Samsung U800 Soul B in-depth review -

Look and feel

Encased in a stainless-steel shell just 9.9mm thick, the U800 is one classy broad. A pleasing heft and subdued metallic finish give off an air of understated style, underscored by sophisticated case colours like 'Amethyst Violet' and 'Soul Red'

  

Ease of Use

The grid-style navigation system is intuitive but user experience is marred by lags of up to a second between command and action.

 

UPDATE: Here's why we're dropping its rating down a star. As we used the phone over a period of weeks, we accumulated 200 total messages, leading to insufferable lags in menu load times of about two seconds.

 

Features

HSDPA support, three-megapixel dual camera with LED flash and a decent music player make this a good-looking phone that manages to pack a fair bit of power as well.

 

Performance

While the music player sports a very basic interface, the camera produces decent shots of good clarity and colour, even in low-light. HSDPA means fast browsing and downloads of up to 3.6Mbps, though the 2.0-inch screen isn't really designed with web browsing in mind.

 

Battery Life

The Samsung U800 has an unimpressive but serviceable talktime of up to 360 minutes, with a standby time of up to 320 hours.

 Samsung U800 Soul B  Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:07 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

A stylish handset with decent entertainment and internet features.

Cons:

A rather basic music player and slightly clunky messaging menu.

Good-looking phones don’t always pack a lot of power, but the Samsung U800 manages to combine style with substance. The latest in the Korean manufacturer’s monolith range of super-slim handsets comes with a range of features, including a three-megapixel dual camera, music player and HSDPA support, and is available in sophisticated colors like ‘Amethyst Violet’ and ‘Soul Red'.

Samsung U800 – Look and feel

At 9.9mm thick, the U800 looks and feels like a high-end piece of machinery. The stainless steel casing is sleek and well designed, with a pleasing heft and classy metallic finish.

The sizeable two-inch screen (almost half the phone’s length) features QVGA resolution and the phone has some snazzy display themes, including one that renders dialing digits in neon dots.

The navigation system is a grid-style menu, and is easy to figure out with the added bonus that it remembers the last used menu item from any menu screen. However, there’s a noticeable lag of up to a second between command and action.

Samsung U800 – Flawed texting

While the navigation system is intuitive, there is a slight flaw in the design of the messaging menus. Creating and composing a message is easy enough, but sending it requires either five clicks to add a recipient, or scrolling to the ‘Add Recipient’ field, rather than simply pressing the centre menu button, which also acts as an OK button.

We’re all for adapting to new menu systems, but this didn’t seem consistent with the internal logic of the phone’s own navigation system.

Despite this, the messaging system is well thought out, with a list of recently messaged contacts available once you reach the ‘add recipient’ menu, and the ability to turn predictive text on and off from the message screen.

Samsung U800 – Entertainment centre

The U800 isn’t a dedicated camera-phone, but its three-megapixel dual camera takes decent snaps with good clarity and colour, and can be used for video calling as well. There’s also an LED flash for low-light shots, single-shot, multi-shot and panorama options, and a 4x digital zoom.

The U800’s music player is a bit of a letdown however, as it’s quite basic with a standard interface, and we are starting to expect more from handsets these days.

On the plus side, creating playlists is easily done on the fly, and Samsung provides in-ear headphones as well as an adapter so you can use your own headphones. The handset comes with 1GB of on-board memory, which isn’t quite up to scratch if you’re after a proper music phone (1GB holds around 250 songs if you have no contacts, messages or picture files), but there is a microSD slot as well.

Other handy features include Bluetooth connectivity and HSDPA for fast downloads of up to 3.6Mbps.

A small quibble we had with the entertainment is that the three Java games included are demo versions, which don’t allow you to even play out a level, though it is possible to buy and download more content.

Samsung U800 – The verdict

This is a seriously handsome phone that manages to pack meaty features like HSDPA support and a decent camera into a super-slim body. The navigation menus load far too slowly at times, and it’s no all-in-one, camera/iPod-killer, but overall, the U800 does the job as a mid-range phone, and looks good doing it.