of the Black Softfeel one and it certainly won our appreciation. The device itself measures 103.5 x 49.3 x 10.9 mm and weighs only 81 grams, so it fits perfectly in any shirt or trouser pocket. In fact, at most times you would hardly feel it's there. If your previous handset wasn't Samsung U100, that is.
The earpiece opening can be seen just a few millimeters above the 2.22" display. By the way, the display itself is worthy of a few words, but we'll get to it a little later. Continuing our way through the front of Samsung U600, we come upon the touch-sensitive soft keys, that are located slightly above the D-pad. Below the soft keys are the Dial key and Delete/Menu-exit key, which are also touch sensitive. The final control here is the web access/confirm key in the middle of the navigation pad. We really aren't huge fans of the idea of placing the web access key there, as this results in unwanted starting of the web browser now and then, but that's just our opinion.
The left side of Samsung U600 features the volume rocker and the USB slot. The rocker had its place switched from the top end, where it was found on D900 to the bottom, right above the USB slot. A questionable decision indeed, as it is now susceptible to accidental pressing when talking on the phone. After all, this is exactly where you would normally hold a slider phone during calls.
The bottom part holds no controls and is livened up only by a little ribbed design. Switching to the right side, we come across the microSD card slot and the dedicated camera key. They are located symmetrically to the controls located on the left side, i.e. at the lowest part of the side panel possible. This time accidental presses of the dedicated camera key are much less probable, as the key itself is very rigid and requires much more pressure.
The top of the phone contains the Power key, which is the last unmentioned control on the phone. It is situated at the right side and is very slightly raised above the shiny plastic that surrounds it. This way it's easier to press, despite its tiny size. The top of the phone and its "chin" (the bottom of the rear part of the slider that is not covered by the front when it's closed) are made of shiny plastic, whereas the rest of the phone is finished in opaque, but equally slick looking plastic.
|Samsung U600 is surely an eye-turner. In fact, its ultra slim and flashy design may lead people to believe that functionality is not his element. And, believe us, that would be an absolutely wrong assumption.|
The back side is really plain. A slight gap is noticed where the battery cover ends. There are also two inscriptions - "Samsung" and "samsungmobile.com", which are placed at the top and the bottom respectively. When the slider is opened, the 3.2 megapixel camera appears at the top right corner while the led flash and the self-portrait mirror are located in the top left one. In between are the "3.2 megapixels" and "auto focus" labels.
Back to the rear panel, opening the battery cover by simply sliding it to the top reveals the standard Samsung Li-Ion battery with the modest capacity of 690 mAh. The battery is supposed to last for 250 hours of standby time and 3 hours and a half of talk time. In reality the battery will give you about 2 to 3 days of moderate use, which is not too bad but still hardly a feat to brag about.
Sliding the phone open you reveal the keypad. Now, that's where phones this slim pay the price of better looks. There is no room for a terraced keypad and the flat keys render touch orientation impossible, despite their otherwise big enough size. Rows are separated by thin and very slightly lifted metal ridges, which is at least some direction, but the keys on the same row should definitely be looked at when typing, unless you want to make a whole bunch of typos.
The combination of touch-sensitive and regular keys is not very commonplace, so you might be interested how that works out with this phone. It did seem confusing to us at first but when we got used to it, turned out to be as operable as any other solution plus, it feels so much better and looks awesome
We are pleased with the general build quality of Samsung U600. The sliding mechanism works seamlessly and there were no creeks and other strange noises for the time of our review. The phone feels light yet robust when held in hand.