Samsung HD Icon smartphone
Samsung's HD Icon is the first mobile phone in the world to record 720p HD video
- HD video recording, excellent 8-megapixel camera, TouchWIZ interface, large AMOLED display, 3.5mm headphone jack, good music player, 16GB internal memory with card slot
- Glossy design is a fingerprint magnet, no lens cover for camera, some Symbian UI issues, no dedicated app store
The Samsung HD Icon is recommended for anyone after an excellent camera phone. HD video recording is superb, it can take excellent photos and it's a very capable music player, too. The Symbian OS isn't perfect and can be the cause of some frustration, but Samsung has done a much better job than Nokia with this touch-screen smartphone.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The Symbian S60 operating system powers the HD Icon, but it's been tweaked with Samsung's TouchWIZ interface. Used on a range of the latest Samsung mobile phones — including the Windows Mobile powered Omnia Icon — TouchWIZ is widget-based skin that sits on top of the phone’s operating system. The use of widgets may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they work reasonably well. You simply press and drag icons from the panel to the main area to use a particular program or function. The HD Icon's three home screen pages are fully customisable. The widgets aren't labelled in the sidebar, so it's hard to distinguish what many of them do. Additionally, the Facebook and YouTube widgets are merely links to the Web page of each service rather than dedicated apps.
The Samsung's TouchWIZ UI is a highlight of the HD Icon and features a widget-based home screen.
Interface tweaks unique to the HD Icon include the ability to swipe left and right to reveal the main menu and photo contacts application respectively. The screen transition is smooth and the 3D effects feel polished and fast — terms usually not associated with Symbian phones, especially touch-screen handsets.
Although there is a similar version of Symbian used on the Nokia N97, the HD Icon's capacitive touch screen results in a far better user experience. There is minimal lag and it feels like a far more polished smartphone than the N97. There are still some issues: scrolling is a mixed bag (annoyingly following your finger when trying to flick through a list), single and double click inconsistencies remain in various functions, and there is no dedicated Symbian app store, despite the wide range of applications available for the platform.
The interface eye-candy, like the above effect when sliding from the home screen to the main menu, gives the Samsung HD Icon a polished feel.
The Samsung HD Icon smartphone is a capable music player, with a 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio application and a tweaked music player. The music software features large touch buttons that make it easy to navigate. Using the built-in accelerometer, turning the phone to the side allows you to slide through your album covers, similar to Apple's Cover Flow system on the iPhone.
The included Web browser supports Flash and has no problems loading most pages, but typing an address requires too many presses and moving around the page isn't as smooth as we'd have liked. There is no multitouch zooming (you double tap instead).
The Samsung HD Icon's music player has been tweaked from the standard Symbian offering and features large, easy to press buttons on the Now Playing screen.
The Samsung HD Icon is an HSDPA-capable phone and also boasts built-in GPS, a digital compass, Bluetooth with A2DP, USB with a standard micro-USB interface and Wi-Fi. It has 16GB of flash memory, and there is a microSD card slot for extra storage.
Samsung rates the HD Icon's battery life at up to 6.5 hours of talk time and 450 hours of standby time on a 3G network. We managed slightly less than advertised times, but the HD Icon still outperforms the iPhone and the HD video recording and large screen don't have an adverse affect on battery life. The HD Icon will get you comfortably through a day, even with heavy use.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Samsung is prepping a software update to cap Note7 charging to 60 percent
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectSA
- CCCloud Architect - AzureVIC
- FTSenior Support EngineerNSW
- TPJunior Node.js DeveloperVIC
- FTAccount Manager - Technology SolutionsNSW
- CCSQL Server Database Specialist l Bathurst LocationNSW
- FTWeb Developer - VR 3D WebGL - Lake MacquarieNSW
- CCSharepoint DeveloperNSW
- FTChange ManagerQLD
- FTCyber Security Technical WriterNSW
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- TPSenior Business Systems AnalystQLD
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Analyst - Rostering ProjectNSW
- FTSystem Engineer - VMWare, UCS, NetAppVIC
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- FTDIRECTOR PROJECT DELIVERY, WELLINGTONNZ
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksNSW