Samsung is sticking to its slider guns with the Soul U900, which incorporates modern technology into a classic design. Frills aside, we wanted to make sure that the Soul wasn't a hollow, gimmick-led phone with no oomph.
When we the Samsung Soul at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we didn't understand the fuss. Taking it out of the box months later, we've changed our minds -- not only does it feel weighty enough but on second glance, it's also rather attractive.
The Soul sits just right in our hand. A part metal casing gives it a solid look and feel. Everything is well laid out from the keypad to the screen. Some people might find it too chunky, but we think Samsung's hit the nail on the head, size-wise.
We weren't impressed by LG's attempt at using dual screens on thebut the Soul pulls it off. The navigation touchscreen at the bottom is very responsive and provides an adequate amount of vibrating feedback.
Fortunately, all the heavily-used keys such as cancel and soft keys are mechanical. You can avoid the irritation of deleting a whole text message -- as you could on the-- when you mistakenly brushed the touch-sensitive cancel key.
It looks like Samsung acknowledges its past mistakes and has cleverly engineered the Soul. The 5-megapixel camera, for example, is protected behind the slide mechanism, which is a small detail that adds to the overall user experience.
The aim of having a navigation touchscreen seemed redundant at first, but starts to make sense when you use the Soul. When you access an app such as the camera, it offers a series of camera keys making it easier to change all the settings.