Samsung seems to be a bit of an unstoppable force at the moment, with new handsets popping up with great frequency. Only a couple of weeks ago we had the 8-megapixel flagship model the i8510, which reached the rare status of a TrustedReviews Recommended award.
Now I have the mid-range U800. This handset doesn't have any headline-busting features, but it does really appeal to me in terms of design and usability. There is no flashy Omnia and Tocco style touchscreen and the chameleon-like touchpad on the slider Soul U900 has been forsaken for more standard controls.
But in the place of these ‘look at me' features we have a solid build, a light-weight, portable design, and a mobile that is very usable and manages tri-band GSM connections along with HSDPA to 3.6MBps.
The U800 has a mostly slate grey brushed stainless steel body which, in combination with the pearly white backlight to the keys and buttons, and black plastic sides and bottom ridge, give it a very appealing, if hardly innovative look.
In the hand the U800 feels fantastic. It is just 9.9mm thick and quite narrow at 46mm. It weighs just 92g. If I have a grumble it is that the phone is a little tall at 111mm.
The height appears to have been used to allocate more than the typical amount of space to the D-pad and its associated buttons. The extra millimetres have certainly not been allocated to the screen which is relatively small at just 2in. At least its 320 x 240 pixels are nice and sharp. And it is bright too.
Nor has the extra space gone to the numberpad. This is a flat pad with horizontal ridges separating the button rows. Each button has quite a tactile feel to it, and Samsung's usual plinks and plonks provide further confirmation that you've pressed a key. They are quite loud at top volume, though, and could embarrass you in some quieter environments. The side-mounted volume rocker might get used quite a lot to regulate this.