Samsung i450 review: Samsung i450

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Typical Price: $599.00
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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Bang & Olufsen audio hardware. Nokia S60 operating platform. Funky music player interface. HSDPA data transfer speeds. Bundled 1GB MicroSD memory card.

The Bad Touch wheel is a bit tricky to use. No Wi-Fi. It's not the sexiest handset around.

The Bottom Line If Samsung keep producing music phones like the i450, with Bang & Olufsen audio hardware, then Sony Ericsson's dominance of music-focused mobiles may come to an abrupt halt.

8.6 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice May '08

Design
Out of the box, Samsung phones often struggle to impress. Maybe it's the egg-carton packaging that Samsung uses, or perhaps it's the gun-metal grey plastic bodies of recent Samsung phones, but the G600 and i450 have both made poor first impressions, defying their much hyped features.

Sliding the i450 open to reveal its recessed keypad did little to raise our opinion; a flat plastic layer with numbers defined by tiny raised strips. It was only when we slid the body in the opposite direction that we encountered the first of many pleasant surprises.

Similar to Nokia's N95, the i450 employs a dual-slide design with music controls under the top half. Media controls for the i450 are comprised of a single-ribbed rubber semi-circle that gives the impression of being a spinning wheel. Dragging a finger over the ridges scans the music menu like an iPod's touch wheel. Combined with the on-screen interface, this feature looks great, though we found the wheel to be too sensitive when scanning menus, and often ineffective when trying to make a selection by pressing down on the "wheel".

On the back of the i450 is a 2-megapixel camera, and on the top of the phone is a 3.5mm headphone port; a very welcome addition to any music-centric mobile phone. For some reason Samsung bundle headphones with a proprietary input — similar to the input on the charger — even though the 3.5mm headphone port is crying out to be used. The i450's paltry 40MB of internal memory is expanded by MicroSD memory cards with the slot for these on the left side of the handset.

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