Samsung Soul ReviewSamsung Soul 8.5
The phone is equipped with Bang & Olufsen’s ICEpower technology, which allows you to fully enjoy any songs . That could be the reason for the sound to be really good and clear, even playing low-bitrate tracks. At the same time, a gentle metal note can be heard, but it definitely isn’t annoying. The music player supports MP3, WMA, AAC+ file formats. Here, finally, you will be able to make use of the MagicalTouch pad. Displaying next/previous, play/pause, stop and a shortcut to the current playlist, it transforms into a player control panel. There are many sorting options available for the music files, including artist, genre, album, and composer. Besides, you have the background playing option, you can add effects (they actually work as an equalizer) and fade away at the end of the song. Overall, we are very happy with this element of the interface.
video player as a separate application is not present. To play a video file, you have to find it in the list of your files and then, jumping to the next/previous file in the directory is done easily, by using the controls, which are very similar to the ones seen in the music player. You are only able to watch videos with a resolution up to the screen’s (320x240) and in the most popular formats - MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and WMV. There is option for a landscape view. Unfortunately, DivX videos and those with the highest bitrate require more resource than the Soul can offer, and according to the current standard, that places it in the mid class.
The model disposes of an FM radio where the MagicalTouch pad comes in handy, by transforming its shortcuts for faster transfer to next/previous stations saved. It’s the same story with the Dictaphone; here even the “record” button changes its color! Great Success!
Did you know that the soul can store images? And they are five megapixel ones too, made with autofocus! The Samsung Soul’s camera has an interface identical to the one we’ve seen in G800. One of its best qualities is the fast focusing and snapping of an image (about 2 seconds in normally lighted area).
The main difference comes from the MagicalTouch pad. Here we have the four most frequently used commands. They allow you to easily activate/deactivate the flash and the macro mode or to setup the exposure and the self-timer.
The face recognition option is present in this model as well. When activated, the camera focus will remain centered over the face selected even if it moves.If the person moves out of range, the system will automatically try to focus on another one. One of its drawbacks is that it only recognizes faces if they are positioned frontally.
Here, the last position leads to the settings menu where we have additional options to the standard ones, such as quality (compression), ISO sensitivity (Automatic/50/100/200/400), digital stabilizer (on/off) and a few more. The phone supports the so called „wide dynamic range”, which could be on or off. Actually, it doesn’t do anything special, and it just increases the brightness in the darker areas of the pictures. In practice, you can get similar and even better results by using different computer programs. In addition, you can adjust the contrast, saturation and the sharpness of your pictures.
Overall, all functions necessary for snapping pictures using a mobile phone, are present. However, the capabilities is what people notice first, and the quality is what forms their opinion.
The pictures taken outdoors have extremely good saturated and real colors. The detail level is also very high for a phone and it really is apparent that the camera is a 5-megapixel one. Unfortunately, the pictures taken indoors are nothing similar. Even in a well-illuminated room, they come out blurry and a fair amount of noise is present. If you are taking pictures in darker environments, it is strongly recommended to use the flash, bearing in mind that it is very bright and creates annoying glossy spots. We don’t see when could the flash be used, and the Xenon solutions of Nokia N82 and Sony Ericsson K850 are much better.
In macro mode, the camera showed similar to the outdoor pictures results – if there is enough light, you’ll enjoy great quality.
The videos recorded are with a 320х240 pixels resolution and 15 fps – these having become a standard for most cameraphones and even the ones from the entry level. It would have been good if it could record at 640x480 pixels or at least 30 fps. The quality is not impressive, especially if you are shooting indoors.
Samsung Soul sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution
Overall we are happy with the camera’s quickness, rich functionality and the quality pictures made outdoors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have what it takes to be a very good one.
The phone comes with a few built-in games, most of them just trial versions. In contrast to KF600, here the MagicalTouch pad doesn’t change and doesn’t contribute to the entertainment qualities of the phone. Since the device supports JAVA MIDP 2.0, you can easily add more games or applications.
Like the rest of the latest Samsung models, Soul can also view (without modifying) Microsoft Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Reader (PDF) documents. Everything is visualized correctly, and you also have the convenient minimap, via which you can choose the part of the text you want to see, since most of the time the documents are larger than the screen (240х320). The problem with the complex (few sheets) Excel files has already been resolved and now they are visualized perfectly. Unfortunately, Office 2007 is yet not supported.
1. 000Lance (unregistered)
This is the best cell ever..... I'm gonna get one for sure !!!!
2. ahmad (unregistered)
good one, nice beauty looks
3. chrisgreek (unregistered)
i'm gonna buy it,thats for sure.Samsung Magical Touch ur my dream phone.
4. MUSICLOVER (unregistered)
Awesome hardware let down by a dated, unintuative, inflexible interface, few options for true customisation compared to modern phones and so many irritating interface design flaws that it becomes an utter pain to use day-to-day. Seriously, the interface designers need to make a hell of a lot of effort if I am ever to buy a Samsung again - ten years behind Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Apple in terms of usability.