The U900 is Samsung’s flagship handset for 2008, and they haven’t scrimped on appearance or features. The metallic casing of the U900 is extremely stylish (it is reminiscent of Nokia’s high end range) and feels robust. The slider mechanism is a joy to use, and is the best we’ve used. The action is smooth and there’s even a rest for your thumb to remove the risk of slipping. Much of the beauty of Samsung handsets rests in the attention to detail.
The flat keypad on the handset looks as if it may be difficult or insensitive, but it’s actually extremely good. You can adjust the keypad sensitivity – great if you find yourself accidentally pressing keys when you dial or text. The one thing that will make-or-break the Samsung U900 for most users is the touch sensitive navigation keypad. Samsung marketed this as a “Magical touch interface”. As you might have guessed, it’s not magical, but it is an interesting concept. The keypad sits below the main LCD display, is icon-driven and changes based on the menu you have selected. It will either make moving through the menus a breeze, or it will annoy the heck out of you!
A common complaint of Samsung customers is that the cameras in their handsets are below par. Although the U900’s camera is not quite as good as that of the LG Viewty or the Nokia N95 for example, it is still a very good (5 megapixel) camera. The U900 is the first Samsung phone to have a 16 million colour display, which certainly helps make your photos look even better. One issue with the handset is that the display legibility suffers in bright sunlight. You may find it difficult to see the screen, which is a problem if you ever want to use your phone outside! In our experience, quite a few Samsung handsets have this shortcoming. It shouldn’t dissuade you from getting the U900, but it’s definitely something Samsung need to sort out.
The other features of the Samsung U900 are very impressive. The handset has fast 3G with download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. It has a music player that can handle a wide range of formats, an FM radio and the expected high quality Bang & Olufsen power amplifier. The phone includes a large amount of internal memory (100 MB) and there is also a microSD slot for when you need to expand. However, a major failing of the U900 is that it’s not a quadband handset, merely a triband.