Then we come to the USP of this phone, its music features and particularly the Bang and Olufson’s ICEpower technology. When it comes to storage, of music or anything else, the 50MB built-in is a start, but you’ll want to make use of the microSD card slot on one edge for adding more memory.
Music playback is loud through the handset speaker, though not especially wonderful in quality terms. The Bang and Olufsen ICEpower technology comes into its own when you use the headphones. Here both equaliser and sound effects work well, allowing you to find a sound that suits your palette.
The two-piece headset is 3.5mm at the phone end, with the jack top mounted where it can’t snag your pocket. Round in-ear buds provide for good sound isolation from the outside world, and the 3.5mm jack past the mike means you can substitute a better headset if you choose. All of which proves Samsung can get the technicalities of headphones right on all counts when it wants to.
From the music player there is a touch icon that links you into the music editing/scratching suite. This sits in wide screen mode. You scratch your track by dragging a turntable clockwise and anti-clockwise. You add samples choosing from a list then dropping them in where you want. You can also add filters to the music by choosing them from a menu then dragging around the turntable to apply them at the rate or speed you want.
It is fun. For about five minutes. You can’t upload your own samples, fiddle with how the pre-installed ones work, or even merge two songs into one. Some people have complained about slow touch-screen response on this aspect of the phone in particular, but I found it fine and it’s not as if you’ll use it often enough to care.
A handset like this really needs good battery life and here Samsung has hit a snag. I did my usual battery rundown test, asking the phone to play music non-stop from a full charge through the loudspeaker. Total life was fairly impressive at 10 and a half hours, but music playback stopped after just a shade over 6 hours, which is pretty average. Probably not surprising, though, given the 960mAh battery Samsung has chosen.
There’s another plus in DivX and XviD support. I played a couple of movie trailers smoothly and with good sound reproduction. The accelerometer lets you switch readily to wide screen mode and functions full screen.
Outside the headline applications, there are plenty of sundries to enjoy. These include: mobile email, calendar, memo maker, task manger, world clock, calculator, unit converter, FM radio, voice recorder, Bluetooth, alarms and a fair few trial Java games.
Samsung’s music editing/scratching idea is quite well implemented, but it is a bit of a five-minute-wonder. Battery life is too short and for a music centric handset, too, but the quirky physical design will win it some friends.