However, Samsung has stuck with the same touch sensitive keys for its front-located controls. There are two softmenu buttons, Call and End buttons, and between these is a button for initiating a video call. There’s also one that calls up the ‘Quick Switch’ list. You use this to move between voice call, messaging, and the Internet – in this case Vodafone Live!
The problem is that if you aren’t careful you end up hitting these when using the slider and running an application you had no intention of using, which can get really irritating.
There’s a second potential problem with the front controls, and this relates to the navigation pad. Samsung has seen fit to allow the navigator to be both an ‘up, down, left and right’ button and also a wheel (the U600 just had the former feature).
Some users will find that one of the two systems appeals best to them and stick with it, but others might find the choice of both systems a little confusing. Worse, it is entirely possible to accidentally twist when you mean to press. It didn’t take me long to get used to the system, but it won’t appeal to everyone.
The really good news is that with the slider opened the flat number pad is a pleasure to use. The keys (no, these aren’t touch sensitive) are large and well spaced and have enough ‘give’ to let you feel confident you’ve pressed them. The tinkly tones that accompany each keypress are another affirmation that you’ve hit what you want, as is the fact that each number dialled for a voice call appears absolutely huge on screen.
The SGH-U700V is a Tri-band handset with 3G and HSDPA, where the U600 was Quad-band without 3G. There is a front facing camera for making video calls and, as in the U600, a 3.2 megapixel back facing camera. It has a tiny LED flash and small self portrait mirror. The camera is hidden away when the slider is closed, only to be revealed when you open the phone.