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Samsung SGH-F400 music phone

Bang & Olufsen speakers on a handset? Oh yes.

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Beneath it are call start and end keys plus two soft-menu keys. Between them all is a circular navpad with a rotating outer rim which you can use like a scrollwheel for whizzing through menus. It also works in the normal way, with four compass-point pressure sensors and an action button in the middle.

There's a little bit of give when the phone slides back into the closed position. Push it a little bit further and you can see why: the Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers rise above the screen, giving notice that this is a phone that takes its music seriously.

Samsung SGH-F400

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The last Samsung handset to boast the B&O connection was the Serene, the mad-looking one that resembled a make-up compact with a circular keypad. While that design was never going to fly, the combination of hi-fi know-how with a music-centred mobile phone was clearly an idea worth revisiting. Despite the well-respected audio moniker, however, these are still very much mobile phone speakers.

Yes, there's a stereo image - just about - but the speakers are too close together to really define this. There's not a great deal of bass, although what there is is quite clearly defined and not rubbery or raspy as it can be on cheaper speakers, even when cranked up to max volume. It's certainly better than your average phone loudspeaker, and will go significantly louder too without succumbing to distortion, but there'll be no need to trade in your hi-fi just yet.

You can keep the music running while you do other things on the phone, and the play controls are displayed on the home screen. The F400 supports all the most popular music formats, including MP3, WMA and the three flavours of AAC. Usefully, there's also a set of numerical shortcuts so you get one-touch access to the ten-preset graphic equaliser, shuffle, repeat and rating controls.

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