Samsung HD Icon smartphone

Samsung's HD Icon is the first mobile phone in the world to record 720p HD video

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Samsung HD Icon
  • Samsung HD Icon
  • Samsung HD Icon
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • HD video recording, excellent 8-megapixel camera, TouchWIZ interface, large AMOLED display, 3.5mm headphone jack, good music player, 16GB internal memory with card slot

Cons

  • Glossy design is a fingerprint magnet, no lens cover for camera, some Symbian UI issues, no dedicated app store

Bottom Line

The Samsung HD Icon is recommended for anyone after an excellent camera phone. HD video recording is superb, it can take excellent photos and it's a very capable music player, too. The Symbian OS isn't perfect and can be the cause of some frustration, but Samsung has done a much better job than Nokia with this touch-screen smartphone.

Would you buy this?

The Symbian S60 operating system powers the HD Icon, but it's been tweaked with Samsung's TouchWIZ interface. Used on a range of the latest Samsung mobile phones — including the Windows Mobile powered Omnia Icon — TouchWIZ is widget-based skin that sits on top of the phone’s operating system. The use of widgets may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they work reasonably well. You simply press and drag icons from the panel to the main area to use a particular program or function. The HD Icon's three home screen pages are fully customisable. The widgets aren't labelled in the sidebar, so it's hard to distinguish what many of them do. Additionally, the Facebook and YouTube widgets are merely links to the Web page of each service rather than dedicated apps.

Samsung HD Icon

The Samsung's TouchWIZ UI is a highlight of the HD Icon and features a widget-based home screen.

Interface tweaks unique to the HD Icon include the ability to swipe left and right to reveal the main menu and photo contacts application respectively. The screen transition is smooth and the 3D effects feel polished and fast — terms usually not associated with Symbian phones, especially touch-screen handsets.

Although there is a similar version of Symbian used on the Nokia N97, the HD Icon's capacitive touch screen results in a far better user experience. There is minimal lag and it feels like a far more polished smartphone than the N97. There are still some issues: scrolling is a mixed bag (annoyingly following your finger when trying to flick through a list), single and double click inconsistencies remain in various functions, and there is no dedicated Symbian app store, despite the wide range of applications available for the platform.

Samsung HD Icon

The interface eye-candy, like the above effect when sliding from the home screen to the main menu, gives the Samsung HD Icon a polished feel.

The Samsung HD Icon smartphone is a capable music player, with a 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio application and a tweaked music player. The music software features large touch buttons that make it easy to navigate. Using the built-in accelerometer, turning the phone to the side allows you to slide through your album covers, similar to Apple's Cover Flow system on the iPhone.

The included Web browser supports Flash and has no problems loading most pages, but typing an address requires too many presses and moving around the page isn't as smooth as we'd have liked. There is no multitouch zooming (you double tap instead).

Samsung HD Icon

The Samsung HD Icon's music player has been tweaked from the standard Symbian offering and features large, easy to press buttons on the Now Playing screen.

The Samsung HD Icon is an HSDPA-capable phone and also boasts built-in GPS, a digital compass, Bluetooth with A2DP, USB with a standard micro-USB interface and Wi-Fi. It has 16GB of flash memory, and there is a microSD card slot for extra storage.

Samsung rates the HD Icon's battery life at up to 6.5 hours of talk time and 450 hours of standby time on a 3G network. We managed slightly less than advertised times, but the HD Icon still outperforms the iPhone and the HD video recording and large screen don't have an adverse affect on battery life. The HD Icon will get you comfortably through a day, even with heavy use.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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 x360

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 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?