By November 27, 2008

Samsung U800 Soul Review

Introduction

When the nice guys over at Samsung sent us this this very nice pink handset to review and my initial reaction was "It’s Pink". I decided immediately that this phone would do my street cred no good at all and immediately handed it to my wife Lynne who was all too obliging to try it out for me. For each Samsung U800 Pink mobile phone that are sold, a minimum of £10.00 which be donated to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which is a charity that is committed to the fight against breast cancer through research, campaigning and education of the people within the UK.

U800_angled_left
Samsung Soul U800

The 10 second review:
Device: Samsung Soul U800
Cost: PAYG on Orange £79.95 (Inc VAT) or From Free on O2 & Orange Contract.
Available to pre-order from: Phones 4 U (Go and buy one from here)
Summary: A great device aimed at the typical mobile phone user and does exactly what it says on the tin.
Best of: Design, Ease of Use, Size, Concept
Worst of: No WiFi or IRDA, positioning and proprietary headset connector (port)

What’s in the box?

  • Samsung U800
  • Battery
  • Mains charger
  • User manual
  • Quick start guide
  • Sync software CD
  • Warranty Card

Specification

  • GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • HSDPA 2100
  • Dimensions: 111 x 46 x 9.9 mm
  • Weight: 90.4 g
  • Display Type: TFT, 16M colors
  • Size: 240 x 320 pixels, 2.0 inches
  • Vibration
  • microSD (TransFlash), up to 8 GB
         – 1 GB shared memory
  • GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
  • EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • USB  v2.0
  • SMS, EMS, MMS, Email
  • Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
  • Camera: 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, video([email protected]), LED flash; secondary CIF videocall camera
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • MP3/AAC/eACC+/WMA player
  • FM radio with RDS
  • T9
  • Office document viewer
  • Organizer
  • Built-in handsfree
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion
  • Stand-by Up to 400 h
  • Talk time Up to 3 h 20 min

General

The Pink U800 Soul is no different as you would imagine to the the U800 Soul in any other colour although the main thing to notice is the fact that it’s a Samsung U range phone that is not a slide which could be considered a break from the norm.

The phone design is very nice and fits into the hand very snugly. At the top of the screen there is a rectangular curved edge earpiece grill and the front facing 3G camera. The Phone itself is not unlike a standard candybar phone in regards to button placement and design.

U800_angled_right
Angled view of Pink U800

The left hand side of the phone has just 2 areas of interest starting at the top with the rocker volume switch and lower down with the MicroSD slot .

 U800_left
The Left Hand Side

Moving over to the right hand side we find the charging port which triples as a headphone socket and usb connection then a customisable button a little further down with a red line going through it.

 U800_right
The Right Hand Side

The top of the handset has nothing interesting to see except for what can only be described as a fake grill pane

U800_top
Top View

At the bottom we find a hole for the carry strap or pendant

 U800_bottom
Bottom View

Looking to the back of the phone we find the 3MP Camera with the flash underneath and loudspeaker grill to the right. The back is made of a metal and has the Samsung name and camera specs etched / printed on it. At the bottom area it moves back to the standard handset finishing and the other end of the carry strap / pendant hole can be found.

 U800_back
Back View

Removing the back from the phone allows you access to the Li-Ion battery and simcard area.

Highlights and Lowlights

+ Camera Quality

+ Finish of phone

+ Easy GUI

+ Screen resolution & size

– Placement of earphone / charging jack

– No 3.5mm Jack socket

– No IRDA

– No WiFi

Review

We had this phone for just over 2 weeks and in those 2 weeks it was used daily by Lynne. The simple menu system was the first of the things that made the daily usage a pleasurable experience. Wherever you expected to find something in the menu it was generally there which was a real plus for this phone.

Text messaging was the next thing that Lynne mentioned as being great, the size of the keys and the on screen text size made it very easy for frequent text messaging.

I think the biggest downside to this phone has to be the Samsung proprietary headset connector and Charger. Having these things on the side of a device which is used daily and sits in pockets can only signal one fate, breakage (we didn’t actually break anything… thankfully). The use of a miniUSB on the bottom of the device would have been a far better idea for both charging and headset usage than the standard that Samsung and many other manufacturers through out.

Not having WiFi on this phone really broke Lynne’s heart, it was the one thing that would have prevented her from buying one herself and given today’s fast paced lifestyle and mobile competition this feature should almost be considered as standard as the ability to connect via GPRS.

The battery life was really good and with normal usage it needed a charge after 3 to 4 days. The actual charging time itself was also very quick although we didn’t think to note the actual time.

The phone had a few surprises up it’s sleeve with the first being that despite the phone sitting in the budget market the sound quality on the speaker phone was very clear and not at all tinny which is very common these days. The next wee surprise was the sound quality of the radio / media player with the earphones in. It was loud and clear enough to ignore anyone sitting beside you and to enjoy music in peace which Lynne found useful when sitting next to me.

      

U800_keypad

Left Angled View

Conclusion

The Samsung U800 Soul is a wonderful low to mid market phone. Although not rich in many of today’s must have features it does not claim to be anything other than it actually is.

Without sounding remotely sexist this phone was designed with women in mind and it works 100% within the realms of what it is designed to.  

Samsung have really worked this phone very well and the idea of assisting a well deserved cause as well as having a mobile phone that is both very well designed and very pink should be enough of a USP to get this phone selling loads and out of the door.

Overall this phone great to use and as per my comments above it done exactly what it said on the tin which is a nice change in today’s markets.

Posted by: John

Review by: Lynne

Posted in: Reviews

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