Samsung S5600 Preview

Introduction and Design

„Whoa, babe, don´t you just dig these shiny large touch-screen phones, oh my, don´t they rock!”
We guess this is what Samsung´s lead designer’s wife must have said to him all in one breath … and here we go, we are swimming in these. Coming in all shapes, forms and sizes imaginable, with or without hardware keyboards, smart or not that sharp… what they all have in common is a price tag that not anyone can afford. The harbinger of things to come, the very first “budget” touchscreen phone to have ever hit the shelves was the sweetly named Cookie by LG. Following suit, the other Korean phone manufacturer was soon to jump on the bandwagon and sink teeth in what was to become quite a lucrative market niche, coming out with not just one but two phones at a fell swoop - the S5600 and the S5230.


If you think the S5600 is about to change your views regarding outlook or visual aspects of a phone with a huge touch-screen, well, you are bound to be sorely disappointed. Something tells us that until a technology allowing you to bend and fold the touch-screen has sprung into being to crank up the mainstream market, all touch-screen phones but will remain cast in the same mold.  The big 2.8 inch QVGA resolution touch-screen takes up the entire front side of the phone with the send and end keys that lack their specific red/green color located right below. The big button in the middle allows you to go a level back in the interface menus while keeping it pressed for a short time calls up an alphabetical list of shortcuts. What holds the attention is design here, the device is quite small and neat looking alongside of the OMNIA HD (now that´s what we call huge), quite handy and easy to use in one hand. Its back side feels rough and a bit rugged to the touch.

You can compare the Samsung S5600 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Casting around for what it is that is hidden under the cover? Well, it´s the microUSB slot. Both its left and right hand sides are adorned with fairly standard and nothing really fancy type of buttons – phone lock and camera shutter on its right hand side and a volume rocker on the opposite. We should say we do have a soft spot in our hearts for the phone´s design though. Being neat, moderate and streamlined, looking even a bit minimalist, it goes quite easy on the eye and kind of grows on you, that is to say not that we would be sitting on our hands had the designers come out with a livelier color. It takes some getting used to, erm, learning to live with what may be referred to as quirky designer decisions. What is the fly in the ointment in this case then? In high hopes of saving you from going over the manual time and time again or alternatively, calling up the customer support, we have a revelation to make - the microSD expansion slot is located nowhere else but right underneath the snugly fitting battery pack. Well, just grin and bear it, right?

Samsung S5600 Video preview:

Samsung S5600 360 Degrees View:

Interface and functions:

We are the first to admit we are a far cry from being the most eager fans of all these widgets, especially if the screen is not big enough for them to be properly displayed. In this particular case, the manufacturer has luckily not taken a leave of their common sense and came up with three separate startup screens, allowing you the opportunity to swiftly switch the tabs with but a flick of your fingers, just the way you do that on the G1. Unfortunately, unlike the first Android phone, the cool transition effects are, well, pretty conspicuous in their absence. Anyway, the good thing is the three screens provide quite enough space to conveniently deploy a number of widgets and loading up on even more goodies is as easy as duck soup. We are as happy as can be that having been MIA for several years, Samsung has finally come to its senses and zeroed in on what its customers need coming back to its colorful, lively and detailed main menu icons. We are quite pleased to find out the S5600 has got all functions an average user can think of or wish for – organizer, calendar, alarm clocks and the like, FM radio, music player with song recognition, photo gallery etc. Although not a letdown, what fails to meet our expectations is the phonebook. Searching entries feels a bit clumsy and sluggish, because entries aren´t filtered as you enter letters, but thankfully, there´s a slider you can use to select phonebook entry groups by the first letter of the name.

So, what about the camera? S5600 has got a 3-megapixel camera with a LED flash, its interface bearing a striking resemblance to the one found on the 8-megapixel UltraTOUCH (there´s quite a number of available options and it is pretty comfy to use with just your bare fingers indeed). Likewise, you can hardly deem the S5600 fit for eager photographers. Where the phone strikes the right note is taking the odd snap to remember an occasion. You can also create your own QVGA resolution video clips at 15 frames per second.

Last but not least, what gripped our attention is the fake call option that helps you to throw pricks off and steer clear of boring chitchats. Well, boring is something the S5600 is definitely not. The phone looks cool, has but an appealing interface and at a proper price it can pose a serious threat to the LG Cookie in the budget touch-screen solutions class, even more so given its full fledged 3G functionality to help meet the growing demands of the new internet-savvy generation.  You will soon find out whether or not the phone is up to task however, when we write a full  review about it.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless