Samsung enters the Australian 5-megapixel camera phone battle with the G600, and the G800 to follow closely after. The G600 stands out from the pack with a slimmer, lightweight design and while we already know that the smaller form means a reduction in features available in the G600, we were keen to see if performance suffered, particularly in regards to the camera.
At 14mm thick and 104 grams, 5-megapixels camera phones don't come any smaller than this one. Its shiny silver coloured fascia may appear as brushed metal from a distance, but like most Samsung handsets, the G600 is made almost entirely out of plastic. Not that this should be a strong deterrent; the handset still feels adequately sturdy.
Overall, the G600 is a nicely designed phone. Rounded edges give the handset a smooth and streamlined feel, and all buttons on the handset are large and well-spaced; both on top of the phone and including the numeric keypad under the slider.
The camera lens for the 5-megapixel shooter is also concealed beneath the sliding mechanism which seems a better solution than the bulky lens cover of the Nokia N95 or to going without a cover, as with LG's Viewty. The only downside to the camera placement is that you don't have much of the phone to hold onto after sliding the phone open and turning the handset sideways to take photos with the dedicated camera button on the side, which is necessary as the auto-focus tool only works when using the dedicated key.
The G600 sports a 2.2-inch LCD display which doesn't do the 5-megapixel photo previews justice, but is bright and sharp enough for menu and application navigation. The user interface is attractive and well laid out; all applications and setting options are exactly where you'd expect to find them.
In a way, the G600 is a bit light on when it comes to features. It seems ridiculous saying that considering the fact that the phone has a 5-megapixel camera onboard, however, the camera aside, there's not much else of note to report. The G600 is a quad-band 2G phone -- so no 3G or HSDPA connectivity; there is the obligatory MP3 player, a calendar for organising your life and the range of standard messaging options including e-mail with POP3 and IMAP accounts supported.
The G600 has a built-in Web browser but, be warned, at GPRS data speeds the Web experience on the G600 is slow and will have you scanning the room frantically for a PC, or alternatively, have you tugging out your hair.