Samsung SGH-i600 smartphone review

4 out of 5
Price dependent on contract

For

HSDPA, Wi-Fi, interface

Against

Large, eats batteries for breakfast

It's not normally the case that a phone is released Stateside before coming to the UK, but in the case of the Blackjack from Samsung, its popularity has already been well documented in America.

So now that it is here in the UK, should you be giving it any attention? We take a look at the Samsung SGH-i600 to find out.

Out of the box and the first thing you'll when looking through all the extras is that you've been given two batteries - one thin and one thick. The thick battery, complete with a more bulbous casing, adds to the overall size, but the payoff is, that it will give you more juice if you are a heavy Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and phone user.

As for the device itself, the keyboard dominates the handset rather than the screen and there is plenty of space in-between the keys making this idea for those with fat thumbs.

The space bar could have been a bit bigger and the number pad on the keys spaced across three columns, rather than the chosen five columns here (see pictures).

With 3G and HSDPA connectivity present, there are two digital cameras (one VGA and one a 1.3MP) included in the phone, one forward facing for video calling and one for taking snaps.

Rather than opt for the standard Samsung interface found on the company's Ultra Edition handsets, the i600 uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 operating system, however Samsung has customised the front home page to involve a more graphically interactive interface. This allows you to scroll through key features, view music, images and video as well as quick contacts and messages.

It's a touch confusing as the interface tries to cram so much on to the 2.3-inch screen, but does offer those looking for a quick glance just that.

Trying to offer more than the BlackBerry range, Samsung has bundled Wi-Fi in the i600 making it ideal for collecting your mail or surfing the Internet when you can't get HSDPA connectivity or are trying to save some cash on your data bundle.

With a hot swappable microSD card (up to 2GB) the i600 is suited for the multimedia types. For those unable to stretch to an extra card there is 64MB of RAM and 128MB ROM memory.

Verdict

Larger than the BlackBerry Curve, the phone runs Windows Mobile 5, but a heavily customised and stylised version. With Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity for web surfing, the only thing that really lets this model down is a confusing keyboard layout and 1.3 megapixel rather than 2 megapixel camera.