Samsung F500

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Samsung F500
  • Samsung F500
  • Samsung F500
  • Samsung F500
  • Expert Rating

    2.00 / 5

Pros

  • DivX support, included DivX converter software, great multimedia display, case doubles as a back-up battery

Cons

  • Design, implementation and cross-over between phone and multimedia functions, expensive, steep learning curve, no 3.5mm headphone jack, battery not removable

Bottom Line

The F500 is a great example of a device that promises so much, yet ultimately fails to deliver. It's a nice idea, but in an already overpopulated mobile market, the F500 has too many flaws to make an impact.

Would you buy this?

One of the first mobile phones to support the popular DivX codec, Samsung's F500 is a hybrid mobile phone and portable media player with an unconventional design. While the media player is quite useful, the F500 fails first and foremost as a mobile phone and is a frustratingly difficult device to pick up and use.

The F500 is without a doubt one of the weirdest designs we've ever come across. On one side is a rather squashed looking mobile phone with an extremely small display. Flip it around and you'll see a large 2.4in LCD and touch sensitive control pad, specifically for multimedia. If you aren't confused yet, then the bottom half of the F500 features a small hinge so the F500 can easily sit on a desk while watching video -- all in all, this is a very unique device.

Purely as a phone, the F500 falls well short of what we'd expect, especially in terms of design. The phone display is small and awkwardly cramped while the keypad and controls look and feel out of place. For avid SMS users, the size of the display means squinting to read messages will be an all-too common experience.

On the multimedia side, there is a lot to like about the F500. The 2.4in LCD is crystal clear and large enough to comfortably watch a short TV episode. Support for the popular DivX and XviD codec's means the F500 will definitely appeal to multimedia buffs. Videos we uploaded to the phone were bright and clear, while sound from the external speaker was respectable. The included DivX software can convert your video files and makes uploading them to the F500 simple and easy with a drag and drop process.

Unfortunately, the integration between the phone functions and the multimedia features is less than impressive. To change the wallpaper for example, you have to slide a small button on the side of the phone to switch displays, select the image, then slide the button again to switch back to the phone view. The process is stretched out and quite frustrating. Plus, the touch sensitive controls aren't well implemented and take a great degree of learning -- the F500's user guide is a valuable resource.

Specification wise, the F500 is a feature packed handset. In addition to supporting HSDPA network speeds, the unit also boasts a massive 350MB of internal memory, a microSD card slot (with a 1GB card included in the sales package), a 2-megapixel camera and A2DP stereo Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming. Strangely, the Bluetooth protocol is only 1.2 rather than the newer 2.0 version, so file transfer via Bluetooth is slower than usual. Continuing the multimedia theme, an included composite TV-out cable means you can connect the F500 to a television and view your photos and videos.

One particular annoyance -- more so than on a regular mobile phone -- is the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. On a device specifically built for video and audio playback, this is a disappointment. In addition, the F500's design means the Lithium Ion battery is not removable. We did like the included flip-case though, which doubles as a back-up battery when connected.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?