Samsung i600 review: Samsung i600

The Good HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity; scroll wheel; expandable microSD slot.

The Bad Keypad could be more spaced out; camera is very basic.

The Bottom Line The i600's lighting-fast connectivity options and Qwerty keypad make it a good choice for anyone who works on the go, but before you splash out, test the keypad and see if you like it

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8.3 Overall

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Aimed at business types, this BlackBerry rival features Windows Mobile, a full Qwerty keypad for typing out long emails and a plethora of connectivity options, including HSDPA, which delivers Internet download speeds of up to 1.8Mbps.

It's currently available SIM-free for about £290 and will hopefully be available for free on a monthly contract on selected networks sometime soon.

Smart phones with Qwerty keypads are usually quite bulky, but the i600 feels compact and relatively thin. The screen isn't massive, but it's wide enough to read emails on comfortably and check appointments without needing to squint.

This Qwerty keypad has good and bad points. On the up side, the keys are raised enough to make them easy to find, but on the down, they're a little too squashed together to type on very quickly.

One design feature that is really easy to use is the scroll wheel on the right side for reading emails and navigating through the menu. We also found the four-way navigation key and soft keys easy to use too.

Aesthetically, the i600 looks similar to a RIM BlackBerry device, but with a more squared-off look and a nice rubbery finish. Our only niggle is that the camera on the back sticks out too much and doesn't look particularly good.

If it's high-speed data connections you're after, the i600 will keep you happy. Aside from Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth, the i600 also comes with HSDPA (3.5G), which gives you access to the Internet at speeds of up to 1.8Mbps.

You can access your work email on Microsoft Exchange servers. Alternatively, you can send a quick text message or media content, including pictures, to your friends via an MMS message.

Pictures can be taken using the 1.3-megapixel camera on the back, which takes okay snaps for MMS messaging, but don't expect print-quality shots. There's also no flash, so shots in low light don't come out well at all.