If there is one manufacturer you can link with the continued success of the slider phone, it is Samsung. Its all-black D500 and D600 models, in particular, have popularised the design over the last year or two. Faced with new competition from the likes of LG and others, it is only natural therefore that Samsung should fight back.
The E900 is a thinly disguised effort at Samsung trying to take the wind from the LG Chocolate's sales. What the company has done is take the basic design concept and improve it in any way it can - a triple-chocolate special, that sells for much the same price as the LG original.
It has the same sort of touch-sensitive buttons arranged discreetly on the front panel - but the provision of a real joypad in the centre of these means that there is less chance of hitting the wrong key. And another neat touch is that when you turn on the MP3 player, two further hotspot buttons alight to control the music.
The whole finger-reactive interface still takes some getting used to (and many may not feel comfortable with it), but the approach is better thought out here - even though there is the same perennial problem with fingerprints.
Making the most of the space available, a sumptuous quarter-VGA screen is provided - and this works particularly well with the two megapixel camera. Pictures are very good, and marginally better than those taken with the LG that we're testing in this roundup.
Further improvements are found with the MP3 player. Not only do you get a generous 80MB of onboard memory - but you can store further tracks (and other data as well) on an optional mini memory card. Performance from the speakerphone, however, is noticably quiet - forcing you to use the headset that's supplied with the phone.
As well as the more usual features, Samsung also adds a couple of its own. The Document Viewer is particularly useful for those who use their mobile to receive email - as it allows you to read any Word or Excel attachments that you might receive.
Of equal use to the business and family user is the ability to link the handset up to a normal TV, using a plug-in lead - allowing you to turn the phone into a portable presentation device, or simply provide a convenient way of showing off your pictures and mini-movies.