Samsung's D600 updates an earlier model, the D500. With sleek colouring and clean lines, this is a nice-looking phone, but get under the hood and there are plenty of goodies awaiting your attention.
We found this handset available for free from the big four operators in the UK on a wide range of tariffs, with the least expensive being £29.99 on T-Mobile and £30 on Vodafone, O2 and Orange. We also found it for as much as £100 on £25 tariffs from T-Mobile and Orange, and SIM-free from online retailers for around £330.
The Samsung SGH-D600 is a slider, a format people seem to either love or loathe. A well put-together slider is small to fit in your pocket and offers many of its features without the need to open the casing. The D600 achieves this thanks to having plenty of outer buttons. These lock automatically, but two presses unlock them ready for use. When you do need to use the number pad, the sliding mechanism is smooth and nicely sprung, so you don't have to push too hard or too far.
There are smaller sliders around, but this one is still quite tiny, measuring just 47 by 96 by 22mm when closed. At the risk of sounding like a designer furniture catalogue, we have to note that the D600's black casing, with its mix of matte and gloss finishes and minimalist chrome highlights lend classic good looks to the unit.
When you open the slider you're greeted with a number pad that is as large as it can be and keys that feel positive under the fingers. In darker lighting conditions the full array of keys light up when one is tapped.
One of the standout features of the D600 is its screen. It's right at the top of the list in terms of specifications, offering 240x320 pixels and 262K colours. It's clear, bright and pin-sharp. The best way to see this in action is to take a photo with the built-in camera then set it as the wallpaper. We got wows all round when we did this. The single connector on the right edge of the casing doubles up for both the provided headphones and AV cables (which can be used to send photos and videos you shoot to a TV).
When connectors like these are left uncovered they are prone to damage, but often the covers used are silly rubber blobs that are all too easily lost. Samsung has come up with a far better solution –- a sliding cover. We love it, and we expect future phones to sport this simple but clever idea.
Also on this edge is a button that launches the camera. The lens on the back of the casing is flanked by a large self-portrait mirror and an LED flash unit. The left edge of the casing has a volume rocker and on the upper parts of both edges are speaker grilles.