This is a quad-band handset with GPRS and it has Bluetooth. It has 60MB of user accessible memory and you can build on this using microSD cards. The slot is on the right edge of the phone. A wide range of applications is built in including calendar, voice recording, image editing, calculator, unit converter, timer, stopwatch, memo maker and five separate alarms. You get a PC Connectivity cable and the phone can function in USB mode.
You can send photos and video clips to a TV, but no cables are provided for this. There is an FM radio and it will self tune its preset stations. You need to have the provided headphones plugged in to use it. These are one-piece and have a proprietary connector to the phone so if you don’t like their large in-ear buds, it is simply hard luck.
The camera shoots stills at resolutions up to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels – that is 3.2 megapixels. It has some great points and one overriding problem.
The problem is the slowness with which its autofocus kicks in. This is fine if you are shooting a non-moving object, or even the plants I used as sample images which were swaying in the breeze a little when I photographed them. But it is hopeless for shooting anything that can move at more than a snail’s pace. This is a great shame as the plus points are really strong.
For example, the macro lens, which I used to take the close up of the white flowers, is really very good indeed. I took this photo about 5cm from the subject. And in general outdoor shots were pretty good. The mass of white flowers is a difficult shot for a mobile to cope with – compression can mean loss of definition, and there is little central focus to the image, yet the camera managed quite well.
Indoors things were reasonably good too, with the coloured dish, shot under ordinary household lighting, reasonably sharp and with good colour definition.
As usual, all my sample shots were taken with the phone on its auto settings but you can fiddle with quite a bit including changing settings for the lighting conditions (cloudy, fluorescent etc), and setting the ISO to 100, 200 or 400. As ever there are also flash and self-timer settings and frames you can apply. You also get multi-shot and mosaic shooting which lets you produce a composite picture made of several different shots in a range of patterns.
All the settings are easily accessed using the navigation button and fiddling with them is pretty painless should you want to do so.
The SGH-U600 delivered good overall battery life of 10 hours 12 minutes, but music fans might be miffed by the fact that the music player turned off automatically after 8 hours 20 minutes and refused to restart. After this time a low battery warning was sounded every five minutes or so. At least I was still able to make phone calls until the battery finally gave out.
The SGH-U600 is a fairly accomplished phone. It certainly packs in lots of features. Samsung should have provided TV-out cables though and while the thin slider format is really appealing, the touch sensitive buttons are an absolute nuisance.