Tamed Microsoft

Samsung releases a new mobile with Windows Mobile. But with the help of some extra software, Samsung has made Microsoft’s system smarter. By Linus Brohult

Mobiles to be fit for the most demanding utility functions-smartphones-is a market that has exploded in recent years. Microsoft has made every effort to take market share, but maybe not gjrt any real success yet.

With the new Samsung i600 is spending still further on the Microsoft Windows Mobile. But now, in fact, Samsung decided to spruce up the Microsoft menus some. And also add new smart software.

I have actually tried two different i600 handsets. With version 5 of Microsoft’s system, with version 6. The i600 devices sold now in the start run namely version 5, but anyone who wants to can upgrade their Samsung i600 to version 6 for free via Samsung’s website from the end of June. Then is also upgraded the phone to turbo-3 g from the standard 3 g.

First, I must just say something about the phone’s exterior. For after trying a very large number of smartphones over the years feels i600 really pleasantly light and thin. The weight of around 100 grams are in principle the same weight as any mobile any time today. Yet the i600 turbo 3 g, w-lan and a keyboard with separate buttons for the Swedish letters Å, Ä and Ö.

The screen is a bit smaller than on some other smartphones. 2.3-inch is more like the format on screens in “regular” better mobile phones. Though the difference here is that the screen is turning to landscape mode which makes especially when working with a document or browsing the Internet.

Now to the interesting question: how well does the phone in real life?

Microsoft’s menus in cell phones can be a little unclear is something that I think many can agree. This applies in particular to the version of Windows Mobile that Samsung have been using version for phones without touch screen (Smartphone Edition). Despite the fact that you can not click on the screen, one must normally click on “Start” and then scroll down for long submenus. Sometimes the submenus icons, or is in the Setup menu, a long list of text lines on page after page. It is not very user-friendly.

Samsung has in addition put in a completely private “menu system” for the phone’s more important features. As a complement to the standard start menu. It is a graphical system which is controlled directly from the phone’s basic mode, using a scroll wheel.

Samsung’s graphical menu is a rolling list of boxes (shaped as card), and on each box I can find shortcuts in a given area. Rolls around do it either with a spinning wheel that Samsung was sitting on the side of the phone, or using the trackpad.

Main menu box when you turn on the phone’s “Message central”, where I find shortcuts to sms, email, voice mail and missed call. Other boxes that I can easily navigate forward to, for example, is the most used contacts, most recently played songs, most recently captured images, appointments, and profiles.

This is actually an excellent solution that allows Windows Mobile more attractive and easier to use.

There are also some other smart shortcuts that do that I don’t have to go into the boot menu. If I hold down the button with the House in a few seconds, yes bumps the list of all open programs. Smoothly.

But as long as you use the i600 with the first software (Windows Mobile 5) is missing one of the most important features: the ability to edit documents. It’s one of the great benefits with the keyboard. But as of the end of June, therefore Windows Mobile version 6. And hence Microsoft’s small-scale versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

When I have been using Office Mobile, I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can walk around in your document that you want to read. When you open the document in edit mode and start writing, it is not quite as quick as lightning. I write too fast on the keyboard feels they do not like the phone entirely. But it is still approved.

Samsung has also added with the Picsel Viewer which can display a variety of documents other than Office, such as images and pdf documents. It’s a bit difficult to document because you have to zoom part to get right in the document. In addition, it is not entirely easy to start.

Browser and e-mail is something that comes with the Microsoft system. Email program have rblivit better in Windows Mobile 6. Now there is also support for the html formatting of the e-mails. It’s also easy to make email settings, thanks to a guide. When it comes to the browser, it is not as impressive. Internet giant Microsoft still does not equal good mobile browser that Norwegian Opera and Finnish Nokia.

When it comes to internet has Samsung’s Developer also been good. Instead of sticking with Microsoft’s software, Samsung has added podcasts for audio and video and an RSS reader. What is the point of this? Well, I’ve been able to subscribe to tv news and radio programs from SVT and the Swedish Radio. If I preferred the BBC or any other news service that focuses on poddtjänster, it would also have been good.

It’s a little tricky here is to add poddadresserna which to subscribe from, because it has to be done manually. There is no integration with the browser. But looking for one just up the addresses on the tv station’s website and enter them so it’s done then.

