Samsung P400

With Matrix fever about to grab us again, Samsung hopes that its affiliation to the movie for its range of phones will pay off once again. The clam-shelled P400 may purport to offer the moves of Keanu Reeves, but in reality you may come away feeling disappointed.

The disappointment stems from a number of areas, mostly from the overall plastically feel of the casing and its smattering of shiny silver plastic. While we are sure someone at Samsung feels this is a nice touch the result makes the phone look dated and tacky. But wait there's more. A strange flashing blue/green/pink light emits from the back of the phone to let you know that its on and the classy words "Exciting - digital camera phone" is surely the icing on the cake in the style area.

Acting as a double-edged sword, the swivel screen, which is the big selling point of this phone comes with strong pros and cons. The main problem is that in order to make the screen capable of swivelling, the strength of the joint to make that screen swivel has been jeopardised. What this means is that every time you use the phone you feel that you are going to break it as the phone snaps close.

The aim is to make the camera element easier to use. This is done by swivelling the screen around 180 degrees. Then you snap it back onto the keypad. The phone for all intense purposes then turns into an LCD display with swivelling camera, rather than a phone with camera. This of course leads to other things like the ability to take discreet pictures without you so obviously holding a phone in their face.

For those looking for a phone that does the job it sets out to do - this model offers tri-band support, 40 Polyphonic ringtones and java-enabled games.

Verdict

This phone gives off mixed vibes. While the idea of a swivel screen is a good one - in day-to-day use, it actually makes you feel uncomfortable - giving you the impression that you are about to break your prized position every time you use it. That together with an interface that isn't the most user-friendly doesn't make for a helpful combination. After time though, the phone does seem to grow on you. Nicer still is the inclusion in the box of an additional battery and handsfree headset.


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