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Samsung i600 BlackJack

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Finally a smart phone that is not stupid. Samsung designed the i600 to take on the big boys like the Sony Ericsson M600 and the Blackberry, Funny how they ended up calling it the i600 Blackjack.

When the first smart phones were released they where big, slow and difficult to use. The i600 has certainly avoided all those issues. It is a very fast and relatively stylish messaging mobile, with all the features you could ever need.

Is it easy to use?

The i600 runs on Windows Mobile 5 which is not always the easiest or most intuitive phone operating system. In this case Samsung has taken the liberty of changing it slightly to better suit its customers and its phone. And we must report that they have done a wonderful job. Unlike the standard Microsoft Mobile 5 it is easy to use, intuitive doesn’t freeze and is quite honestly a pleasure to use.

What Samsung did is make the i600 a cell phone first then a PDA. This is what all other companies (with the exclusion of the Sony Ericsson) have failed to do. They make the mobile so smart and chock full of features that it is nearly impossible to operate. The Samsung like normal smart phones still has a million features, I have been using it for two weeks now and still don’t know what some of the features are. For example OBEX FTP, what is that? I think it is some sort of FTP Server type thing, but even if I find out what it really is what would I use it for?

The features which I did use constantly was the e mail function, the active sync, calendar, internet browser, alarm clock, notepad, Podcasts, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G HSDPA, and the RSS reader. So as you can see the i600 has all the features that you can ever possibly need.

The message centre handles e-mails with ease, and gets all of the correct settings from outlook using active sync. If you have a windows PC (especially using Vista) the i600 will synchronise all of your Outlook data quickly and easily. The Calendar sync function is especially useful as both your PC and Phone will be identical.

The most unique feature on the i600 is the Podcast downloader and player. This was a smart little feature which enables you to download and play Podcasts. Makes you wonder why nobody thought of this before.

Having Wi-Fi on the i600 was more useful than I thought it would be, instead of using the still relatively expensive 3G HSDPA, have a cup of coffee at Seattle and log on to their Wi-Fi and download and send your mail.

The camera on the Blackjack is not leading edge however, and maybe Sony Ericsson was right to leave it out on the M600i. I expected more that a 1.3 Mega pixel camera from Samsung what they. The picture quality is ok for e-mail or MMS but not for much else.

Does this mobile look good in your hand?

Yes, there is no doubting that this is a large mobile, but it is designed so well that it feels good to hold. The contours of the phone allow it to sit firmly in your hand and make it very easy to operate one handed. The Blackjack is also relatively thin at just 11.8mm so it does not bulge out of your pocket like many of the smart phones do.

On the Blackberry the QWERTY keyboard makes the mobile look very large and utilitarian but Samsung has designed the keyboard on the Blackjack to flow with the lines of the phone. This makes it look sleeker than its competition and quite frankly easier to use.

The i600 comes with two batteries, a normal battery with which you get two to three days of good use and an extended battery which will get you about five to six days of use. That is seriously impressive: most normal handsets don’t give you that amount of time.

Conclusion

The i600 Blackjack is the latest smart phone to hit the market and so far the best. It has all the features that you need and many that you may not immediately use. As this phone is Windows Mobile based it will connect to the office Exchange server or VPN and it makes this phone a good tool for the road warrior.

Samsung has done a great job with its own take on Microsoft Mobile 5, which does make the phone a pleasure to use. If you are looking for a messaging phone that has to tackle your most challenging business needs, then this is the best phone of this type that we have tested to date.

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