Samsung S5560 preview: First look

GSMArena team, 15 December 2009.

Samsung S5560 360-degree spin

The Samsung S5560 is a little bulkier than, say, the S5230 Star but not by much. Thanks to the rounded corners, it's very pleasant to hold in the hand. Speaking of rounded corners, the S5560 has very smooth looks - there isn't a hint of the blocky appearance of the Star.

Design and construction

The Samsung S5560 will hardly have any issues with fingerprints. The back is made from a nice, soft, matte plastic that, although not immune to fingerprints, it does a pretty good job in hiding those. The front is brimmed by a glossy silver strip, which is not that good at fighting off fingerprints but that's an ok price to pay for that design touch.

The design is very smooth - except for the screen, there's not a single 90-degree angle in sight. The edges are beveled, which masks the thickness of the phone. At 13.2 mm it's a little chubby (or maybe we've just got spoiled), but all those rounded corners make it a pleasure to hold.

The front… Well, if you squint all touchscreen bars look exactly the same. So, don't be surprised when we tell you the main thing about the front is the display. Because it is.

The display is 3" in diagonal, which seems to be the standard fare for mid-range touch phones, with 240 x 400 WQVGA resolution (again in line with the rest). It uses resistive technology and it's not the most sensitive we've seen, but nevertheless finger operation is not a problem. Sunlight legibility was disappointing however, which means you'll spend quite some time tilting and turning the phone until you find a proper viewing angle.

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The display doesn't do well under direct sunlight

There are three hardware buttons below the display - Call and End keys obviously and the center button. The center button serves as a Back button, just as you'd expect it to. The keys are raised significantly higher than the level of the display and have a solid click for a feedback.

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The buttons on the front are large and easy to hit

On the left side of the phone you get the volume rocker and on the right side are the hardware Lock (or Hold) key and the shutter key combo. This can be half-pressed to handle auto-focus. All controls are easy to operate in both single and two-handed use scenarios.

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The volume rocker on the left • Hold and shutter keys on the right

The top does not surprise at all nor does it disappoint - it houses a 3.5 mm audio jack and a standard microUSB port with a protective cover. The phone charges off the microUSB port - just like most of its recent siblings. The bottom is not very interesting - only the mouthpiece is there.

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The microUSB and audio jack • the bottom side

As usual, the 5 megapixel camera lens is on the back of the device along with the LED flash. The back of the Samsung S5560 also hosts the small loudspeaker grill, near which is the Samsung logo.

The top and bottom part of the back are raised, which prevents the speaker from getting muffled when you put the phone on a level surface. It also keeps the camera lens away from a surface that might scratch it, though it's hardly a great level of protection.

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The top and bottom part of the back are slightly raised

Under the back cover you'll find a 960 mAh battery and the SIM and microSD card slots. Typically for the latest Samsung devices the memory slot is under the back cover and even though it's hot-swappable, you still need to open the cover first. The slot is on the left side of the device, on the same level as the shutter key.

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The microSD card slot is hot-swappable but under the rear cover

The S5560 is very comfortable to hold in the hand, which is the result of the nice blend between the materials used and the rounded corners. At 95 grams, the phone feels pretty light for its volume.

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Samsung S5560 in the hand • Samsung S5560 and S3650 Corby size comparison