Samsung Blade GT-S5600V review

A decent touchscreen handset that won't set the world alight

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in hand

With its glossy black casing and rounded slab design, the Blade has a familiar post-iPhone touchscreen phone look about it.

Its 102.8(h) x 54.8(w) x 12.9(d) mm dimensions give it a slightly squatter appearance than both the Tocco Lite and the Jet, though its 96g weight gives it a comfortably solid rather than chunky feel in your hand.

It has a very similar curvy back panel to the Jet, with even the camera and flash configuration positioned in the same way.


There's no Jet-like lenticular-ish patterning on the Blade though - its bodywork is straight black. Unless, of course, you opt for the eye-dazzlingly pink version of the Blade, which is available for the same price.

The 2.8-inch QVGA resistive touchscreen display on the front is noticeably shorter than the Tocco Lite, which gives it the sort of dimensions similar to a device like the Nokia N95 8GB rather than a longer-bodied touchscreen phone.


Still, it's bright and clear and although its resistive technology means it doesn't provide the slick Multi-Touch ease of use and smooth control of the iPhone, it does feel decently responsive to pressing and finger swiping actions.

The screen space is also sufficient for finger control without requiring a stylus (there's none provided) or improvised pen-jabbing. Samsung has thought about the layout and not cluttered it up with lots of extraneous touch buttons.


A low-resolution camera for video calling is perched discreetly above the display. There are only three non-touch external buttons on the front panel below the screen: a pair of conventional Call and End keys on a single textured panel, plus that bold Blade-mark – a large arrowhead-shaped button in the middle of these.

Out of the box, the first thing you want to do is press this large button to see what happens. In fact, the answer isn't all that exciting. With a normal short press, it acts as a Back button for menu navigation.

A longer hold of it calls up a panel of shortcuts for certain functions – call (bringing up the on-screen virtual numberpad), web browser, music player, messages and main menu (plus another 'Back' option) – two of which options are on the home screen anyway.


It's not even a navigation D-pad, as some regular phone users might initially assume.

Around the sides of the phone, buttons are kept to a minimum too. On one side is a dedicated camera button to fire up and snap with the shooter, plus a screen lock/unlock key, while the other flank sports volume/zoom rocker controls


Anyone hoping for a Jet-style 3.5mm headphone socket will be disappointed – Samsung provides only a microUSB multi-function socket on the top of the phone for earphones, charging and USB data connectivity.