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On the phone itself, though, all the HSDPA speed in the world is about as useful as a chocolate teapot without a good screen to display Web pages on. The one here is very bright and sharp, and while its 240 x 320 pixels could have been boosted a little, and its 2.3 diagonal inches stretched further, in general it performed well.
Web sites I visited were generally fine to read, and you can opt for ‘desktop view’ which requires horizontal as well as vertical scrolling, or ‘smart-fit view’ which forces pages into columns that mean no horizontal scrolling is necessary. With large, normal and small text sizes to choose from, you’ve got a fair bit of flexibility here. The photo taken here was with the text size at its smallest.
Other software I don’t have space to discuss in detail includes a diary which can synchronise with your PC using the provided cable and software. There’s also a task manager, voice recorder, calculator, unit converter, tube maps for London, Paris, Milan and Berlin and a virtual pet game called mPet.
Battery life was not wonderful. Continuous music playback lasted for five hours 41 minutes, and the screen turned off automatically very quickly during the test, so this is close to a real world performance. Samsung supplies two batteries and I’d want to be carrying a fully charged spare cell all the time. You don’t get a way of charging the spare cell independently of the handset as you do with the SGH-i320, so you’ll have to develop a regime to ensure both batteries are charged within the handset, which could be a bit of a pain.
It is difficult not to sound over enthusiastic about HSDPA, but it really is like having broadband Internet access in your pocket. The large screen and big keyboard of this phone make viewing Web sites and entering URLs easy, and in that respect T-Mobile has chosen its first HSDPA consumer focussed handset well.
However, battery life is not wonderful and I hate the headset and really want an opportunity to use my own headphones for music listening. Additionally, while it looks and handles well, this handset is a bit large for my tastes. Even with those negative points, I do find it difficult not to think highly of the Samsung SGH-Z560.
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