Samsung G600: first impressions

Right now the five-megapixel camera phone brotherhood lies with two handsets: the LG KG920 and the Nokia N95. The LG was first to drop in the UK last summer and although it took superb snaps it had the battery life of a May Fly. So the N95 pretty much currently sits top of the pile and again, while its photographic prowess is impressive, battery issues clouds its ability. However, the quest for pixel power is gathering pace and this is exclusive duo will soon be joined by three more members, the Sony Ericsson K850i Cyber-shot, the rumoured LG KU900 'NYX' and pretty much immediately, the Samsung G600.

Slim shooter

While consummate snappers, the N95 and KG920 are both burly characters, so when you see the G600, you'll be amazed at how compact and slinky the handset feels. Especially when you remind yourself it harbours a five-megapixel lens. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised because Samsung is a master at stuffing the slimmest of phones with the mightiest of features - take a look at the D900, the U700 and U100 for proof. While not a member of Samsung's Ultra Series of slimline handsets, the G600 closely takes its trim torso and design from the U700. At 14.9mm thick it's a slinky slider and very stylish too.

Easy does it

Thankfully, one design characteristic of the U700, the G600 doesn't mimic is its touch-sensitive controls. All the keys are fully mechanised and so makes the G600 a pleasure to handle. The circular navigation pad (you can customise this for shortcuts), soft keys and keypad are all generously sized, nicely spaced and very responsive. Equally Samsung's user-interface follows along the same lines as and remains intuitive and user-friendly. One concern is the slider action that although springy and alert does tend to rattle when opened and closed. However, we're pretty much sure it's because our review sample is an early model and not the finished article.

Light display

Samsung has also gone to town with its choice of themes and what its calls 'menu transition effects'. If you don't fancy the choice of styles on offer you can always design your own 'skins' while the menu effects like zoom, slide (a particular favourite), door and fade, although perhaps a tad frivolous, demonstrate Samsung's keen eye for detail.

It goes without saying the 2.2-inch QVGA-quality display is a true Samsung style stunner - sharp, bright and bursting with 16-million colours. You might also have noticed what looks like a front loaded camera in the top left hand corner of the handset. Well, this isn't a lens for video calling (after all the G600 isn't, disappointingly, 3G-enabled, instead supporting EDGE) but is in actual fact a light sensor for the display. In bright sunlight the display will automatically increase its brightness and conversely as light levels decrease the brightness automatically reduces. We have to admit it's hard to tell if this is effective but again it's a nice touch from Samsung and will help stabilise the viewfinder when taking snaps in extreme lighting conditions.

So, the Samsung G600 appears to have the style and sophistication but can it produce the pixel performance to match? 

Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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