RSS is another feature that Samsung added, and that means that I have been able to subscribe to the latest news from the p > Both RSS and podcasting software program is honestly a bit too simple. The subscription is added without much finesse up lists, straight up and down, without any good sorting capabilities. But the features are still good.

Nah is perhaps multimedia functions not main reason for buying this type of mobile phone. But there are still both camera and media player. The camera, however, is frankly very poor quality if you compare with other mobile cameras on the new phones today. There is at least a small front camera next to the screen-for video calls.

Windows Media Player is designed to be integrated with pc’s counterpart. Music, videos, tv shows and playlists can be found in the main menu. The actual sync with pc actually works very nicely and smoothly.

Is synching with pc one of the strengths of i600, as with other Windows Mobile devices.

Despite the fact that Samsung managed to quite good, there are still some flaws in the system. For example, sometimes a tad slow, although it has improved compared to previous Windows Mobile versions. Back button does not always correctly, but sometimes refuses to back down.

But the i600 is yet the first Windows Mobile we tried in this convenient format that manages this good.

Linus Brohult

Questions and answers

Does it work to write on those little buttons?

Sure, the buttons small. But what makes it work is that they’re pretty unique shaped with a substantial distance between each other. Therefore, happens to not access the wrong letter. Nokia E61i, however, has a more comfortable keyboard, but a larger format as well.

It has the w-lan-can you use voice over ip?

Yes, for example, there is a version of Skype for Samsung i600.

What gets better with Windows Mobile 6?

Compared with Windows Mobile 5, you get the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents. In addition, a number of security improvements, notably in i600 is used in the corporate environment for an Exchange Server. Even email program has improved with the ability to set follow-up flags. Better looking icons and MSN Messenger on the home screen are two other improvements.

Options

Motorola Q9 is a similar Windows Mobile coming out this summer. However, it is larger and heavier, but also keyboard with larger buttons. The Sony Ericsson P1 is another option; It should come out at the end of the summer.

Plus

Turbo-3 g

Internet features

Document editing

Swedish keys

Minus

Scrub boot menu

A bit tough

Bad camera

Facts the Samsung i600

Type:

Smartphone with 3 g, hspa, gsm and edge trippelbsnds

Weight: 105 g (standard battery)

Dimensions: 113x59x11, 8 mm

Operating system: Windows Mobile 5 (upgradeable to version 6)

Memory: 120 Mb internal, memory card (micro-SD)

Software: Calendar, address book, Web browser, Windows Media Player, document viewer, MSN Messenger, browser, podcasts, RSS reader

Talk time: 3.5 hours (standard battery), 5.3 h (longlife-battery)

Standby time: 345 h (standard battery), 517 h (longlife-battery)

Internet and data features: 3 g, hspa, w-lan, edge, Web browser, e-mail, MSN Messenger

Data rate, max: 1.8 Mbit/sec

WAP: Yes, version 2.0

Connection to pc/mac:

Connection to pc with included software and cable, even with Windows Vista, with a mac only with accessory software

Screen: 2.3-inch TFT, 320 x 240 pixels, 262 000 colors

Games: two built-in + downloadable

Ringtones: Polyphonic and mp3

Phone book: phone numbers, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, as well as a variety of information can be stored. No limitations in the number of items in addition to the phone memory.

Camera: Built-in with up to 1.3 megapixel (without autofocus) and for video with 176 x 144 pixels, as well as a separate one for video calls

Other features: world clock, to-do list, alarm with snooze function, calculator, stopwatch

Accessories: Wireless hands-free, headset, various Chargers, memory cards, gps systems

Socket for external antenna: Yes

Price: 4700 Swedish kronor

12 speed

X Camera

X mail application

X Html

FM radio

X Music Player

X Memory Card Slot

X Smartphone

X 3 g

X Edge

X Turbo-3 g

X W-lan

X Bluetooth

Rating: 78%

Telephony & communications 9

Multimedia (6)

Systems & software 9

User experience (7)

Materials & grade 8

Hard facts performance

SPMark test: your phone could not run our trial software

Comment: even without testing the product, it is possible to conclude that the i600 is slightly tougher in some features than one would wish for.

(thumb down)

Hard facts battery

Manufacturer: 3 HR 30 min via 3 g (standard battery)

We got: 3 HR 32 min via 3 g (standard battery)

Comment: despite its thin format survives i600 good in battery test. Furthermore, it follows with a longlife battery which makes the phone thicker (when used), but offers even more battery power.