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Samsung D500 Optus Review

Samsung D500 Optus Review

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Samsung D500 Optus Review

Announced by Samsung in October 2004, and now available in Australia, the D500 combines the very best of Samsung's techology in every field: from cutting-edge TFT screen to megapixel digital camera to wireless connectivity. The phone is aimed both at high-end business users and the technology-hungry personal user market.

In many respects, the D500 can be viewed as an enhancement of the D410, which itself has much in common with the best-selling E800. Like these phones, the D500 has a slide-up design, which enables a large screen to be placed within a compact phone design. Many of the phones features are conveniently available on the front face, but a gentle push will make the slide mechanism open and close automatically, giving access to the full keypad below. Unlike the D410, the D500 has an internal aerial, giving it a more modern appearance, and removing the possibility of damage to the aerial. The phone is also lighter than the D410 at just 99g.

The display on the D500 is quite exceptional. With a size of 1.9 inches, a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels and 262k colours, it knocks most other phones dead, and is even bigger than the display on the D410. The screen uses TFT technology, making it bright and clear, suitable for use even in direct sunlight.

The camera has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels, making it simply the best camera phone available at the time of launch. The camera has a flash for low-light photography and a 7x digital zoom. The camera can also be used as a camcorder for making videos, with a 4x digital zoom.

The phone comes with an MP3 player, with bags of memory for storing audio tracks. MP3 clips can also be used as ringtones as an alternative to the 64-voice polyphonic MIDI ringtones that come supplied. MP3 ringtones offer the highest possible quality audio.

The phone incorporates some of the advanced technology introduced in the E800 to enhance voice clarity. The phone automatically senses the volume of the background noise and will increase the volume and clarity of the incoming call to make it more audible. In addition there is an integrated handsfree speakerphone.

The D500 is the first Samsung phone in the UK to incorporate Bluetooth™ wireless connectivity, and the phone also has a USB port for easy connection to a computer. The Bluetooth support is a full implementation, enabling data to be transferred as well as for connecting to a wireless headset or car kit.

The memory available in the D500 is a whopping 80 Mbytes - more than enough for storing videos and MP3 tracks, and enough for demanding business users too. For example, the phone can store over 1,000 megapixel images, 60 minutes of video, or up to 20 MP3 tracks.

Is there anything missing from the D500? The phone clearly addresses any shortcomings with the D410 by introducing an internal aerial, Bluetooth™ wireless connectivity and an expanded memory. Perhaps the only thing missing is the option to plug in an additional memory card - although frankly 80 Mbytes is more than adequate for most users. The phone lacks the Symbian operating system of a smartphone, which means that third-party applications are limited, but the D500 isn't a smartphone and it's not fair to compare it with one. In its class, we believe that the D500 is simply the best! The Samsung E720 is similar to the D500 but has a conventional clamshell format instead of the D500's slide-up design. The stunning new D600 is based on the D500 and offers enhanced features like a 2 megapixel camera and a memory card.

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