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Samsung U800 3G mobile phone

Bringing a little Soul to the mid-range market?

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With 1GB of internal storage plus Micro SD support for cards of up to 8GB, the music player on this phone has the scope to be a tidy runabout for your favourite tunes.

The player can be synced up to copy music from a PC using Windows Media Player 11, and tracks are organised into regular music categories, including one for podcasts. Tunes can also be copied over using Samsung PC Studio software, dragged and dropped in mass storage mode, or received via Bluetooth.

The music player puts in a satisfactory performance, with the supplied earphones sounding better than your average mobile phone boxed ear-gear. Samsung has once again included Bang & Olufsen ICEpower technology, but while it's good enough for a mobile, sound quality doesn’t quite match the performance of the best Walkman music phones or standalone music players.

Samsung U800

The 3Mp snapper isn’t one of Samsung’s more advanced shooters

Complementing the music player is an FM radio, which you can use with the earphone cable plugged in as an antenna. The side positioning of the connector though is unfortunate for pocket-sleekness, especially with the rest of the phone being so svelte.

The three-megapixel camera on the back panel of the U800 is a couple of millimetres proud of the smooth casing, though it isn’t an attention grabber in itself. An LED photolight sits next to the lens for low-light shooting, but the camera itself isn’t one of Samsung’s more advanced shooters. Autofocus is missing, so the fixed lens device offers point-and-shoot action rather than more sophisticated focusing. It flips into landscape mode for shooting. There are a spread of standard cameraphone settings, adjustments and effects you can tweak, including white balance and brightness, along with multi-shot and panorama modes, and various frames and colours.

But it’s a step down from the autofocus, face detection and so on you get with Samsung’s recent five-megapixel cameraphones. Still, the camera delivers reasonably good shots within its limitations. The lack of autofocus obviously limits the precision with which you can capture the shots you’re after, and there’s no close up macro shooing mode. But you can take some pleasant enough snaps.

The level of detail is typical for a three-megapixel shooter, though it seems to handle exposure, contrast and colour rendition particularly well for this grade of camera. Indoors, low-light shooting isn’t quite so good, and images can be soft despite the rather limited flash illumination. Video capture too is limited on this phone, shooting at a basic low quality 176 x 144 pixels resolution. Still, Samsung has enabled this phone for uploading of video clips and snaps to blogs and content sharing sites via an embedded Shozu application, should you wish to show off your images online.

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