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Samsung U900 review: Samsung U900

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The performance of the U900 further cements why Samsung is currently the number two brand in the Australian mobile marketplace. This handset is very responsive and executes menus and applications with almost no lag at all. Equally responsive is the adaptive touch panel which is an absolute pleasure to use, and offers haptic feedback to give extra tactility.

Calling and messaging are also excellent, and media playback is good though the lack of a 3.5mm headphone port means you will be stuck with the bundled headset. Streaming media, including Foxtel, is fantastic with the HSDPA speeds providing more than enough grunt for the streams to continue without interruption.

The 5-megapixel camera is a solid shooter but we did find we had to take extra special care when taking pics. In the right conditions the pictures are stunning, with strong, sharp focus and good colour reproduction. However, the camera was also prone to losing focus with very slight movements during the exposure, and washing out or under-exposing in either high or low light environments.

The camera is one of the phone's functions when the Adaptive Touch Panel really shines, giving quick access to four important settings: flash, macro, timer, and exposure adjustments (gain).

The only below average feature we've come across is the shoddy NetFront Web browser. Viewing Web pages seems slower than other online operations and page rendering, especially when using Smart Fit screen mode, is terrible. Luckily there is other options available to remedy this. We've downloaded and installed the latest version of Opera Mini and have seen dramatically improved performance, particularly in Opera being able to render pages up to three or four times faster. This is a must-have download for owners of the U900.

Samsung's U900 is a fitting flagship model with strong, well-performing features. With the right browser, the HSDPA speeds shine, and streaming media is great. The 5-megapixel isn't class-leading, but is a solid performer, in the same league as Samsung's G600, and better in our opinion than the camera in the Samsung G800.

Telstra's outright price of AU$849 is probably a touch too expensive for the U900T, however, at the time of writing we have found Vodafone offering the U900 "free" on an AU$49 per month contract which seems about right. The difference will, of course, be the absence of Telstra's services.

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