Samsung BEAT DJ Preview0
UltraTOUCH, which we have already written about. Once again, you are free to customize the home screen by placing various widgets. The manufacturer’s efforts have not been in vain. There are plenty of drag-and-drop mini apps, but there is one thing that gets to us. The special widget, used to download additional ones, is conspicuous by its absence. We sincerely hope that it is present when the phone finally hits the shelves, since it would greatly diversify your options. You can access your favorite contacts (which are “photo contacts” here) by sliding a finger to the right, while gliding it to your left takes you to the main menu. The other way to navigate to the menu is through the icons on the lower end of the screen. There are also icons that give you access to the phone book and the on-screen keypad.
There isn’t anything to make you do a double take when it comes to organizer functions, alarms and so on, so we will just get straight to… Wait! We remember now that the phone actually has a really cool voice recorder that deserves some attention! Okay, okay, let´s cut to the chase and to what the DJ is best at – music.
As we said, the stereo speakers pack quite a punch, but the software that utilizes them is quite important as well. So, we finally made it to the Music submenu. Once you have started the music player you will find yourself in the library. By default, you can filter your songs by: all tracks, playlists, albums, BeatDJ playlist, artists, genres and podcasts. However, you can add or remove filters from the settings menu. The other available options are composers, recently played, most played and recently added. Quite a lot of stuff right away. The interface of the player itself is really nice. Viewing the available albums calls up a screen with CDs representing your albums. What you have to do next is quite natural – pick a CD of your liking (by holding a finger on it) and guide it to the player (by sliding your finger). Of course, if you are not in the mood, you can just tap on the CD to load it into the player and then press play. The on-screen keys will allow quick access to functions like 5.1 channel sound effect, shuffle, repeat, settings and the phone’s key feature - the BeatDJ application. Through the settings submenu you can select a sound effect and an equalizer preset. Luckily, you can also define your own custom preset.
As we said, the Beat DJ application is the most distinctive feature of the phone. Basically, it gives users the opportunity to have a whale of a time as a DJ and in our view the manufacturer has done it up brown. The options that are present are numerous enough and provide a nice set of filters and samples you can use to create your breakthrough mix. In addition, you can get quite a kick out of scratching your tracks, which, however, calls for a better software performance, since it responded rather slowly to our sharp moves (you should really hear our chart-topping remixes). Sadly, there is no way to mix the scratches you have made with the original song and the only thing you can do is like stop the song, do some scratching then get on with playing. There are some really cool filters such as tempo change, pitch and reverb. These actually work pretty well and do make the grade. With the reverb effect you can make a song sound for all the world as if it is being played in a large room, while pitch, for example, can be used to transpose a song so that you can make a female artist sound like a man, for example (not that Samsung put the effect with this in mind…). The samples are a bunch of sounds that can be added to a song. There are kicks, hi-hats, voices and so on, but again, the software’s untimely response turns an otherwise funny feature into something more or less useless.
Find Music tool for such occasions. So, the next time you hear an unfamiliar but great song, just record it with your BEAT DJ and then get it recognized using Find Music. Another cool feature is Find Tag. This is also a very useful tool that automatically fixes you up with all missing song names and artists, so that you can organize your playlists the way they´re meant to be.
It is not every day that a leading manufacturer offers a uniquely-looking phone, especially when it comes to pepping up what has been, this far, referred to as its basic music series. Aside from an awesome overall look, the BEAT DJ also provides a rich functionality and a fancy touch-sensitive screen, giving it the potential to become a real milestone multimedia device. It seems that the only thing Samsung needs to do now is a great deal of optimization, since the DJ’s software feels way too sluggish, at least on our prototype. Thumbs up!