The ultra slim 9.8mm thick Samsung Z150 is a welcome entry into the mid-priced 3G phone market. The phone has an easy to use interface and a solid set of features - all for a very competitive price.
- Thin, Small, Lightweight, Good Battery Life
- VGA Cameras, Only 50MB of internal memory with no extra storage options
At this price, it's really hard to complain about the Z150. It isn't equipped with everything, but it has most of the features you'll need. A perfect option for your first 3G mobile.
Price$ 490.00 (AUD)
Long gone are the days of big and bulky 3G phones. The Z150 is the thinnest 3G phone on the market, surpassing Samsung's own recently launched Z540. It's not just thin either; it's also one of the smallest and lightest 3G phones currently available, weighing a mere 77 grams.
While thin and light, the matte black Z150 is very long. The phone has rounded edges and is very flat overall but still cups nicely in your hand. The controls are fairly straightforward with a five-way navigational Pad, two selection buttons, dedicated video calling and application switch buttons as well as a clear key and the usual answer/end call keys. The keys are compact and flush with the face of the unit. The keys are thin enough to pose a disadvantage to those with very large fingers, however they are quite sensitive and don't require much of a press to activate.
Within the sleek chassis Samsung has still managed to squeeze in a dedicated camera button on the right hand side and a volume up/down key on the left. The camera button is a welcome addition, but the fact that you have to hold it for two or three seconds to fire it up could have been avoided. Also on the right side is an all-in-one proprietary headphone, a USB port and a charging jack.
The Z150 TFT display is not very bright or vivid, and we can't help but feel it could have been larger - especially considering it does not extend out to the edge of the phone. It's only 1.9 inches in diameter with a resolution of 176 x 220 and is capable of producing 260 thousand colours. The screen does attract fingerprints, but this is a common issue with many current mobile phone handsets. Overall, the display is quite subdued for a 3G phone, but in this price range we don't have much reason to complain.
The Samsung menu is once again a highlight, with an excellent balance between functionality and design. The main menu features a grid layout with animated menu icons. These are bright and clear and look attractive. Once you select a menu item, the sub-menus are in a simple list format, with shortcuts possible using the corresponding keypad numbers.
The biggest drawback of this phone is the dual cameras; they are both only VGA. Usually on 3G phones, the exterior mounted camera, used for photography, is at least 1.3 megapixels and the internal camera for video calls is VGA. VGA cameras are really only suitable for on-phone images. That aside, there are plenty of settings on the camera, including 2x digital zoom, Sepia, Black and White, Solarise, Negative effects, self-timer, Multi-Shot, Spot Metering and White Balance. The camera also offers up to 60 minutes of video recording in MPEG4 format.
The Z150 supports SMS, MMS and Email messaging and includes T9 predictive text input. The keypad posed no real problems for long messages, but we'd still prefer it to be slightly raised. There is an MP3/MMC Music player (which also plays AAC and Real Audio Files) but an FM Radio is not included. With only 50MB of internal memory and no card slot for extra storage, you'll quickly run out of space on the Z150 if you plan to use it as an MP3 player.
In terms of connectivity, the Z150 includes Bluetooth and USB, with no infrared capabilities. The handset can by synchronised to your PC with Microsoft Outlook using the included Samsung PC Studio 3.0 software. Other features include polyphonic and MP3 ringtones, JAVA Support, WAP 2.0 and a speakerphone. Overall, the Z150 offers most of the basics that you'll need in an attractive phone package.
The Z150's battery life is quoted as being up to 200 hours of standby time and 2.2 hours of talk time using a 3G network. These figures increase when using a 2G network, with an extra 60 hours of standby time and up to 3.4 hours of talk time. We found we had to charge the handset every three days or so with moderate use, which is a fairly good result for such a small 3G handset.
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