MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
- Outstanding crisp and clear high resolution display, solid build, responsive keypad, 2.0 mega-pixel camera with flash, Bluetooth, memory card slot for up to 512MB, TV-output option
- Poor resolution for TV-out, screen difficult to keep clean, can't use any other phone function while playing MP3's, no autofocus on camera
Samsung has managed to outdo the previous D500 which is certainly no mean feat. The D600 is a feature packed mobile phone and one of the best handsets we've reviewed to date
Price$ 879.00 (AUD)
The Samsung D600 is a follow up to the highly successful Samsung D500, which put the electronics giant on the map as a major player in the mobile phone market. In the D600, Samsung has successfully managed to improve their flagship handset even further, resulting in an exceptional slide phone with a number of outstanding features.
The D600 screen is much brighter, crisper and more colourful than that of the D500, which is laudable considering the D500 screen was first-rate at the time of its release. On the down side, we did find the 262K screen picked up its fair share of fingerprints smudges and was near impossible to keep clean.
The form factor of the D600 remains largely similar to the D500, although at 96mm x 46.5mm x 21.5mm, it is a tad larger than the previous model. The keypad is the most notable improvement, with Samsung offering larger, raised keys which makes messaging (with T9 support) and dialing phone numbers relatively easy. Another improvement is in the convenience of the inbuilt camera, which can now be used even when the slider is down. The slider on the D600 is now spring operated, which means a small push up of the phone will almost automatically slide open to reveal its keypad. It definitely feels smoother and sturdier than the D500.
The back and sides of the D600 house a rubber type finish, which seems to keep free of fingerprints and scratches. With the phone closed, access to the 5-way pad, the answer and end call buttons and the clear and two selection buttons is possible. Essentially, only the keypad can't be accessed when the D600 is in its closed position.
The only added extra to the D600 is the Trans-Flash slot on the left hand side of the phone, where up to 512MB of extra memory can be added to the handsets 72MB of internal memory.
The most noteworthy feature of the D600 is the TV-output option, which in short means that you can connect the phone to any television with a composite AV input using Samsung's supplied TV-out cable. In theory this is a brilliant idea, but we found most documents, (such as Microsoft Word files) to be unreadable due to the low 320 x 240 output resolution. Connecting the D600 to a television also allows navigation of the entire phone, including reading and sending messages, playing the installed JAVA games and even listening to music and watching video.This feature is certainly something of a first and we would love to see it improved.
Samsung have upgraded the camera on the D600 to 2 megapixels, although there is still no autofocus function as seen on the Sony Ericsson W800i . We found the image quality for most part was fairly good and the range of shooting options included was impressive.
A multi-shot mode is available, where six, nine or fifteen images can be taken at the speed of two photos per second. We particularly liked the mosaic mode also - you choose from 15 different templates that include multiple layers and each photo taken is stamped onto one layer. The D600 includes three Java games - Forgotten Warrior, Freekick and Arch Angel - as well as a calculator, converter, timer and stopwatch functions. An image editor is also installed, which allows you to edit any photos which have been taken with the camera.
The MP3 player on the D600 has been spiced up, adding new visualizations, 3D sound options and equalisation settings.In our tests most songs sounded clear and free of any distortion, even on higher volume levels. The supplied headphones, which also double as a portable hands-free system worked well and for most part the multimedia functions were of a high standard. Unfortunately you are still unable to use any other phone functions, such as messaging, whilst listening to the MP3 player.
Samsung has improved the battery life on this model, with the D600 lasting about three days during testing. Power conserving options such as dimming the screen are also available.
Other features include standard support for Bluetooth wireless connectivity, WAP 2.0 for web browsing and Picsel Viewer for Microsoft Office documents. The latter is a new feature and allows users to upload documents such as Word and Excel files to your phone for viewing. During testing, we found the files were fine to view on the phone itself, but we had trouble navigating the zoom functions when connected to TV-out.
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This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
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