Samsung Soul Review
US on AT&T (without 3G) and T-Mobile (without 3G).
That’s exactly how we received the 2008 Samsung flagship, the Soul. Actually, the name is formed as an abbreviation of Spirit Of Ultra. The phone is expected to replace the somewhat outdated U700 and U600 in the high class of the slim sliders.
Since the very first time we meet, the phone impresses us with its fashion design and characteristics. In this model, we once more face the „Magic Touch” display (presented in last years E950 even though not under such a showy name), designed for navigation and “something more”.
The package contains:
- Samsung Soul
- 2 mini CD's
- Advertising brochure
- Data cable
The Web site of the Soul, it is mentioned that the phone is equipped with an adapter for a 3.5 mm jack, but in the unit we reviewed, such is not present. Apparently, the contents of the package depends on the region you reside in.
Unfortunately, there is not a special pouch or a case included either, and such an addition, can contribute a lot for a beautiful phone to become a fashion accessory.
Who would refuse an armored soul? This one made by Samsung has been protected just partially with only the front panel and the battery lid made out of metal. The rest of the elements are made of black plastic, which prevents the phone from easily sliding out of your hands. All that is combined with a handy size (4.2 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches (106 x 49.5 x 12.9 mm)) and a well balanced body weighing 4.0 oz (112 g).
You can compare the Samsung Soul to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool
display takes up 2/3 of the upper part of the phone. It supports a resolution up to 240x320 and up to 16 million colors, qualities that ensure fully saturated details and images. Unfortunately, it suffers from the typical for most fashion devices, mirror-like effect, which although giving the phone an additional shine effect, makes it hard to use.
Over it, is located the video calling camera and below, are the large and easy to press soft buttons and the widely advertised „MagicalTouch” pad.
That is a touch sensitive display, which replaces the D-pad, by changing the icons indexing the functions according to the corresponding menu. It has a very good sensibility (which can be adjusted depending on your needs), it can vibrate when touched, and the color of the icons and the effects, which are a part of it, are subjects to customizations (however, according to the manufacturer, red and orange are the same color and are visualized in the same way). Even though at first sight it looks like LG KF600’s InteractPad, its purpose is totally different and there are a few substantial drawbacks:
- First, the buttons in it (the arrow for example) are small and not convenient for use by people with big fingers.
- In contrast to KF600’s InteractPad, which can show less, but bigger and different buttons, the icons on it will always visualize in one of the four directions or the center.
- It only reacts to the touch of skin so you cannot even use it with thin glovers.
- The worst is that the rest of the buttons (the soft ones and the two receivers) are not touch sensitive and you’ll often wish they were, since you’ll get used to touching and not pressing (because of the “MagicalTouch”). Nevertheless, you’ll still have to press them, which will make you feel confused; once pressing, once touching. We expected to quickly get used to the system, but alas it didn’t happen even after a few days.
- The last thing that was annoying is the frequent accidental pressing of icons when opening and closing.
Considering all the drawbacks, we don’t see why use this “special solution”, instead of a traditional hardware D-pad. The only positive thing you get, is the “wow factor”.
In order to avoid the involuntary touching, you have to operate the slider by placing your finger on the round edges especially provided under the soft buttons, which is convenient for everyone. We are very happy with the movement of the sliding mechanism, but disappointed from the instability when opened, something inappropriate for the high-class phones.
keyboard is revealed in the bottom part. The rows are divided by protruding elements, and the buttons have a fine relief (on the digits), which couldn’t possibly help you find them by touch only (unless of course you have very sensitive fingers). The top row contents a video calling shortcut (left), the clear button and one for the switch menu (right).
On the right hand side, we have the camera key, which almost can’t be felt when pressed and the microSD slot. The opposite side houses the charger/data cable/handsfree connector and the volume rocker, which should have been positioned higher in order to make it more convenient to use.
On the back of the phone, we find the 5-megapixel camera, equipped with a tiny mirror and an LED flash. To get to the SIM card slot, you need to remove the back lid and the 880 mAh battery.
Overall, Samsung Soul is a very stylish device, and the combination of metal elements with a large mirror-like display would attract anybody’s attention.
The phone is offered in three color variants. Our review sample is called Soul Gray and is much more masculine, compared to the all silver unit from our preview (aka platinum silver) and the sterling steel. As far as we know the manufacturer, many more color schemes are to follow.