There are blue, green, read and black themes for this handset. The theme you choose sets a corresponding colour for the phone’s sidelights. These involve a strip of colour round the top and bottom edges of the phone, illumination of media playback icons on three buttons on the right side of the handset and illumination of that Emporio Armani brand marking on the left side. The lights pulse as you use the phone and you can change the sidelight colour, flicking between green, red and blue.
It is all just too shouty for my liking, and so it is fortunate that you can turn this external lighting off completely.
There is another disappointment when it comes to basic use of this handset. Out of the box there is no shortcut to contacts. On my review sample, which was a Vodafone one, the right softkey was a link to Vodafone Live, the left one to the handset menu.
There are five shortcuts on the main screen you cycle through with the navigation button, none of which are allocated to contacts (though one can be used to change the colour of those blasted side-lights). Fortunately, you can change these shortcuts but Samsung has missed a trick by not allocating one to contacts out of the box.
The default menu system offers a carousel interface, forcing you to cycle through each menu item in turn using the navigation button. It all seems to take too long to get to where you want to be and I quickly shifted to a more standard grid view.
The headset arrangement is bizarre. There’s a 3.5mm jack on the right side of the phone and into this you can plug your own headphones or the provided pair. The provided pair are those short-lead types that you plug into the post-microphone section of Samsung’s two-piece headset. However, to use the microphone section you need to plug this into the microUSB connector on the left side of the phone then plug the 3.5mm jacked earbuds into that. Like I said, bizarre.
On the plus side, audio quality is very good, there are playback buttons on the right side so you can control music when you are in another app, and the in-ear buds are the round type that stay in my ear perfectly (as opposed to the flat ones which fall out readily). There is 120MB of internal memory and you get a 1GB microSD card with the phone. Its slot is under the battery cover.