Samsung D500 review: Groundbreaking

Marek Lutonský, 21 January 2005.

What does a middle button do?

You will find a block of soft keys below the display. It is possible to use the phone even if it is closed; in this case, all functions, which do not require keypad control, are available. You can access also messages editor but then you can just look at it - it is not possible to write without the keypad.

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Middle button mostly confirms

One can assign start of a chosen function to each of four ways of the main button - except a phone book. The latter's default button is the right soft key and in contrary to older models it directly opens the list of names and that is quite OK. Just a remark to manageability: it is a little bit hard to press a top part of the four-way button due to the protrusion for sliding.

Assigning the functions to the four-way button

A key in the middle of the main button (a formerly hated element that started a wap browser without a warning) works in the standby mode the same as ever. It starts wap and elsewhere it is also used for confirmations and hopefully Samsung will never get back. Five other - normal - keys trim edge of a closed phone.

An incoming call can be answered in a closed position by pressing a key or opening the phone. It's possible to turn off the second possibility in the phone settings and keep the confirmation only for keys with earphones, if you prefer like this. It is not necessary to answer a ringing phone call - you can mute the sound by pressing a side key.


Setting of opening and closing actions

I'm going to lose that plug in two days

I am turning the phone backwards and cannot see anything else but a black space. It is a cover combined with a Li-Ion battery with capacity of 800 mAh. Samsung claims duration time 300 hrs on standby and 390 minutes of speech. I cannot provide you with accurate information about a real duration time. A plastic plug protects system connector and regrettably, it is not attached to the phone. It is very small and you will easily lose it. A sliding plug protects another connector on the right side, which looks like a USB and it is assigned for connecting a handsfree. In the corner, you can find an eyelet for a wrist strap.

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Nothing in the back • just a SIM card slot under the cover • a key and the handsfree connector, which is protected by a sliding plug

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Plug of a system connector is not attached • eyelet for a wrist strap

On the left side of the phone, there is an infrared port and a volume switch button: it controls keys' beeps in standby mode and the earphone volume during a call. On the right side, you will find a camera button, which is functional only when the phone is in the open position. That is because the lens system appears only after sliding the upper part. Beside that, there is a mirror for self-portraits and strong lighting diode. Let's now describe the camera possibilities.

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Click to zoom. Samsung D500
Rock switch button and an infrared port • camera, mirror and diode • diode in action

Top-class camera phone

Samsung D500 stands among the best camera phones, beside Sony Eriksson S700i and Nokia 6630. It features resolution 1280 x 1024 pixels, so it is 1, 31 MP. In common with all the camera phones, it depends on luck: sometimes you make a perfect picture and sometimes it is not worth a candle. Overall, the quality is great. D500 keeps colors, does not overexpose white spaces and shadows are quite authentic. If I would criticize, I would focus on a soft mist that covers every picture, useless digital zoom (which is available only by lower resolution) and not really good macro.

Camera main menu

Camera settings possibilities are better than average. Besides the zoom you can manually control also the exposure compensation, use the self-timer, sequence shooting and also it's possible to insert more scenes in one picture (multiple exposure). You can use the integrated white diode to light up a dark close up scene; in the camera settings you can select the ISO sensitivity, center-weighted average exposure metering or turn off sound of a shutter. I miss maybe just recording of the exposure parameters to an EXIF header.


Shooting environment • settings • scheme of key shortcuts

Shooting with the Samsung is a bit slower, it takes a while until the camera starts up and also the shutter release has a little delay. After pressing the release a circle appears in the middle of a picture; it says: "Do not move with the phone, it's shooting right now". This occurs only at the highest megapixel resolutions; handling the small formats is going fast.


It's possible to use effects during shooting • and frame a picture

I complained at the Samsung E630 that I can't see whole taken scene on the display; that I can see only a crop. It's the same how the D500 works, but it shows full format after pressing the star key. I'm not sure whether this is possible also with the other Samsung phones, which are suffering from the same "illness".

The phone can also record a video in resolution of 176 x 144 pixels and saves it in 3GP format. A record can be very long because it uses full-shared memory and the memory has capacity… No, I will tell you later.


Video: environment • settings • key shortcuts

D500 camera is Samsung's masterpiece. Have a look at the original sample pictures that we have made.

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Various exposure compensation settings

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Sample pictures in full resolution

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Lighting diode in action: a teddy bear from a distance 0,5 m • and from 1 m

Click to zoom. Samsung D500 Pictures in full resolution for comparison

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Digital zoom in VGA resolution

Reader comments

lol you can lie to yourself or to your grandson but this small gadget has nothing to do with the iphone otherwise all today's smartphones should had copy this instead of the iphone lol

  • Jenkone

i loved my samsung d500 so much so when i had the chance i bought another one. my first d500 was a contract phone with o2. i still have box and all the stuff sent with the phone. both my samsung d500 work. i tell my grandson the d500 was the first ...

  • umar raza

d500 samsung like this