With a 5Mp camera propping up its generous feature list, the Samsung G600 is automatically propelled into the Nokia N95's premier league.

Sadly, without an optical zoom, decent flash, or any sign of 3G connectivity, the slender Samsung G600 mobile phone is already facing relegation. Add a bland, unresponsive build, and you won't be swapping your compact for the Samsung any time soon.

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The first thing to strike us about the Samsung G600's admittedly awesome photographic and video capabilities it there's no 3G connectivity and no video calls. The Samsung G600 makes us all look half decent in our videos and snapshots but, with relatively moribund web-capabilities, makes it a faff to share them in real time.

While this alone is clearly no deciding factor for or against the Samsung G600, with demand increasing for mobiles that are fully web-capable, the faster speeds of 3G (compared to GPRS and even EDGE) certainly will be.

Neither were we keen on the Samsung G600's build. It does feel sturdy; pleasingly weighty. It's slim and, yes, sliders are fashionable – some might even think this somewhat sexy – but there's something not quite right in the Samsung's looks department.

Perhaps it's the nasty speaker above the Samsung G600's screen, the ugly, oversized numbers on the call display (albeit a boon for some), or maybe it's the wide, two-tone black casing – a magnet for fingerprints.

It could be the way the Samsung G600's central button operates as Select in every screen except the first, or how screens exit as if they were curtains in a theatre. More likely, it's that buttons need a good, hard jab to be recognised. (Although the Samsung G600 we saw may be a much-abused review model, there's no excuse for the G600's uninspiring appearance.)

But that's not to say the Samsung G600 should be written off: this mobile has received admiring glances from several reviewers, and for good reason. The MP3 player and FM radio produce good sound quality, despite the need for proprietary headphones, while the Google Search function might not be revolutionary but it's certainly useful.

Although the camera doesn't have a Xenon flash, like Sony Ericcson's K800i and makes do with a 4x digital (rather than optical) zoom, it does feature plenty of shooting modes, including macro mode, plus flash, white balance and ISO settings up to ISO 800. Photos taken at a maximum 2,560x1,920 resolution were still of a very pleasing quality – once the Samsung G600 had finally taken them (it is a little slow, bless it).

Samsung G600: Specs

  • EDGE/GPRS Class 10
  • Quad Band
  • Wap 2.0
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • 5Mp camera with 4x digital zoom, 3gp/Mpeg4 video recording
  • MP3 player (WMA, AAC, AAC Plus, eAAC Plus, MP3)
  • FM radio
  • Java games
  • document viewer
  • voice memo
  • email (POP3/SMTP/IMAP4)
  • Bluetooth
  • USB 2.0
  • 40MB internal memory, 1GB microSD card included (check before purchase)
  • quoted standby time: 300 hours
  • quoted talk time: 3.5 hours
  • 2.2in TFT
  • 101x47.8x14.9mm
  • 104g
  • EDGE/GPRS Class 10
  • Quad Band
  • Wap 2.0
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • 5Mp camera with 4x digital zoom, 3gp/Mpeg4 video recording
  • MP3 player (WMA, AAC, AAC Plus, eAAC Plus, MP3)
  • FM radio
  • Java games
  • document viewer
  • voice memo
  • email (POP3/SMTP/IMAP4)
  • Bluetooth
  • USB 2.0
  • 40MB internal memory, 1GB microSD card included (check before purchase)
  • quoted standby time: 300 hours
  • quoted talk time: 3.5 hours
  • 2.2in TFT
  • 101x47.8x14.9mm
  • 104g

OUR VERDICT

While it might not appeal to our tastes, the Samsung is not to be sniffed at. Patience will be rewarded with good-quality images. Just beware of allowing its single, stand-out feature to blind you from its weaknesses.

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