Samsung i560

Stylish navigator

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Samsung i560
  • Samsung i560
  • Samsung i560
  • Samsung i560
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Design, build quality, navigation out of the box, 3.5mm headphone jack, Symbian OS

Cons

  • Battery cover difficult to remove, small display not ideal for navigation, GPS can take a few minutes to obtain a signal

Bottom Line

The i560 is a capable but not outstanding mobile phone. The lack of Wi-Fi may be a deal breaker for some, but the included GPS software and accessories are welcome additions.

Would you buy this?

The second Samsung phone launched in Australia running a Symbian operating system, the HSDPA-capable i560 offers a sleek and stylish design with the added feature of in-car navigation. A built-in GPS receiver and Route 66 mapping software, along with a bundled handset cradle, holder and in-car charger, make this a worthy option for the road.

Samsung may have moved to a Symbian OS, but on the outside, the latest handsets are similar to their predecessors. The i560 is a slider handset and it looks and feels classy — in particular the spring-operated slider feels sturdy and well built, even if its operation isn't as smooth as expected. The gloss black finish on the front of the unit handles fingerprints quite well; this is also the case for the matte black finish on the back. The biggest issue is the rear battery cover: it's almost impossible to remove. It requires a ridiculous amount of force to budge.

The change in OS hasn't hindered the operation and use of the i560 — a comfortable five-way navigational pad in addition to answer and end call keys, two selection buttons and dedicated menu and music keys make this handset a breeze to use. Although the keypad is almost completely flat, each key is large and well separated.

The navigational software is almost identical to the Nokia 6110 Navigator and the i560's GPS functions are completely free out of the box. There are no data charges for turn-by-turn navigation, and an entire map of Australia is included in the sales package.

The i560 uses the Route 66 application with NAVTEQ maps. If you're used to standard in-car GPS units, then there will be somewhat of a steep learning curve, as there is no touch screen. Most operations centre on the two selection buttons and the five-way navigational pad; this can get frustrating due to the small display.

The GPS experience is almost the same as using a dedicated in-car unit, minus the large touch screen but with the added portability factor. Do note that the i560 does take a little longer to lock onto a GPS signal — sometimes up to three or four minutes. Once connected, we were consistently able to get a signal, even indoors. Voice guidance is excellent, with the volume more than loud enough at its highest setting, which allows you to keep your eyes on the road.

Unfortunately, the size of the screen means there is little room for the navigation bar, which has a speed indicator, the time and distance to reach your destination and current GPS signal strength. An excellent feature of the maps is the automatic zoom, which hones in every time you make a turn to give you the clearest possible route.

The navigational interface is almost identical to a standard Series 60 handset, with all menu options clearly labelled for ease of use. Our only complaint is typing; when searching for an address or point of interest (POI), you can't type using predictive text input.

GPS navigation aside, the i560 is capable of HSDPA data speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. Call quality is above average and the volume is loud enough at its highest setting. In terms of connectivity, the i560 includes Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0 but Wi-Fi is a notable omission.

As it runs the popular Symbian S60 OS, the handset is equipped with a full array of smart phone applications, including QuickOffice document viewers, a host of PIM features (calendar, notes, voice recorder, calculator, clock, converter) and a flash player. It's also fully compatible with PDF files and has support for standard SMS and MMS messaging along with email — all featuring T9 predictive text input.

The i560 is a capable, but not outstanding multimedia device. Best of all, it has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, though you'll still need the included proprietary headphones to use the FM radio. There is 150MB of internal memory, and a 1GB microSD card is included and contains the Route 66 application and maps.

A 3-megapixel camera with a flash rounds out the package, though the lack of autofocus is a downside. Being 3G, the i560 also has a front-mounted VGA camera just above the display.

Optus offers the i560 for $0 upfront on a $49 Cap Plan over 24 months.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?