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I recieved this phone as an upgrade from a Sony Ericsson I had. I used to own a Samsung mobile and I really liked it, I liked my Ericsson too but I fancied a change and went back to Samsung this time.
I have largely regretted choosing this phone, you might have heard alot of good reviews about it, but the phone has some bad points which I think shouldn't be there on a modern mobile phone and they are of great annoyance.
Before I go onto the phone's more specific points, I will describe the specs that everyone is interested in knowing about:
- One of the main reasons I was drew to this phone is the 5 mega pixel camera it boasts. I do know that mega pixels isn't everything in photo quality, but I have had a Samsung phone before with less MP and the quality was good. It also has a 4x digital zoom which isn't too bad!
- Touch screen pad, or as Samsung call it the 'Magical Touch ' navigation. Personally I find the 'Magical Touch' name a bit silly, everyone knows it's a mini touch screen, no fancy names needed here! The latest fad with mobile phones seems to be having a touch screen. I thought a touch screen sounded cool and modern, but when using a friend's LG Viewty I realised I couldn't stand using just a touch screen on a mobile. Texting was slightly annoying as you would occasionally hit several letters at once, and no one likes to spend ages sending a simple text message! When I heard this phone had a touch screen but also a keypad I thought this would be great, a touch screen for simple menu navigation but with the keypad still there for texting.
- Audio by Bang & Olufsen... I know this is a great brand, but then again the phone doesn't sound particularly amazing play music wise. If you want a good mp3 player then, well, buy an mp3 player.
I could launch now into the fact it has Java games, 3G, email, bluetooth etc etc. but to be honest everyone expects a modern mobile phone to have all of these, and to be honest I don't like playing games on a mobile phone, that's what the DS and PSP are there for.
Onto my own experience of the phone.
The phone itself isn't too small, but it's not bulky such as the Nokia N95. The phone I have is the silver one and it's very sleek and smooth and is generally a good looking mobile phone.
The mobile itself has 100MB internal memory, I bought a micro sd card to slot into it though as I know I can end up taking quite alot of photos with my mobile when my digital camera isn't handy! I got a memory card free with my old Ericsson, it's a shame Samsung don't also supply you with a memory card anyway.
The 'Magical' mini touchscreen is situated below the screen, and you slide the phone open to reveal the keypad. The keypad automatically locks when you slide the phone closed, but you can unlock it if you wish to use the phone without sliding it open. The touch screen navigation has 4 menu shortcuts, and the centre acts as the 'OK' key which adpats to what screen you are (it will turn into the send key when writing a text message, for example). You can also change the colour of the touch screen icons which is a nice little feature as you can be creative and have your phone's theme and touchscreen match. The touchscreen at first was too sensitive for me, however you can turn the sensitivity down.
Now the major problem I have with this touchscreen is that it is far too slow! It can sometimes crash for a few seconds then do all your key presses at once and it's very irritating. I know it isn't a problem with just my phone, my sister had the same phone and the touch screen annoyed her that much she sold the phone and got a N95! When sending a text message it will also sometimes do this and the way the phone is set out means you can often send blank text messages. It takes a long time to get used to it and it often seems to have a mind of it's own.
Speaking of sending a text message another major gripe I have with this mobile is how long it takes to send an actual text message. With my old Sony you would simply press send, then you could slide your phone shut or wander around other menus. With the Samsung Soul you press send then you have to sit and wait until the text message sends! If you slide your phone shut the message cancels and sits in your outbox. This irritates me alot, when sending a text more than 1 text long this can be a long process and it's very annoying sitting watching an envelope spinning around waiting for your text to send. This terrible bug alone has made me long for a new mobile phone since owning it, I will get round to getting rid of it soon, a modern mobile phone really should not make you wait for it to send the text message!
I do like the phone's camera quality. The pictures taken with it are great for a mobile phone and I am impressed. There are a couple of 'niggles'... the flash can be too bright and there's no way to turn it down. When taking a photo the phone's flash will activate, go off, then come on again before taking a photo. This means you have to explain to people this is going to happen or they start moving about after the first flash. The phone is good at stopping blurry photographs though which is excellent, after all you can't expect a mobile phone to be as good as a digital camera.
The alarms on the phone are good, you can choose to have it ring, vibrate or both when the alarm goes off. You can choose what days you want a certain alarm to play or if it's just a 'one off.' I have no complaints here.
The phone battery is quite average. It annoys me though when the bar gets down to one it will suddenly tart saying the battery is low... and it doesn't give you much time after that before it shuts off. I think the warning should come on longer before the phone will die on you.
The internet I don't find to be too fast, I've heard all this '3G' stuff but I really can't tell much difference! (Yes I do use the up-to-date sim card for this phone too).
Overall I have given this phone 2/5. I can't wait to upgrade and can't get of it but I'm stuck with it for another year yet. You can buy the Samsung Soul on eBay for around about £80-£100 I believe, and you can get it free on some network's contracts. I wouldn't recommend this phone, the touchscreen sounds like a good idea but in reality it's slow and not so 'magical' as Samsung make out. I advice to either go for the new Nokia Xpress, iPhone or the Renoir if your looking for a good quality touch screen phone.
Summary: Not a good phone for quick texters or fast mobile phone users!