The external display of the Samsung Z560 has a lower resolution as compared to the previous Z540 model (96 x 96 pixels against 128 x 128 pixels). Both models have dedicated music keys but in the Z560 they are touch sensitive. The external display is nice although it's on a medium level when it comes to legibility under direct sunlight. The touch sensitive keys proved a nice concept - they add that technology touch that may appeal to the wider audience. They have their own backlighting but instead on helping you use the player in the dark, the keys backlighting only flashes for a second when you touch them.
When compared to Motorola RAZR maxx V6, the external display of the Samsung Z560 scores less. The Motorola one has a resolution of 120 x 160 pixels plus it offers a basic menu to control the music player without even opening the flip. As it turned out though the Motorola maxx V6 has some problems with the touch sensitive keys too, so neither of the two has devised a flawless solution.
The Samsung Z560 main display though is really impressive. It's really large and the colors are very vivid. Even under direct sunlight, the display stays clear and legible.
The Z560 keypad has an excellent white backlighting. The individual keys have a great tactile feedback and since the body of the handset is spacey enough, typing a message was a real joy. Typing mistakes are a rare thing when it comes to Samsung Z560 keypad.
Our first job when we test any clamshell is usually to check whether you can mute or reject a call without opening the device. This function is essential if you have set the active flip to answer your incoming calls. Now the case with the Samsung Z560 is that there is an option to mute or reject a call with the flip closed. You can use the side volume keys for that purpose. A possible bug in our test handset though allowed us only to mute an incoming call though. Rejecting it was impossible.
Other than that our hands-on experience proved that the Samsung Z560 deals well with making and receiving calls - nothing less than expected. The only downside to it is that if you make a longer call - let's say over 5 minutes - the whole body tends to heat up unpleasantly - a problem we've seen on other ultra slim devices both by Samsung and by other manufacturers.
Samsung Z560 has a standard Samsung user interface as seen on many other Samsung mobiles. The standby screen shows info on the clock and date, battery status, network signal and selected profile. The external display shows pretty much the same information.
The main menu consists of a 3 x 4 grid. The sub-menus are shown in listed view only. There is even an Offline mode which allows you to use the Samsung Z560 as a music player or an organizer in places where the use of mobile phones is prohibited.
Regrettably, there are no graphic themes available. However, you may change the font size and the style of the digits when you enter a number. There are several options, some of which are quite interesting.
A nice thing is the new shortcut menu which aims to allow a bit of multitasking when using the Samsung Z560. With it you can make a call, check your messages, open the web browser or close all open applications wherever you are in the menu system. This new menu allows the music player to be minimized.
The phonebook in Z560 seems very simple and easy to use. The maximum capacity is 1000 contact names (much like the competing Motorola maxx V6) and it orders them either by first or by last name. However, when you search through them, it searches only by first or last name, in accordance to the order setting. You won't be able to search by a first name if you have set the phone to order the contacts by last name, for example.
The phonebook displays up to 3 contact names en bloc. Only the default number of the contact is shown and in order to see the other numbers (if any) you should get into the contact's information.
When adding a new contact the phone offers many fields and you can add up to five different phone numbers. However, if you add a birthday date of a contact, it is not transferred to the calendar.