A front-facing camera caters for video-calling whereas the main camera – its lens protected under the back slide panel – shoots at 5-megapixels. There is an LED flash, self-portrait mirror and autofocus. Face detection helps the camera lock onto people and ensure they stay in focus.
Image quality was not the best I’ve seen from a mobile but very good indeed nonetheless. The coloured dish, photographed under standard household lights, is sharp and clear. The flower was photographed using the macro mode. There is a slight blurring of the image but the flower was moving around in a breeze as the photo was taken so this is not a surprise, really. And the beading of water droplets is captured nicely. Colour reproduction is very good in both photos.
The Samsung Soul has 100MB of user memory and a microSD card slot on its right side for adding more. Music playback features a digital power amplifier from Bang and Olufsen. I can’t say that did a lot for me, though the provided headphones are average rather than great and their proprietary connector to the phone (shared by the mains power adaptor and USB cable) meant I couldn’t try the B&O enhancement with a better (3.5mm) headset.
Battery life was impressive. I got 11hours 40mins of non-stop music from a full charge and after the phone decided not to play any more it carried on being available for phone calls giving me more than 17 hours of life in total.
Other applications include an FM radio, web browser, RSS reader, memo maker, calendar and to do list, voice recorder, world clock, calculator, unit converter, timer, stopwatch, image and video editors, and games.
Magical Touch might be a daft name for the touch interface, but it is very well implemented. Others toying with touchpanels should learn from what Samsung has got right here especially its utilitarian icons, great feedback, user calibration of touch sensitivity and hardware buttons for Call, End and softmenu features.
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