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(Pocket-lint) - With citizen journalism becoming a full-time job for some people keen to see their pictures and videos on the BBC, you need to make sure you've got a good camera phone to work with.

In steps the Samsung SGH-G600, a 5 megapixel snapper that promises to take a good picture when you're out? But does it? We get phoning and snapping to find out.

The G600, which will be available later this year, is a 14.9mm quadband GSM slider handset, complete with 5 megapixel camera.

For your money you get a very clear and bright 2.2-inch QVGA screen, an FM radio, a music player, an external hot swappable microSD card slot complete with a 1GB card, Stereo Bluetooth, 2.0 USB and re-sized web browsing thanks to some new software from the Koreans.

All this is cased in a shell very similar to the now popular U600 model launched earlier in the year, although Samsung has lost the touch sensitive controls (and we think for the better).

A traditional slider in design, that 5 megapixel camera is hidden and only revealed on the slide similar to the now ancient D500, while the keypad is straight forward and easy to use, not trying to do anything that it shouldn't.

In fact the best way to describe the G600's design is solid. There is no kooky bits of technology to figure out, no new fangled scroll wheels to master, and it all make for a very appealing offering.

Inside and the interface is virtually identical to Samsung's previous outings in recent times although the addition of a built-in Google search feature is new. Type a search request and you're presented with the results straight away (well as long as you got data set up on your phone and account).

Strangely you only get 40 characters to use for your search phrase and the predictive text element has been turned off so you've got to type everything out long hand.

Of course, web surfing and playing MP3 tracks aren't the focus here, it's taking pictures. Bearing this in mind, there are plenty of specs to gander over; there is an LED flash, sadly not Xenon, and 5x zoom which is digital not optical.

That megapixel count brings it up to speed with high-end offerings like the N95 from Nokia and the K850 from Sony Ericsson.

Software wise there are plenty of options from choosing your shooting mode; single, multi, mosaic and panorama, to setting your image size; up to 2560 x 1920 pixels.

Other features include a macro mode, flash settings, white balance and even the chance to change the ISO to four different settings up to ISO 800.

As for the photos, well the results are good - very good in fact. On a still shot (see watch) with enough patience you can get a good image although we noticed some magenta hues creeping in.

As for out and about party shots the addition of the ISO 800 setting certainly helps, however we did notice that the picture does take some time to take after the shot has been taken. Probably why Samsung recommend Multi-shot for anything that's happing like NOW.


As a phone, the G600 is a solid number that doesn't push the boundaries, but then, is likely to appeal to many. If you were tempted by the U600 but not sure about those magic touch sensitive keys then this is definitely for you.

As for the camera? The offering here is as almost as good as the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot range and certainly as good as the Nokia N95.

The only catch? No 3G, which is strange seeing as there is some focus on surfing the web with this model.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 25 July 2007.