Samsung Soul SGH-U900
Immortal inner spirit, on sale from Seoul
Review With touch control, a slim slider design, HSDPA mobile broadband and a 5-megapixel camera, the flagship Samsung Soul is aimed squarely at the hearts and wallets of style-conscious mobile buyers.
Working from the blueprint of its ultra thin-as-you-can phone family, Samsung has created a premium mobile with a more substantial build, and a heftier feature count that includes a 5 megapixel camera, high-speed HSDPA 3G connectivity – and Samsung’s new Magical Touch user interface.
Samsung Soul SGH-U900: buzzing feedback
Touch control is nothing new for Samsung; it has a fast expanding range of fully touchscreen models. However, Magical Touch isn’t a full-screen tap-to-control system, it’s effectively a touchpad alternative to a conventional navigation pad.
Located where you’d normally get a D-pad control on a mobile, the touchpad features illuminated touch sensitive icons that change according to function or application is being used – it presents feature shortcuts in standby mode, shooting controls when the camera’s in action, music player buttons when the tune player is engaged, and so on.
Haptic feedback provides a buzzing acknowledgment that touchpad buttons have been pressed, and usefully you can adjust the sensitivity of the pad to suit your touch tastes. Touchpad icon colours can be switched, too, with a spectrum of colours to choose from.
Unlike the LG KF600’s similar-in-principle InteractPad touch control, the Soul’s main control panel doesn’t rely solely on a touch sensitive pad. Alongside it are standard pressable softkeys plus call and end keys. Initially this appears a bit odd and jarring as you move between feather-light touch and normal finger pressure, but you quickly get used to it.
Functionally, too, that makes it easier to regard the Magical Touch pad system as a smart D-pad control rather than anything more complicated you have to figure out. As such, it’s a simple, intuitive way of working your way around the phone with which most mobile users will feel immediately familiar.
I have just returned my Soul as have 2 of my friends. Asthetically its brilliant and it overcomes all the issues with the interface on the D900 -BUT you cannot hear the person on the other end in a phone conversation. It appears that the phone does not have the performance needed to process sound, in other words its crap as a phone. Sound keeps dropping out and its not a one off, my friends and I have them from different batches and even different providers. It even does it when trying to listen to voice mail.
DO NOT get one of these until it works as a phone
No mention of the most important function
It is a PHONE after all so whats the call quality like?
At present I am using the U600 which has the opposite arrangement, normal d-pad but touch sensitive call/hang up and select buttons. These are infuriating beyond belief because when on a call you cannot hang-up without either opening and closing the slider, or pressing unlock unlock cancel. Very happy Samsung have listened to may rambling letter of complaint about this issue and made some change just for me. Do I get a free one?
Yet another samsung slider phone, this one with a slightly different d-pad
Am I the only one not amazed by most of Samsung's latest offerings? In the last year and a half about 90% of their slider phones are almost identical, with tiny differences supposedly telling the £30 from the £300 ones apart. I don't like their design and they're certainly doing nothing new with it. Boo to Samsung. Go back to making hard drives, I say.