The ‘applications’ menu icon is styled to look like a PDA. It houses the media player, voice recorder, clock, calculator and unit converter. The Picsel viewer is not accessible from here. You have to use the file viewer and select the file you want to look at, then the Picsel software kicks in automatically. To create a memo or set one of the three alarms the handset can provide, you need to be in the Organiser area.
Music playback was not all that wonderful through the provided headset – a little high on treble and short on bass and there is no equaliser for you to tweak things. Fortunately, volume was OK.
I found the provided earbuds poorly suited to my own ears – they kept falling out. Without a 3.5mm jack I was left with the option of Bluetooth headphones, and the good news is that stereo output to these is supported via A2DP. Samsung could have done itself a favour and included an FM radio.
The lens of the two megapixel main camera is on the back of the casing and hidden under the slider mechanism so that when the handset is closed it isn’t visible and is protected from scratches.
There’s no flash which is a bit of an irritant, but while using the handset screen to frame an image you can fiddle with the white balance using the navigation key and via the camera settings can change the ISO to 100, 200, 400, 800 or have it automatically set itself. Both are a help, though they don’t make for shooting candid snaps. You can also play with the up to 4x digital zoom – again using the navigation key.
The camera has no macro mode so close-up shots are out of the question and without an autofocus you aren’t always going to get the best quality results. I found it was not always easy to shoot blur-free images.
Still, the camera produced a reasonably approximation of true colours both indoors and out, and my standard low-light indoor shot – the multicoloured dish below – rendered fairly well for colours.
Use the camera activation side key with the slider closed and the VGA front camera is called into play. What is surprising is that when you open the slider it doesn’t automatically flick into using the back camera. You have to use the left softkey and switch cameras manually.
Continuous MP3 playback from a microSD card got me six and a half hours of music. I’d have liked more. Another performance point worth noting is that the quality of 3G video calls was not always as high as I’d like because video rendering was not always smooth.
The Z400 offers 3G in a neat and tidy handset, and adds a mix of features that is broad in scope and appeal, but isn’t top notch at any of them. Samsung has scored in several areas – A2DP, tidy overall design, a SIM-off profile setting but has also missed some tricks such as FM radio, a camera flash, more internal memory and 3.5mm headset support.
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