Samsung Z560 review: HSDPA flip take one

HSDPA flip take one

GSMArena team, 28 June 2007.

The Samsung Z560 is a feature-packed clamshell which is equipped with some of the latest technologies in the mobile industry - HSDPA, a 2 megapixel camera with auto focus, microSD memory card slot and a really large 2.3" TFT display with a QVGA resolution. Although neither of these carries the "wow" factor seen in other mobiles, it certainly promises a real enjoyment of your mobile experience. Well, truth be told - it manages to live up to that promise and you are welcomed to read on our detailed review.

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Samsung Z560

Main features

  • Slim design
  • 2 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • Hot-swap microSD memory card slot
  • HSDPA 1.8 Mbps plus EDGE and GPRS
  • Touch-sensitive external music keys
  • Stereo loudspeakers

Main disadvantages

  • No FM radio
  • No Infrared port
  • Records video in the outdated QCIF (176 x 144 pixels) resolution only

Well this year no one is talking about 3G anymore. The magic word is definitely HSDPA. The High-Speed Downlink Packet Access is a 3G mobile telephony protocol that comes as an upgrade to existing 3G networks and the current deployments of the technology allow for a downlink speed of 1.8 Mbit/s, 3.6 Mbit/s, and 7.2 Mbit/s. You can imagine what the increased bandwidth speed means - quicker downloads, streaming of mobile content with increased quality and finally, a wireless modem connection for your notebook wherever you go. Well, those are really nice prospects for the mobile industry and for us, the consumers in particular. We would see more and more of HSDPA-enabled handsets becoming commercially available and of course, more and more of those reviewed here at The Samsung Z560 is among those products. It is already available to markets worldwide as well as several other solutions by other manufacturers - such as the Motorola RAZR V6 maxx which seems as almost identical to the Samsung solution.

Motorola RAZR maxx V6
Motorola RAZR maxx V6 and Samsung Z560

Further on, the Samsung Z560 clamshell comes as an upgrade to the 3G Samsung Z540 which we reviewed almost a year ago. The successor has an updated camera, a new lighter design, a larger capacity battery, and the added benefit of a microSD memory card slot.

Slim and wide

Now the Samsung Z560 leaves an impression of a really slim handset while in the same time when the flip is closed it measures a good 16 mm of thickness. Besides being slim, it is most definitely one other thing - really wide.

With the flip closed the central part of the outer panel is taken by the secondary display. It is a 65K colors TFT one with a resolution of 96 x 96 pixels. Below it are several touch-sensitive keys which come in good use when you use the Z560 as a MP3 player. Above it is the 2 megapixel camera lens.

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Samsung Z560: front

When you open the flip there is no way of not noticing how large the main display is. It is a 256K colors TFT one with a QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) resolution and it measures a good 2.3" in diagonal. Above the display is the in-call speaker grill, while below it is the secondary camera used for video calls. The keypad is really nicely elaborated and besides the usual functional and alphanumeric keys it also has a dedicated shortcut key for video calls and a second one for a nice shortcut menu.

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Opening the flip: video calls camera • keypad

The left side of the Samsung Z560 features a port for plugging the charger, headset or data cable. Beside the port is the dual volume key. The bottom and top part of the device are pretty bare.

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Left side view: connectivity port and volume key • bottom and top views

The right side of the handset accommodates the microSD memory card slot and the camera shortcut key. The stereo speakers are positioned respectively on the left and right side of the flip near the bottom. They are not visible - only their apertures are.

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Right side view: memory card slot and camera shutter key

The back of the Z560 is bare too. The battery cover is removed with a slide. You can see the SIM card bed above the battery but in order to put in or take out the card you have to remove the battery first. The Z560 is equipped with a 900 mAh Li-Ion battery which according to the manufacturer should keep the device going for up to 320 hours in standby mode and up to 3 hours and 40 minutes of call time. In reality the battery lasted 2-3 days with moderate talk times of 10-15 minutes a day.

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Back panel: removing the battery cover • removing the battery

Generally, we were pleased with the ergonomics of the Z560. We did notice a flaw though and it concerns opening the clamshell single-handedly. On the left side of the Samsung Z560 there is a recess where you can rest your finger in order to open the flip. It works okay and you can open it with a relative ease. On the right side however there is no recess and opening the device with your left hand proves pretty much impossible.

Other that that we are pleased with the way the device feels when held in hand and due to its wide form-factor it is nice to talk on, too.

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Samsung Z560 held in hand

Reader comments

  • Versed
  • 25 Jul 2007
  • 4wS

Looks a heck of alot like my kids Samsung Sync's A707, even feature wise. Good phone.

  • stj
  • 15 Jul 2007
  • ps@

Shortcut key (multitasking) is not a new thing! It was present in the old Z510 phone. Not really useful though.

  • dAVE
  • 14 Jul 2007
  • i2v

Well this device has been on Telstras Next G network since october 6th 2006 and is known to telstra as the A701 it has been a great device and outsells all other devices, but the Maxx v6 Motorola os the better device as it is metal as the Samsung is ...