Samsung S5560 in-depth review -

Look and feel

A comfortable fit in both your hand and pocket, the Samsung S5560 joins the growing list of good looking touch-screen phones.

Ease of use

While Samsung's TouchWiz UI is now a familiar affair, we struggled with the resistive touch-screen.

Features

The five-megapixel camera is the standout feature. EDGE data speeds can be quite sluggish, though there is Wi-Fi for a speedier internet experience.

Battery life

An impressive battery life of 570 minutes' talktime and 620 hours' standby time.

 Samsung S5560 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:17 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

An above average five-megapixel camera on an average handset.

Cons:

Find yourself outside of a Wi-Fi hotspot and you?ll have to put up with the sluggish EDGE data speeds.

The touch-screen revolution has been in effect for so long now that it's probably more accurate to call it a coup. Samsung has been one of the pioneers due to the endless number of tactile phones the manufacturer has been churning out. As a result, we can't help but feel they're beginning to all merge into one, particularly regarding the mid-tier range.

 

The Samsung S5560 falls into this category. It's an all-rounder with a resistive touch-screen, good looks and an array of social networking shortcuts. It does however, have one stand-out feature; a five-megapixel camera, more of which later.

Look and feel

Sporting a pebble like design similar to that of the Tocco Lite, Genio Touch, Blade or any other number of Samsung touch-screen devices, the S5560 fits comfortably in the hand allowing a relaxed grip when taking a call or when using its multimedia capabilities. We also need to give kudos again to Samsung for automatically locking the phone when making or receiving a call. In earlier touch-screen phones, an accidental brush of your cheek could lead inadvertently to you muting a call, hanging up or placing the other person on hold.

 

To put it bluntly the Samsung S5560's resistive touch-screen is not the best we've encountered. Running on Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, scrolling the widget bar on the left of the screen, often resulted in accidentally opening up applications. One way around this would be the need to actually drag and drop these widgets onto the home screen in order for them to be opened up, rather than simply requiring a key press. In fact we think the touch-screen would have benefited hugely from a stylus. Though not big fans of these blunt pointers, we found it more accurate to use the tip of a pen rather than our finger, especially when typing texts.

Wi-Fi but no 3G


The Samsung S5560 is something of a rarity. While it's without 3G and therefore relies on sluggish EDGE data speeds, it does have Wi-Fi, something that we tend to only find in high end HSDPA sporting devices. The results are predictably contradictory. If you're in a Wi-Fi zone, you'll be fine with a quick fix and an even faster browsing experience. However, outside of a hotspot and a degree of patience will be needed. The actual browsing experience is not bad. The screen is big enough to display large chunks of content, and though it takes a degree of getting used to, the finger zoom technique is relatively intuitive. Pressing the globe key next to the address bar will transform it into a Google search bar which certainly saved us time and a fair few menu clicks.

 

Samsung has cottoned onto the social networking fever that has swept the globe and is now regularly adding shortcuts and live feeds from the likes of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The S5560 is somewhere between the two. All three, as well as Bebo are included in the widget bar, with a mere press firing them up in the middle of the home screen. Once you've entered your username and password, the device will save this information so you won't need to log on each time you switch on the phone. However, while the feed is live in that it will display the latest updates, tweets, messages and pokes, you will need to press the refresh icon on the right of the feed to keep up to speed. We'd also recommend that if you have accounts with a multitude of social networks that you place them on different home screens (there are a total of three), as it can be confusing with each one overlapping the other. It's also worth noting that as with any mobile phone the more apps that are open at any one time, the faster the battery is drained.

Media player

Well done to Samsung for once again including a 3.5mm headset jack. Despite what would appear a straight forward enough feature, it is still omitted on certain handsets. Samsung however, appears to recognise that consumers often want to use their own set of headphones rather than the often poorer boxed in pair. What's more, the S5560 also has the port at the top of device, making it easier to insert and remove said headphones when the phone is in your pocket. The music player is a simple yet effective affair, though if you're serious about using it as your main music outlet you'll need to be investing in a memory card as the S5560 comes with a pitiful 78MB of onboard memory. Video can also be played on the onboard media player, though with no DivX or Xvid converter the number of video formats you can enjoy is somewhat limited.

Camera credentials

As mentioned earlier, the S5560's standout feature is its five-megapixel camera. While it may pale in significance compared to the twelve-megapixel, Xenon flash toting models in today's market, it's still well equipped in the snapping stakes. Ok so it's not the quickest to fire up, you're even prompted with a "please wait", but there's a capable LED flash, image stabilization and both smile and blink detection all of which both worked and helped improve our amateurish pics. There's also an array of shooting modes that though pretty self-explanatory (e.g. no prizes for guessing when you'd use the 'dawn' setting) are explained as to what they do in terms of functionality (i.e. slows the shutter speed).

Conclusion

While none of the features are groundbreaking, they work and that perhaps sums up the Samsung S5560 as a whole. There's nothing groundbreaking here, and could be summed up as being workman like. It's just despite the name, this phone is no superhero and suggests when it comes to mid-tier phones, Samsung is somewhat resting on its laurels.