I recently purchased a Samsung SGH-i600, commonly called the Blackjack in other parts of the region. It’s one of the few smartphones out there that I think tops the bill for price and functionality. Let me share some of the highlights of this new phone.
The Blackjack is a tri-band GSM smartphone that supports 1.8Mbps HSDPA, UMTS, 3G, EDGE and GPRS along with Bluetooth connectivity, USB 1.1 and 54Mbps wifi. An auto-focus 1.3MP camera at the back panel has 2x zoom capability and another lens in front allows for 3G video calls. A 2.3″ TFT screen with 65k QVGA colors is comparably large a screen like the regular iPod video. In fact, the SGH i600 is slimmer and thinner than the iPod though about a centimeter taller.
It’s much lighter too with a rubbery texture so the only place your fingerprints would stick on is the screen. The 128MB ROM and 64MB RAM is a bit short but runs Windows Mobile 5.0 just fine. There’s an external microSD card can support up to 2GB of additional storage space for files and installed applications. There are reports that Samsung will be providing a free WM 6.0 upgrade real soon. The thumb wheel on the side allows for smooth scrolling of the menu and items. I especially love the Vista-like flipping windows interface.
The QWERTY keyboard is a little too closely spaced but that’s the trade-off of having a much slimmer form factor. Despite that, you can still type with both hands or one hand comfortably. The pack comes with an extra battery which lasts 4 hrs and 45 mins but you can buy a higher capacity battery which fits snugly into the back panel in an elevated position (making it sort of thicker). There’s also a charger case so you can power up the other battery separately and just switch them up when the other is depleted. Problem is, the USB port is also the same port for charging, connecting to your earphones or the laptop or PC, which means you can’t use the earphones while charging the phone.
Opera Mobile runs quite fast in it but there seems to be no GMail for mobile client available as of the moment. The Push Email however, will only work in conjunction with an MS Exchange server. It was also a surprise to find a built-in RSS reader and a Podcasting client.