Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
- 5.9mm thin, reasonable display, 3.2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth with A2DP profile
- No memory card slot, flat keypad, battery life
The U100 may not have a generous features list and lacks a memory card slot, but it wows with its design alone. At just 5.9mm thin and a weight of 59g, it really is a stunning piece of industrial design.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Claiming to be the world's thinnest mobile phone at just 5.9mm, the Samsung U100 is as flat as a pancake. Despite its slim design, this standard GSM handset manages to squeeze in a 3.2-megapixel camera, a 1.93in display and a TV-out feature -- though it's a shame Samsung couldn't find room for a memory card slot.
The U100 has to be seen to be believed. Although it's fairly long, it is just 5.9mm thin, making it effortless to slide in and out of your pocket. The minuscule size and weight of just 52g makes it feel very fragile, though the plastic finish does seem fairly durable. In short, the U100 is a stunning piece of industrial design.
As the handset is so thin, the front of the U100 is almost dead flat, with the exception of a small line below the display. As such, the keyboard may not suit all tastes; the keys require a firm press to activate and it's easy to press the wrong button when using the five-way navigational pad. Further, each key is quite small, so those with large fingers may be left frustrated.
The U100's display is a unique 1.93in TFT, but the design of the handset leaves it feeling squashed. It's fairly wide, but not as long as we'd have liked. We felt it could have been a little larger, especially when taking into account the unused real estate above and below it. Despite this, the display has a decent viewing angle and performs reasonably well, if not outstanding, in sunlight.
Samsung deserves credit for managing to squeeze a 3.2-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom into the U100. There is no flash though, only a self-portrait mirror. The images produced are reasonable for a camera phone and there are a number of settings including multi- and mosaic-shooting modes; a night mode; a three-, five- or 10-second self-timer and a range of effects and frames.
A basic music player is included and Bluetooth with the A2DP profile means you can wirelessly stream your music. The U100 also has Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower technology designed to offer enhanced acoustic capabilities and sound quality without affecting battery life. We didn't note much of a difference in sound quality but the included proprietary headphones don't help. Unfortunately, the biggest issue of the U100 is the fact there is no memory card slot for extra storage. The U100 has just 70MB of internal memory, meaning you won't be able to store many multimedia files.
Strangely, although there is a TV-output option, there is no composite TV-out cable included in the sales package. Other features include standard POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail access, SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input, a hands-free speakerphone, polyphonic and MP3 ringtones, a voice recorder and a document viewer.
Battery life is below average, which is disappointing but expected when considering the thin design. The U100 is rated at up to 2.5 hours talk-time and up to 195 hours of standby time. Although Samsung claims the use of Optimized Power Usage Solution (OPUS) will increase talk-time by 10 per cent which uses an optimised RF chipset and circuit design.
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