The leading electronic company, Samsung has recently launched a 5 megapixel phone, SGH-U900, in the Indian market. Know more about its features and review.

Samsung U900 Soul

The Samsung U900 Soul, the phone with a touchpad, is more than a gizmo with a nice gimmick. It’s a serious offering that has few faults and all-round functionality in a nice-looking package.
 
Design & Functioning
The Samsung U900 Soul slider phone is as visually striking as it is functional. Although not the slimmest phone around, the brushed metallic exteriors and the great choice of materials will surely make heads turn. And it’s not just the classic looks that manage to capture everyone’s attention; the touchpad that’s in the front will surely not go unnoticed. Thankfully this touchpad is highly functional and very handy when navigating or operating the phone. What appears on the touchpad depends on the context. For example, when navigating through the menus, the haptic-enabled touchpad will display the four navigational arrows and the confirming center. When in music or camera mode, the touchpad literally morphs displaying music and camera specific keys. The touchpad comes in three different touch sensitive levels and the intensity of the vibration-haptic feedback is also user-configurable.
 
The other visually striking feature of the phone is the bright 2.2” 16-million colour display above the trackpad that offers sharp picture quality. The only downside to the display is that it’s not legible under direct sunlight. On opening the slider, users are presented with a nice surprise. Normally, flat keypads evoke disgust among SMS addicts because of the poor touch orientation and feedback that they offer. But in the case of the Soul the keypad comes off as one of the best ever to feature on a slider phone. The keys here are large and each row of keys is separated by metallic borders. This improves touch-orientation to the extent that you can type on the keypad even without looking down, provided you know where the keys are. There is very little chance of making typos as the metallic borders, being firm and unpressable prevents any accidental ‘over-the-row’ key-presses. Needless to say, if you’re an SMS junkie, this phone is a must for you.
 
While users may be overawed by the touch-pad and the shiny exteriors, the engineers at Samsung haven’t forgotten that at the end of the day, the Soul is a ‘phone’. Taking this into due account, they have ensured that the phone’s telephony wasn’t overlooked. So, what we have here is a phone with amazing call reception and voice clarity. On the downside the phone’s speaker isn’t the loudest in the business so don’t always count on being able to hear it in noisy environments.
 
A phone’s worth is partly attributed to its user-interface (UI) and here Samsung have spared no efforts to incorporate a visually appealing and equally intuitive UI. The UI is speedy and responsive and is completely customizable to the extent that users can create their own themes. In addition to this the menus feature many transition animations making navigation a fun and exciting experience. Customization also extends to the touchpad where users can control the colour of the icons that appear on it.
 
The Soul is loaded with a soulful entertainment package including a neat music player that offers users with many options. While there is no equalizer there are many dedicated ‘sound-effects’ including wide and surround in addition to seven other presets. Three visualization options are also available and make the music-listening experience a whole lot enjoyable. The phone, like many Samsung sets today feature the Bang & Olufsen ICEPower amplifier chip. While they do not drastically alter the sound quality they do reduce the power consumption required to run the music player. This is especially important as one of the phone’s weak points is a poor battery that drains quickly on heavy usage.
 
Next in the entertainment package is the FM radio that comes with auto scan and RDS support. Finally, the trio is completed with a video player that supports MPEG-4 videos. Audio quality in all three cases is decent for a non-music feature phone. Unfortunately, like non-music oriented phones, the Soul does not feature a standard 3.5mm audio jack, or a 2.5mm one for that matter, so users are stuck with the average headphones that come bundled with the phone. That is unless they can source an adapter to connect standard headphones to the phone.
 
Coming to the shooter, the phone sports an awesome 5MP camera that performs like no other in its range. The camera interface offers many options including manual white balance, face detection, wide dynamic range (WDR), anti-shake, manual and autofocus, picture quality settings, manual ISO settings and finally exposure metering. The pictures come out beautifully partly due to great optics of the camera and partly because of the image-processing of the photos. In most cases photos feature low noise levels, high level of detail and the right amount of image sharpening.
 
Not to be left out in terms of connectivity, the phone offers almost every option under the sun including 3G, EDGE, HSCSD, USB and Bluetooth. The only exceptions here are WiFi and GPS. Other applications pre-installed on the phone include Net Front 3.4 browser, an organizer and a document viewer.
 
To sum up, the phone is an excellent offering with all-round functionality; sadly most of the phone’s virtues are overshadowed by the innovative touchpad.
 
Features
  • Innovative context touchpad
  • 2.2” 16M colour LCD screen of QVGA resolution
  • 5MP camera with LED flash and autofocus
  • Text friendly keypad
  • 3G support
  • Classic metallic looks
  • 128MB internal memeory
  • All round connectivity and functionality
  • Quick and intuitive user interface
 
 
Technical Specifications
 
Overview

Make
Samsung
Model
U900 Soul
Body Type
Slider
Battery Life/Talk time (hours)
6.5
Standby Talktime (hours)
407

 
Dimensions

Width (mm)
49.5
Depth (mm)
12.9
Length (mm)
105.9
Weight (g)
112

 
Camera

Camera
Yes
Secondary Camera
Yes
Resolution (MP)
5
Camera Flash
Yes
Camera Flash Type
LED
Auto Focus
Yes

 
Display

Display Size (inches)
2.2
Type
TFT LCD
Resolution (pixels)
240 x 320
Colours
16 million

 
Memory

Internal Memory
128MB
Card Slot
Yes
Expandable (GB)
8

 
Multimedia Features

FM radio
Yes
MP3 Player
Yes
MMS
Yes

 
Connectivity Options

Wi-Fi
No
Bluetooth
Yes
Infrared
No
USB Connector
Yes
GPRS
Yes
EDGE
Yes
HSCSD
Yes
WAP
Yes

 
Technology

Cellular Network
GSM
SIM Type
Single SIM
3G
Yes

 
Features

Input Type
Keypad & Touchpad
Handsfree Speaker
Yes
Flight Mode
Yes
Inbulit Dictaphone
Yes
Flashlight
Yes
GPS
No

 
Accessories:
  • ASP600 USB speakers
  • ASP700 portable speaker
  • ASP800 USB speakers 
Warranty (years): 1
 
Color Options: Silver, Pink
 

  
  
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