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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Monday, 28 March 2005

Well, I decided that it was about time to upgrade my Motorola V600 phone, after having it just over a year.  I know it's upgrades, upgrades, upgrades, but the fact the phone was just "okay" rather than being brilliant was a key decision point.  Text messaging on the V600 is cumbersome and the menu options very slow - and I mean VERY slow!  The clamshell design was good at the time, but I think as a fashion item I use every day - it's probably good to keep up with the times :o) - and I forgot to say it was a free upgrade - so it ain't that bad!

Motorola V600 Design Review:

V600 Popular Clamshell DesignFrom the exterior, the V600 looks very similar to the V66's curved designs. However there are two noticeably major differences. The first is the external LCD. Sitting on the front lid is a 2 lined 96 x 32 px monochrome display. Useful information such as time, date, caller ID, and battery life are shown for convenience.  This was definitely a plus point!!!

The second is the camera lens right above the external LCD. The integrated VGA camera allows you to take pictures up to 640 x 480 px resolution. 

The V600 has a compact size of 87.5 x 47 x 22.5 mm. Compared to the T720, it is roughly similar in shape and size. Although not tiny compared to the market, it is small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket, and large enough to find in a dark purse.  But it was looking like a tired phone after about a year - and I think Motorola, like Nokia, have a need to now look for "modern" designs...

Samsung D500 Upgrade:

So I decided to upgrade to the fantastic looking and slick design, Samsung D500.

Announced by Samsung in October 2004, and now available in the UK, the D500 combines the very best of Samsung's techology in every field: from cutting-edge TFT screen to megapixel digital camera to wireless connectivity. The phone is aimed both at high-end business users and the technology-hungry personal user market.

Samsung D500In many respects, the D500 can be viewed as an enhancement of the D410, which itself has much in common with the best-selling E800. Like these phones, the D500 has a slide-up design, which enables a large screen to be placed within a compact phone design. Many of the phones features are conveniently available on the front face, but a gentle push will make the slide mechanism open and close automatically, giving access to the full keypad below. Unlike the D410, the D500 has an internal aerial, giving it a more modern appearance, and removing the possibiility of damage to the aerial. The phone is also lighter than the D410 at just 99g.

The display on the D500 is quite exceptional. With a size of 1.9 inches, a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels and 262k colours, it knocks most other phones dead, and is even bigger than the display on the D410. The screen uses TFT technology, making it bright and clear, suitable for use even in direct sunlight.

The camera has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels, making it simply the best camera phone available at the time of launch. The camera has a flash for low-light photography and a 7x digital zoom. The camera can also be used as a camcorder for making videos, with a 4x digital zoom.

The phone comes with an MP3 player, with bags of memory for storing audio tracks. MP3 clips can also be used as ringtones as an alternative to the 64-voice polyphonic MIDI ringtones that come supplied. MP3 ringtones offer the highest possible quality audio.

The phone incorporates some of the advanced technology introduced in the E800 to enhance voice clarity. The phone automatically senses the volume of the background noise and will increase the volume and clarity of the incoming call to make it more audible. In addition there is an integrated handsfree speakerphone.

The D500 is the first Samsung phone in the UK to incorporate Bluetooth™ wireless connectivity, and the phone also has a USB port for easy connection to a computer. The Bluetooth support is a full implementation, enabling data to be transferred as well as for connecting to a wireless headset or car kit.

The memory available in the D500 is a whopping 80 Mbytes - more than enough for storing videos and MP3 tracks, and enough for demanding business users too. For example, the phone can store over 1,000 megapixel images, 60 minutes of video, or up to 20 MP3 tracks.

Is there anything missing from the D500? The phone clearly addresses any shortcomings with the D410 by introducing an internal aerial, Bluetooth™ wireless connectivity and an expanded memory. Perhaps the only thing missing is the option to plug in an additional memory card - although frankly 80 Mbytes is more than adequate for most users. The phone lacks the Symbian operating system of a smartphone, which means that third-party applications are limited, but the D500 isn't a smartphone and it's not fair to compare it with one. In its class, we believe that the D500 is simply the best!

Features of the Samsung D500 include:

  • 1.3 megapixel camera with flash and digital zoom
  • Video recording & messaging
  • 262,144 colour TFT LCD display (176 x 220 pixels)
  • Music player (MP3/AAC)
  • Java™ games
  • Ringtones: 64-voice polyphonic and MP3
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth™, USB, SyncML
  • Integrated speakerphone
  • MMS
  • E-Mail client / vCard / vCalendar
  • Memory: 80 Mbytes
  • WAP 2.0
  • Tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz)
  • Size: 94 x 46 x 24 mm
  • Weight: 99g

Well, this is what I feel about the phone - it really is this good - and finally Samsung supports Bluetooth!  It's just a shame that you have to pay extra for the software/cable to transfer between your PC and the phone.  They've taken the same approach as Motorola which was a turn-off at the time I purchased the V600 initially.  Samsung initally bundled the software and cable with their phone, such as the Samsung-V200 phone I got a couple of years back.

D500 reviews
Written by Guest on 2005-04-09 15:25:47
More reviews of the Samsung D500 here:
Written by Guest on 2005-04-09 15:26:38
Samsung D500

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