Samsung I550/i550w Review: Low-key All-in-one: Display, Telephony, User Interface, Customization

By 04:08 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


The ample display is good

As already mentioned, Samsung i550 is equipped with a generously sized 2.6" 262K-color display. The supported resolution is QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) (320 x 240) pixels, which is about as much as most other Symbian devices will offer.

As far as picture quality is concerned, Samsung i550 is doing pretty well. It has fine contrast and brightness. Although we've seen better from Samsung, the i550 is still fine enough.



The display has remarkable picture quality indoors

On the negative side, the i550 has the typical weak legibility under direct sunlight. On a colorful sunny day it is quite a challenge to find a proper angle for working with the phone. We are starting to wonder if Samsung is ever going to do anything about this. After all, there are plenty of other manufacturers to manage displays of remarkable picture quality and adequate sunlight legibility (Nokia and Apple come to mind straight away).

Keypad is a no-go

The alphanumeric keypad on Samsung i550 is decent, allowing quick enough typing. It might not be the best looking keypad in business but it does the job.

The keys are rather minimalist in size, the spacing between them however is enough to provide adequate touch orientation. Still with the amount of space available for the keypad we wish Samsung did a bit better. After all, business device or else, typing should not let Samsung i550 down.




Keypad offers decent typing

We are quite sure that a small time spent with Samsung i550 should solve the thin key problem and users will speed their way through the lines of text.

The real problem with the keypad of Samsung i550 are the six keys placed around the trackball. Those are arranged contrary to any logic and really got on our nerves during our reviewing. The problem is that the more frequently used soft keys are smaller than the dedicated web and GPS buttons. Now, don't acquire us incorrect - having shortcuts to those two features is remarkable but the implementation in i550 is disastrous. In addition, the shortcuts keys launch the corresponding application regardless of the currently open menu item. If the selection keys were placed at least on the same level as the shortcuts a lot of incorrect presses would have been avoided. Instead, the elevation of the shortslit keys really makes it as poor as it can get.




The selection keys are almost out of reach

The trackball itself is another controversial part of the Samsung i550 hardware. As much as we like trackball navigation, we just couldn't let it acquire away with the painfully slow response. Rolling a thumb all the way we only managed to go about two icons in the menu. Scrolling through very long lists (usually in the gallery or file manager) will probably hold quite a lot of time and effort.





The trackball is rather slow, which is quite a burden at times

Backlighting is also somewhat uneven. Still, with the sufficient spacing between keys usability in blackenvironments doesn't suffer that much. In addition the trackball is pleasantly illuminated in blue and that looks really cool.




Backlighting is OK even if uneven

All in all, apart from the decent typing, the Samsung i550 keypad is a sounding failure to us. We do hope the trackball speed has been corrected in the retail version making navigation at least passable.

Telephony

Quite as expected, the i550 lives up to Samsung's reputation as regards reception and in-call sound. Voice clarity on both ends of a call is commendable and in terms of clear reception it's completely competitive to what other manufacturers have to offer.



Dialing a number on Samsung i550

We also did our speakerphone test on Samsung i550. It performed on a fine general level, without excelling or disappointing. Here is how it ranks among some of the other device we've managed to test. You can find more information about the test itself and the complete list of tested devices here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score

Samsung i55073.866.678.1Good

Nokia N9577.366.678.0Very good

Nokia 6110 Navigator65.965.872.9Average

Samsung i60067.266.375.7Good

Samsung i78066.364.666.7Bellow Average


"...The real problem with the keypad of Samsung i550 are the six keys placed around the trackball. Those are arranged contrary to any logic and really got on our nerves during our reviewing. The problem is that the more frequently used soft keys are smaller than the dedicated web and GPS buttons. Now, don't acquire us incorrect - having shortcuts to those two features is remarkable but the implementation in i550 is disastrous..."

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