The E900 is a fashion phone from Samsung. Think of phrases like "slip into your handbag on a night out" and "the fashionista’s choice" and you’re pretty much there. It’s a slider phone with a touch keypad that lights up on contact. Sound familiar? Lets face it, this is incredibly similar to the LG Chocolate phone which arrived within the same month. So how does it compare?
The first thing that strikes you with the E900 is the great screen with a 2.05" 262K colour TFT display. Images appear sharp and bright, both because of the quality of the screen and the way it’s set off against the glossy black casing surrounding it. Samsung have also made the most of this by including lots of striking pictures as wallpaper choices.
Looks wise, I’d be really happy about it if I hadn’t seen the Chocolate with my own two eyes. The sliding action is smooth, and the gloss makes it look expensive – especially when it isn’t marred by any buttons. Unlike many other phones, the menu short cuts also make sense – you can get to contacts, a new SMS message, and connect a Bluetooth device all within one button.
The camera is 1.3 megapixels, and pictures are bright regardless of the lighting, even when you don’t use the LED flash. The other key feature, the MP3 player, benefits from the addition of a MicroSD slot – the one area in which the E900 triumphs against the LG Chocolate. Separate touch buttons appear when the MP3 player is activated.
The E900 suffers by comparison – for instance, whilst the design itself is fine, you can’t help but think that actually, the buttons would look nicer if they were illuminated in red instead of white. And it would benefit from being a little thinner and a little wider instead.
The touch buttons themselves are a nightmare. If you’re on a call and the phone is shut, it’s tricky trying to end the call and bring up the buttons. In addition, because the phone itself is slightly smaller, there is a higher chance of accidentally hitting the wrong button – I found myself in the O2 browser several times.
The MP3 player is also only accessible through the main menu. Not a major gripe, but noticeable when so many other phones have a dedicated MP3 button. The menus also have a habit taking you back to your home screen if you choose an invalid option (i.e. checking the memory card when there isn’t one installed). This just makes navigating that much more frustrating.
In our opinion
The Samsung E900 would have been a groundbreaking phone had it been released in February. Unfortunately, it’s arrived up against the LG Chocolate, surely *the* phone of 2006, at a similar price. Neither are groundbreaking on specs, but that was never the intention of the manufacturers. Personally, I’d be more than happy to carry one around in my bag, but I would always have a nagging feeling that there was something a little better out there.