So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Sleek design, Well built, Excellent slider, Quality display, Solid features list
- Fingerprint magnet, Battery life
Housed in a sleek and sophisticated design, the D900 is another excellent handset from Samsung that is only let down by a below average battery life.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Samsung D900 continues Samsung's successful slide phone design, yet somehow manages to make it even slimmer. The D900 is just 12.9mm thick and combines an excellent user interface with a number of quality features, including a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus.
Make no mistake, this phone is slim. Measuring just 103mm x 51mm x 12.9mm and weighing a mere 85g this is a sleek and sophisticated business style handset. The gloss black finish looks excellent and the curved design makes it comfortable to cup in your hand, although unfortunately the phone does attract fingerprint marks. The screen is nearly impossible to keep clean and a cleaning cloth would have been a wise addition to the sales package.
The D900, like the previous models in the D series, is a slider handset and despite its diminutive frame, the unit feels solid and well built. The slider in particular shows no signs of slackness and is firm, yet easy to slide thanks to a spring mechanism. Our only complaint is that Samsung has failed to include a place for your thumb to sit, which would have made sliding much easier. Instead, the best way to slide open the D900 is by placing your thumb on the screen, leaving excessive finger marks.
Aesthetically, the phone is a similar design to the D820; it features the same controls, 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. Samsung has improved the design of the keypad though, with the annoying raised edges of the D820 removed. Instead, the edges are almost flat, as are the keys. Despite this, they still remain fairly easy to press, although they aren't distinctly separated like some other mobile phone keypads. Regardless, the keys are well spaced out and comfortable, so they should serve most users well.
The D900 features a 2.2in display and its performance is quite impressive. The 262 thousand colour screen is capable of a resolution of 240x320 pixels and is ideal for displaying photos and wallpapers. More importantly, it is excellent as a camera viewfinder. The D900 is equipped with a 3 megapixel digital camera, with added features including autofocus, a flash and 4x digital zoom. The camera even includes a self portrait mirror, so it's definitely one of the better camera phones on the market. Furthermore it is also able to capture video in MPEG4 format.
The performance of the D900 camera is about average for a camera phone. As usual, the shots produced aren't good enough for any sort of serious photography, but are more than adequate to use as background wallpaper or for basic happy snaps. The camera has a host 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. In addition to these, you are also able to adjust some of the finer settings including ISO and white balance.
The user interface of the D900 is superb, and Samsung has added 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 was dialling a phone number; upon pressing a number key a paper and pen appears, the pen writing the numbers as you press them, even complete with sound effects. Of course, this can be turned off in the settings menu if you wish.
The D900 also 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. Finally, the D900's menu interface highlights the selected menu item with a different colour scheme for each menu item, creating a contrast with the rest of the phone.
The D900 includes a feature called mobile tracker, first seen on the Z400 handset. When a SIM card in the D900 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. This is a very useful feature and although it doesn't prevent theft, it may make many people think twice before attempting to steal your phone.
In terms of connectivity, the D900 includes Bluetooth with A2DP for music streaming and USB connectivity, but no infrared. The MP3 player has been upgraded so you can now use other phone features (such as SMS messaging) while listening to music. In addition to playing MP3, AAC, AAC+ and e-AAC+ files, there is basic play list support included, as well as repeat and shuffle play modes, a preset equaliser and 3D sound effects. Unfortunately the D900 doesn't include a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, so you'll have to use the included ear buds or Bluetooth headphones.
Other features include standard POP3 and IMAP4 email access, SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input, polyphonic and MP3 ringtones, a hands-free speakerphone as well as a voice recorder and document viewer. The latter allows users to upload documents such as Word and Excel files to their phone for viewing. The TV-output option also makes a return on the D900, after being absent on the previous model. This allows users to connect the phone to any television with a composite AV input. Although it is an excellent idea, we found most documents, such as Microsoft Word files, to be unreadable due to the low 320x240 output resolution.
Once again, we were left disappointed with the D900's battery life. According to Samsung figures, the D900 offers only three hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of standby time. We found we had to charge the phone every two nights with only moderate usage, which is quite a poor performance.
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