Samsung D900i

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Samsung D900i
  • Samsung D900i
  • Samsung D900i
  • Samsung D900i

Pros

  • Sleek metallic finish, Design, Excellent slider, Display, User interface

Cons

  • Minimal upgrades over predecessor, No 3G, no document viewer, No TV out cable, Fingerprint magnet

Bottom Line

The D900i adds an FM radio and a sleek metallic finish, but the lack of document editor and TV-output cable are very strange omissions. Regardless, it's still an excellent handset on the whole.

Would you buy this?

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The Samsung D900i is a subtle aesthetic upgrade to its predecessor, the D900. It adds an FM radio and a sleek metallic finish to an already successful and popular slider phone. It definitely won't compel current D900 owners to upgrade, but for those after a feature packed, stylish and compact handset the D900i is definitely worth considering.

Features

Unfortunately, the D900i isn't 3G capable; instead it's a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) handset. Throughout our tests we were more than impressed by both the clarity and volume level of calls, especially in noisy environments such as busy city traffic. The D900i's hands-free speakerphone also works well, and it's easily switched on during a phone call by pressing the OK button.

The D900i is equipped with a 3 megapixel camera, and it features auto focus, a flash, macro mode and 4x digital zoom. The camera also includes a self portrait mirror and can capture video in MPEG4 format. Performance is about average, as the shots produced aren't good enough for any sort of serious photography, but are more than adequate to use as background wallpaper or basic happy snaps. The camera has plenty of options including multi and mosaic shot modes, effects such as fog, antique and moonlight, 30 frame options and a three, five or 10 second self-timer. You can also adjust ISO and white balance settings.

Like most Samsung phones, the D900i's user interface is superb, and Samsung has included some interesting extras. Dubbed 'uPlus', the new, expanded interface offers intuitive navigation that responds to your environment. For example, when you dial a phone number, a picture of Sydney appears in the corner of the screen. This picture changes depending on your location. It also responds to the time of day and changes accordingly; at night the sky will be dark, while during the day it appears blue. Another cool feature occurs when dialling a phone number; upon pressing a number key a paper and pen animation appears and begins to write the numbers as you press them - it even includes sound effects.

The D900i allows you to create a personalised menu of shortcuts that sits on the main screen. This enables quick access to frequently used menu items, such as calendar, SMS messaging and email. The interface also highlights each selected menu item with a different colour scheme, creating a contrast with the rest of the phone. For security, Samsungs mobile tracker feature is present. When a SIM card in the D900i is replaced, the mobile tracker sends an SMS message to an earlier nominated phone number, revealing the mobile phone number of the new SIM card.

Connectivity is relatively standard, despite no 3G or Wi-Fi capabilities. The D900i has Bluetooth, and the A2DP profile for wireless music streaming, while a proprietary USB cable is included in the sales package. The MP3 player is compatible with MP3, AAC, AAC+ and e-AAC+ files, and there is basic play list support, repeat and shuffle play modes, a preset equaliser and 3D sound effects. Conveniently, you can use other phone features (such as SMS messaging) while listening to music and an FM radio, which is a feature added from the previous model. Unfortunately the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack means you'll have to use the included ear buds or Bluetooth headphones for music listening.

Other features include standard POP3 and IMAP4 email access, SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input, polyphonic and MP3 ring tones and a voice recorder. Perplexingly, the document viewer featured on the D900 isn't included on the D900i and this is a big let down to potential business users. Even more strange is the TV-output option; while it's present, there is no composite cable included in the package to connect the phone to your television. This is extremely puzzling, and we can't think of a single reason as to why it shouldn't be included.

Design

Measuring just 103mm x 51mm x 12.9mm and weighing a mere 85g the D900i is extremely slim. The biggest change is a metallic gloss silver finish, rather than the D900's plain black finish. As such, the D900i may appeal to a wider audience, although it still comes across as a sleek and sophisticated business style handset. Unfortunately, the glossy surface does attract plenty of unwanted fingerprint marks. In particular, the screen is nearly impossible to keep clean; a cleaning cloth would have been a wise addition to the sales package. The 2.2in screen itself is excellent; capable of producing 262k of colour screen and a resolution of 240x320 pixels. It's bright and clear, although it does suffer in direct sunlight.

Despite the D900i's diminutive frame and light weight, it generally feels solid and well built. The spring operated slider is firm, yet easy to slide. Our only complaint is that Samsung has failed to include a place for your thumb to sit, which would have made opening the slider a little easier. Instead, the best way to slide open the D900i is by placing your thumb on the bottom of the screen, leaving unwanted finger marks. Controls are headed by a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys and a clear button. There is also a microSD card slot on the left hand side (in addition to the 62MB of internal memory) and a dedicated camera button on the right. The keypad is flat, but well separated and easy to press, so punching out long messages isn't a problem.

Battery life has been improved slightly, to 3.6 hours of talk time and up to 270 hours of standby times. Despite the minor increase, we still had to charge the phone every two nights with only moderate usage.

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