Samsung SGH-G600 Review
As we’ve said many times, nowadays the evolution of the mobile phones is pretty fast and every new generation of devices comes with improved technical specifications. While it is easy to follow the innovation in the hardware, as they are easily noted in the specifications of the devices (for example 5-megapixel camera compared to 3-megapixel one) it isn’t really the case when it comes to the software tweaks. As manufacturers are building on their already developed and widely used systems, they keep some things the same, change others and add third. In some cases, there isn’t clear difference between the software generations and only people really used to the brand’s software easily note the changes. Such examples are three of the latest generation Ultra phones – the U100, U300 and U700. Although they were announced and started shipping at the same time, their operating systems were quite different, due to personalization.
Manufacturers know that they should include new features in the software in order to capture the attention of the users, who always require the best possible. Let’s take Sony Ericsson for example: after the flash themes were shown in the Walkmans, the users requests were pleased and they also appeared in the other lines. After it used the same generation software for more than a year, the new models like K850 and W910 appeared with new flash-based multimedia menu which improves on this type of functionality and will leave most of the customers satisfied with their purchase, understanding the have something new.
As previous phones, the Home screen visualizes service information with small icons and the home screen can be set with “Dynamic” option, which will display animated wallpaper based on your location, and will change with the arriving of the night. If you choose the rather standard option to use an image as wallpaper the phone can use a selection of images and randomly change them, every time you look at the homescreen. This screen can also be personalized with dual clock (showing another time zone) or a calendar of the month, which has been available for years in Samsung phones.
By default, the four directions of the D-pad are shortcuts to different menus. If you don’t like them this way, this functionality can be personalized to lead to another menu, or to be stopped. Straight out of the box the “up” leads to the “My Menu” which holds additional 5 shortcuts which can also be personalized. Probably the only thing that cannot be changed are the soft buttons, which here lead to the Menu and the Contacts. Our greatest dislike is that the central button is defined for the internet browse instead of to the main menu, which is something many have disagreed with in the past.
The Main Menu is visualized in a grid of 3x4 icons which enlarge when selected and show their Title. Preloaded the phone comes with a few themes, which only change the color schemes and the background of the menu.
One of the preloaded themes thought is different, as it changes the layout of the main menu, which reminds us of the Sony Ericsson flash themes. This means that other similar themes may turn the menu into a horizontal or vertical list, which will lead to even greater personalization of the interface appearance.
The coolest thing is that if you don’t like the preloaded themes, an option to create (or edit) you own is offered directly in the phone itself. The results are very good and this way you can adjust the colors of the themes exactly by your taste.
The sub-menus are vertical lists and as optionally you can choose when selecting a field with sub-options, a pop-up menu with them to appear. From here directly choose the options without entering in the field. Each menu option is numbered and the first twelve will correspond to the numeric keyboard buttons, also like the main menu.
We cannot hide our please by some of the features of the user interface. Like in some earlier models, the menu has “memory” and will remember what you’ve used last. Let’s say we’ve edited the Wallpaper, which is accessed in the following way: Menu>Settings>Display settings>Home screen. Pressing the soft key from the home screen will open the main menu with the Settings selected, press the central/confirm button and the Display settings will be selected, choose it and the Home screen option will be highlighted. This is very comfortable for us and we guess that many of the customers will also approve it.
Another thing we were pleasantly surprised with is the optional transition of the menus. When you move from one to the other, the G600 can change them in one of 5 ways, which doesn’t bring any functionality but leads to more modern look that gives good impression.
Samsung SGH-G600 is the first phone of the brand we test that supports real “Phone profiles”. In addition to the Normal and Silent, it has one for Driving, Meeting, Outdoor and Offline which will turn the phone functions off. Each of them personalizes the phone sounds for incoming call, messages and the phone operation and features fields for Call alert type, Tone and volume for each of the three.
The phonebook capacity is a thousand contacts and all that are saved are displayed in list without images but with the number and index icon (displaying its type – home, mobile, work, etc) next to it. Adding a contact is done in a few steps and there are two fields for names (first and last), five for numbers (which type can be changed and so you can enter five mobile numbers for example), email and notes text fields, one data field for birthday and three fields for group and personal CallerImage and CallerRinger. The U700 was more advanced in this direction and was able to store as much numbers as you’d want to. Searching of contact is performed by directly typing letters but unfortunately works only for the first word in the First name.
Newer Samsung models offer an alternative to the search, which will be activated when you type number from the homescreen. After the third character is input, the G600 visualizes the matching results for numbers in the phonebook and the call history. We’ve seen similar solution in the new Sony Ericsson phones (K850 and W910) as well as in Windows Mobile 6 (both Professional and Standard), earlier versions of the non-touch edition and on BlackBerry phones. Unlike the Samsungs, the other systems found results matching also the names, which is a lot more convenient. For example entering 636 lead to result “NEO” as this is the buttons you would press if a predictive text input system is used. The Samsung search won’t really help you for discovering a contact, but will show you a number you’ve used once you start typing it.
As you’ve seen above, Samsung phones are one of the richest on interface tweaks. You can change the way the dialing screen looks, with the options to customize the font size (Small, Medium and Large) or use an animated interface, which we first saw in the D900. It is an animated pen that writes on a white sheet of paper, but its performance is slower than the ordinary option.
1. saad (unregistered)
this phone comes all that u need in a phone.a kool 5mega pixel cam,speakerphone,bluetooth headset which is small and easy to use when ya drivin....i think its a nippy small phone with alot of technology crammed in ;-)
2. kai (unregistered)
has Very weak signal reception in the con list makes its the worest phone..........damn....
I have had this phone about 2 months, I use it for business + can't get the thing to sync successfully. I regularly have to reset the communication settings so it will talk to my PC. It was working fine but it's now syncing 12 hours out, so my Outlook appointment's appear at 5am instead of 5pm. Extremely frustrating. I would rather these features worked, + not have a fancy 5mpx camera.