Samsung D900 review
Whether hooking it up to your TV, synchronising your calendar with your PC or just making calls, the Samsung D900 is a simple phone to use
The Samsung SGH-D900 phone certainly gets your attention. It's well spec'd, has a large screen, is lightweight and, as it says on the box, is very thin. Unlike a lot of slider phones that thinness is not a problem. The D900 slide action is smooth and doesn't feel like it's going to break as soon as you open it. We looked at the "Red" version which is more burgundy than Red.
It takes very little to get the phone up and running. The initial battery charge took just under 1hr and even if this is your first Samsung phone, the menus make it easy to start making calls and sending texts. The keys give a positive feel when pressed and like the navigation panel are large enough that you don't find yourself having to use the phone with your fingernails.
The outside of the phone is relatively clear of buttons with just camera and audio controls alongside ports for external data card (Micro SD - not supplied with the phone) and external socket. This same socket is used for charging, connecting to a laptop to synchronise data, the external headset and for connection to a TV.
Unlike a lot of phones that have page after page of menu items, Samsung has kept the menu to a single page of nine groups. While this speeds up initial navigation, as soon as you get into any menu you get little pop up menus which can have pop up menus of their own. Initially a little tiresome, you soon get used to the menus you use regularly and ignore those that you don't.
Basic operations such as setting the date/time and sending texts are just a few clicks. Like most PC's, the D900 uses timezones and allows you to configure for daylight saving. A useful feature is that you can opt for the Auto Update feature which reconfigures the time and date information when you change country rather than you having to keep making the settings yourself.
As well as the expected functions such as calling, messaging and camera, the D900 comes with a number of games that are easy to play on this handset. They are all Java games so you can download and add more games from a variety of sources, one of which is the Samsung Mobile website. Finding the games on the phone isn't that easy, you have to go to the Applications menu and take the option for Java World. A simple Games icon would have been so much easier.
It's not just games that you can download. There are an increasing number of mobile applications written under Java that can be downloaded and run on this phone.
The music player is not bad but if used for a couple of hours will quickly kill the battery. This was a disappointment. Mobile phones want to be the all-in-one of the mobile entertainment world but have a long way to go with battery life to achieve this. The phone comes with 60MB of memory and the ability to use a Micro SD card. However, you will need to think carefully about the size of the audio files as they can quickly eat up all of the memory.
As well as applications there is support for Bluetooth. This allows you to connect headsets, print to a Bluetooth printer and synchronise with PDA's and Bluetooth enabled PC's. The advantage of this is that it removes all of the cables. What was a serious disappointment was the inability to actually make a hands free call from a Bluetooth headset. Samsung claim that this can be done from their Bluetooth Car Kit but we couldn't find a single stockist who knew when they could get hold of one.
The camera takes both still images and video supporting one of the widest range of pixel options I've ever seen. While it is all stored on the local memory to begin with you can easily move to the memory card or send to the PC. In the box, there is also a cable to connect to your television and display your pictures and videos or to play your music.
There is support for WAP and mobile Internet and Samsung has a very useful utility on their website that allows you to send the setting to your phone for the network to which you are connected. This speeds up accessing the Internet quickly.
Samsung PC Studio comes with this phone and allows you to create links between the PC and the phone. You can access either through a cable or over Bluetooth if the PC supports it.
Unfortunately, while the general synchronisation seemed to go well, attempting to use Phone Explorer and move files off of the phone and onto the PC was less than successful with a constant series of file errors. The only solution was to move files to the memory card before taking them off onto the PC. This was relatively painless but the software should have handled it.
The phone synchronises well with your email, contacts and diary on the PC and makes this a personal and business device. Apart from the poor battery performance when playing music, this is a nice phone targeted at a wide audience. Most operators are giving this phone away free but if you want it SIM free then it can be found for as little as £168 ex VAT.
Samsung D900 info
Typical price: £130 SIM-free
Thin slider phone
3 megapixel camera
Good PC syncronicity
Battery draining music player
Verdict: A stylish and slim slider phone [acked with fantastic features
Recycle your phone: Sell Samsung D900