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Welcome to the Samsung S5600 Preston review.  The version we sampled was labeled the Samsung  S5603T.  This model was released in mid 2009 so you can expect to see it around for a year or two.  (Also check out the LG Optimus GT540 for an even better phone.)

The S5600 Preston ICON is another touch screen mobile phone from Samsung and clearly designed to take on other mid-range handsets regardless of keypad type.  How do we know? It’s price is very very competitive.  It’s actually cheaper than the F480.  To cut a long review short yes the S5600 is better than the F480 in every way.  So why is the F480 so expensive – who knows?

The S5600 Preston is a curvy box that is relatively small and also well made. It is a tad longer than the F480 but feels easier to hold due to the curves. It is very well put together phone and looks pretty good too.  Although we haven’t seen it as a pre-paid package yet but you can be sure it will be in 12 months or so.

The S5600 is an impressive phone to use!  The operating system and the Touchwiz interface work without any of the lags its predecessors including the F480 clearly have. It is easily better than the interface on touch screen Nokia’s of 2009 but does feel a tad crude next to the iPhone – don’t they all?  2nd best interface in he world is not a bad thing!

Again, rather than bore you with the phones technicalities we’ll get to the real story! As you can guess we think the S56o0 is a very good phone. We think that it is probably the best priced and feature packed mid-range mobile phone available at the time this review was written (early 2010).  It has a lot of features that will impress anyone.  It includes a decent screen and size,  a good 3.2MP camera, video, calender, media/file organizer, FM radio lots of memory and 3G capability.

However before you go out an buy one remember that the S5600 is still a ‘standard’ phone.  It does not have features like GPS or Wi-Fi so if your needs only involve standard messaging – voice and video calls, SMS, MMS, IM and Email then this phone will meet your needs. Ming you it also comes with a document viewer for Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF files.

The S5600 has a few surprise features not found on many other phones one of which is a program called Mobile Tracker.  Basically if you lose the phone and the thief or dishonest finder changes SIM cards the phone will automatically send the SIM’s number to your own SIM card.  Excellent and simple precaution – make sure you activate it though!  The other is a Shazam! (for iPhone) like program that allows you to find the name of a song your listening to – handy to some I suppose.

For the price category it only has a 3.2 megapixels but the results are just as good as others with more megapixels. So if you want to fall into the trap of wanting greater megapixels as opposed to better quality pictures then go else where.

The menu system is easy enough to use and there are plenty of options and apps you can play with.  However there are few interface customization options.  That said the graphics are already quite good so I don’t think most will think it needs to be changed.  Samsung have also developed a widget screen which works very well. Unlike other mid-range Samsung’s it does not slow the phone down. The widgets look cool but there lots of in-built widget options worth selecting.  The web browser is quite good for a non-smartphone so only very basic web surfing on it but it’s fine.

Overall the S5600 Preston is a very good phone.  It has all the communication options you could want.  The price in 2010 is very acceptable. We recommend the S5600 above the F480 quite easily although in terms of communication options is doesn’t do any more.  So if you want the best touch screen 3G mobile phone for the least amount of money then the S5600 is it! (Early 2010)  There are no other touch screen models in this price category that work quite as well as the S5600 (at the time of this review).

Note: since the price reduction in mid-2010 to less than $200 we think this one of the best cheap touchscreen mobile phone on the market.  However spend a little more and get the LG Optimus for a even better phone!

Note: The price drop to under $100 in November 2010 as a pre-paid phone makes the S5600 even more appealing. Note that Android OS based phones that can be purchased for less the $300 is probably a better choice – outright only though!

samsung_s5600_back

Specifications

  • Samsung S5600
  • Network
    Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900
    3G 900/2100 (Dependent on country)
    HSDPA 3.6 data speed (download)
  • Design
    Touch screen
  • L102.8 x W54.8 x D12.9mm
    Weight 96 grams
  • Display/s
    External TFT 240 x 320
  • Camera
    3.2MP
    LED Flash
  • Video Camera
    174 x 144 pixel video camera
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V2
    Micro-USB
  • CPU
  • Memory
    80MB available to user
    MicroSD up to 8Gig
  • Ring tones
    MIDI, MP3, vibration and others
  • Features
    Touch screen
    Widgets
    Music and Media player
    Remote security
    Word/Excel/Powerpoint/PDF reader
    Organiser/Calender
    SMS, MMS, IM, Email
    JAVA MIDP 2.0
    FM radio with RDS
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Battery 1000 mAh
    Up to 350 hours Standby
    Up to 6 hours Talk Time
  • Price history
    Under $100 AUD November 2010 (Pre-paid)
    Under $190 AUD Mid-2010 (Outright)
    From $349 AUSD 2010 (Outright)

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