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If you are after a thin slider phone, then your mind might turn naturally towards the Shine from LG, or Motorola’s MOTOKRZR K1. You might even be drawn to Sony Ericsson’s W850i.
Varied as they are in size and shape, these sliders show off what the format is capable of. Now Samsung has added its SGH-U600 to the slider range. The last Samsung slider I looked at was the SGH-D840, but the SGH-U600 is certainly in the running for the title ‘thin and cool slider of the year’ – if there were such an award.
My review sample came from Orange where it is a Pay Monthly handset, though it is listed on the Web as ‘coming soon’ on Pay-As-You-Go. If you fancy other operators, then I found it online with O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone, so you can pretty much take your pick.
The SGH-U600 is about as slim and sleek as any slider I’ve seen. It is fairly narrow at 49.3mm, though a bit tall at 103.2mm. With the slider open I measured it at 135mm. It is, as it should be for an Ultra Edition handset, very thin at 10.9mm.
The blue metallic casing with silver highlights is rather appealing, and the slider mechanism is smooth. It is spring loaded so you don’t need much oomph at all to open and close the phone. There is no ridge for attacking the slider, so you will need to be prepared to wipe fingermarks off the screen.
So far, so good, but there is something very annoying about this phone that affects use of the slider and really detracts from its overall appeal. The pair of softmenu keys under the screen are touch sensitive and I mean really sensitive and often I found myself tapping twice when I only meant to tap once. Worse, when you use the slider you have to be really careful not to hit one of them and make a menu selection you don’t want.
The Call and End buttons are also touch sensitive. I found that this mattered a lot less as it was unlikely I was going to accidentally hit buttons at the bottom of the phone when using the slider.
On the plus side, the navigation button is large and comfortable to use. Its silver frame makes it easy to find, and it is raised very slightly from the rest of the casing on a rather nice upward curve. When you are on the home screen pressing the navigation button up gives you access to five applications, while pressing it down takes you to the calendar, left to new SMS creation and right to the music player. You can change these to suite your needs.
The screen measures 2.2 inches corner to corner and delivers 262,000 colours and 240 x 320 pixels. There is a setting for sunlight that alters the colour scheme and does indeed make the display a bit clearer in bright sunlight. You can also choose either a black or white ‘skin’.