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Samsung S400i: Leading the simple life

O2 has released its fourth i-mode handset, the Samsung S400i. It's a mid-range handset with an attractive design -- and we rather like it

Samsung's SGH-D600 is a very fashionable mobile phone at the moment. As Paris Hilton has taught us, every fashion icon needs an adorable companion, so step forward the S400i, the Nicole Richie of cute sidekicks. 

At first glance the Samsung S400i might be mistaken for a D500, but this little slider phone holds a few tricks up its sleeve that should have D500 owners twitching. For starters, it's an O2 i-mode handset: this means it has access to a range of i-mode Web sites as well as i-mail, its own portable email client.

The i-mail client lets you receive mail from your O2 i-mode email account as if it were a text message. This means you can forward mail from your existing accounts to your phone and read them on the hoof, and we like the simplicity of the text-messaging-style interface.

There a few niggles. The S400i only has a VGA camera (shame on you, Samsung) and lacks infrared capability and a memory expansion slot. Note to manufacturers: we like memory, the bigger the better. We want to take our tunes and our video and our games with us everywhere.

However, Crave also likes cute phones, and the S400i is like a small bar of discreetly perfumed soap in your hand. It looks good and it does all the things that a small phone should do. We particularly like the way the camera is hidden well behind the slide, where it's nicely protected -- unlike the D600. Expect a full review soon. -AL