Samsung Z540 review: Slim 3G clamshell

GSMArena team, 20 July 2006.

In the end of last year Samsung announced their UMTS slim clamshell Z540. This review comes quite late, but yet we decided to publish one since the 3G black beauty is still an attractive proposition. The impressive display in a thin UMTS clamshell combined with a 1.3 megapixel camera makes the mobile quite an interesting market contender.

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Samsung SGH-Z540

Key features

  • Elegant design
  • Impressive display
  • Fast UI responses
  • External music control buttons
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Big internal memory

    Main disadvantages

  • No memory card slot
  • Four-way control button prone to errors
  • No graphic themes
  • Camera application works slowly
  • No infrared

The Samsung Z540 falls in a very large market niche. The phone has 3G UMTS support, a QVGA display and a 1.3 megapixel camera. In addition, Z540 is supplied with 140 MB internal memory and provides MP3 player features.

A somewhat RAZR design

The design of Z540 is very nice. It's very precise and plain and makes the phone look elegant. The black surface and the indented lines in the plates make it look a little rough but not crude. The phone feels very comfortable when held in hand both when opened and closed. When it's opened, it is very easy to use and the weight balance is perfect.

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From all sides, closed

On the bottom of the front cover are located two loud speaker grills. Just above them are the music control buttons. The frame with the SAMSUNG sign and the outer display is above them. And in the top end we find the camera lens. The back panel is far simpler. It has only four rubber taps in every corner and the battery cover in the lower part of it. The top side of the closed device accommodates a neck-strip hole. On the left side is the two-way volume control button. On the opposite right side are located the camera release button and the USB port, which is protected by a plastic cap. The secondary camera for video calls is situated in the swivel joint of the clamshell construction in the middle of the phone. When the phone is opened, the camera is on the right side of the joint.

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Front • back • system connector

When opened Z540 looks very nice and the keypad leaves very good impressions in terms of design. The phone, however, feels a bit rough and narrow.

Almost perfect construction

The construction of the Z540 clamshell seems very stable and solid. The solid feeling is assisted by the metal or metal-like plastic that the phone is made of. It feels very cool and strong in one's hand. The dimensions of the phone are 99x50.5x14.9 mm. The opening mechanism works fine and the phone can be opened using one hand only. The device didn't produce any creak sounds neither showed any loosening in the construction except for the battery cover. It plays and creaks a little. The arresting mechanism of the cover doesn't seem to work properly and cover loosens. Otherwise, the construction is done perfectly. The location of the side buttons seems comfortable.

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Comparison with Motorola E1070, which has almost the same features

This phone doesn't catch fingerprints easily. Only the outer display is prone to that. The matt material of the front and back cover does not catch any fingerprints at all which is great. Dust is a bigger problem, though. It collects between the upper and lower part of the phone in the clamshell swivel joint. Those parts should be wiped once in a while in order to keep the phone clean.

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Samsung Z540 held in hand

The battery cover is easily opened. Underneath it is the 1000 mAh Li-Ion battery. The SIM card bed in right next to the battery but you cannot slide in or out the SIM card without first removing the battery. There is no memory card slot.

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Under the battery cover

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

I purchased this phone the other day and am having a difficult time making it work with Cingular. For some reason the phone is not jumping only works near my house where it was first turned on. If anyone has any suggestions please let me ...

  • mury

of course u can open this phone with one hand, why not. and i will prefer this to RAZR definitely

  • Ru

A agree with everything in review, but I coudn't open this phone with one hand, it's very stiff and wide, so opening it with one hand is not confortable. Otherwise, nice phone..