Samsung U900 Soul [Mobile Phones]

Since a last few months Samsung has been trying really hard to capture the fancy of Indian mobile market. From making Aamir Khan a brand ambassador to launching some really sleek phones, they have been clear like anything that they want a lion’s share in the world’s 2nd largest mobile market.

All these years, Samsung has never managed to impress me enough to make me recommend any of their phones to anyone. But now they have come up with an exciting lineup that surely deserves a look. Let’s see how alive is the Samsung Soul.

Samsung U900 soul

Samsung U900 Soul

Let’s look at the specifications.

Network GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 & HSPDA 2100 (3G)
Display
240 x 320 pixels, 2.2″ TFT with 16M colors
Camera
5 Megapixel with Autofocus and Image Stabilizer
Multimedia Music player, MPEG4 Video player and FM Radio
Connectivity EDGE/3G/Bluetooth/USB
Battery Upto 6 hrs talk time and  280 hrs standby time
Weight 113 g
Dimensions (WxHxD)
105.9 x 49.5 x 12.9mm

At the first look the Soul looks just like other Samsung phones, a thin metal slider. But look closely and you realize that this one has much better finish and actually looks good and solid. The dimensions are very comfortable and really slim for a 5 Megapixel camera phone, almost 30% slimmer than it’s rivals Nokia N95/N96 but it’s in no way the slimmest of all phones.

Samsung Soul dimensions

Samsung U900 Soul Dimensions

Just below the average 2.2″ display is the wow factor of the phone. It is a touch OLED display with haptic feedback. I personally like navigation buttons to be hard as they allow me to control stuff in media players without looking but this sure looks awesome. Play around with it on the Samsung Soul microsite, you’d love it!

Samsung Soul OLED Touchpad

Samsung Soul OLED Touchpad

The major selling point of the phone is it’s camera. A 5 Megapixel camera with all the features you could imagine. It has the usual autofocus, LED flash and a macro mode. But the cool and new features are Face Detection, Image Stabilization and Wide Dynamic Range.

  • Face Detection allows the phone to detect faces in the picture and focus upon them, resulting in better focus and details.
  • Image Stabilization is not optical but electronic so it actually works like Auto ISO mode in digital cameras. If the camera suspects shake, it boosts the ISO hence allowing the shutter to stay open for a lower duration. The increase in ISO increases the noise but you get a sharper picture in the end. In a nutshell, it’s gimmicky.
  • The Wider Dynamic Range also is a gimmicky feature but a bit more useful. It actually works like Nikon D-lighting and enhances the contrast in such a way that typically darker/shadowy areas are brightened up a notch making up for a more balanced picture.

The most important thing though is that how is the picture quality. All 3 of my favorite expert reviewers, GSMArena, Mobile-Review and MobileBurn, share a common opinion. The camera is great. If not better, it’s almost as good as the Nokia N95 camera which we know is as good a benchmark as any.

Coming to media playing capabilities, the phone features an ICEpower® amp developed by Bang & Olufsen which is supposed to sound great. The phone has no huge inbuilt storage but allows adding microSD cards to store your media. It also doesn’t have a 3.5 inch port but bundles an adapter that allows you to plugin your own set of headphones. And yes, it also allows Bluetooth audio streaming and has and FM Radio. All in all, it’s a decent music player solution.

The phone has a proprietary Operating System and only Java application support. While it is limiting, it still allows you to install the ever improving Opera Mini and browse the web as should be done.

In conclusion, I am surprised to say, I really like the Samsung Soul. It’s a great feature packed solution and performs well in almost all areas. It’s not a phone for the geeks as it lacks proper application support (like Series 60/Windows Mobile or Apple phones), has no WiFi, no decent email support etc etc. But it’s not made for geeks. It’s a simple phone for fashion conscious people that find the Nokia N95 too heavy and clunky for their needs. If only it was priced around 15k INR, I would’ve recommended it to anyone blindly. But at around the 20k region, there are better options like Nokia 6220 Classic and Nokia N82. I’d suggest giving them a look before you buy the Samsung Soul.

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Comments

2 Responses to this post

  1. The touch pad navigation is awesome!

    Samsung phones are always high priced, but, just wait, price will be normal after they are released for months.

  2. Gale Mayer says:

    looks fabulous! Korean phone makers know how to make beautiful phones!

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