Our thoughts about designer handsets aren't always publishable but at first glances, we kind of like Samsung's latest collaboration with Armani, mostly because it makes a stab at being a proper music-phone.
We're less excited about the design - which, though cool and black with white and silver bits, also features red, blue and green tube lighting that runs around the phone and spells out Emporio Armani. It flashes when you turn the phone on or off, get a phone call, or ‘wake' the phone from its display-off mode, which is exactly as classy as you'd imagine. We've just managed to turn it off by going into Silent mode though.
The phone is chunkier than you'd expect, in an age of uber-trendy, super-slim handsets - probably to make room for the flashing lights. To give you a bit of perspective, it's about 25% longer, wider and thicker than a two-year-old Sony Ericsson W880i Walkman phone we had lying around. Its front rocks a slick, flat keypad that is surprisingly easy to text on, but though the rest of the casing is plastic, it's still unnaturally heavy.
The Night Effect has dedicated music-player buttons and a 3.5mm headphone jack, though with only 120MB internal memory with a supplied 1GB microSD card, it could do much better on storage stakes (1GB would hold roughly 250 songs if you didn't have any contacts, texts or pictures). The music player menu works well though and automatically turns on and off with incoming/outgoing phone calls.
There's also a three-megapixel camera with autofocus and video-calling function. We've managed to take pictures in daylight, in the office and in a bar; the phone did excellently on the first two but failed when it came to low-light, even on night mode.
Our full review will be up in a couple days, so check back then. In the meantime, take a peek at Samsung's last (and less garish) go at an Armani-branded doodad, or their Bang and Olufsen super-audio-phone.