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Samsung Beat DJ
Mobile Phones | First Looks
Wed 13 May 2009

Yet Another Music Phone?

By Sutlej Soin

With Nokia and Sony Ericsson dishing out their premier music phones in the form of the XpressMusic 5800 and W705 respectively in the past few months, Samsung doesn't want to be breathing in the dust of their competitors, and have released the Beat DJ M7600 in an effort to out-muscle the competition. The question is this: does it have enough brawn to get the music-heads listening?

The Oval Machine

Some might say the Beat DJ looks like a portable gaming device while others have said it resembles two vinyl discs on a deck. Whatever the reason might be (we like to think it's the latter), there is no denying that the phone sports a unique design.

It might be too oval for our liking but at 99.7 grams, it fits well in our hands as well as in our pockets. The front of the handset is taken up by the 2.8-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display and below it, three physical keys made up of the Call, End and Back buttons.

The user interface of the Beat DJ is similar to the one found on Samsung's recent flagship product, the Ultra Touch S8300, with its simple to use widgets. Scrolling through the menus was relatively fast and a breeze to use once you get the hang of it. The touchscreen functionality was also responsive and intuitive, which is important when it's used to type out messages.

Music Makes the World Go Around

As a music-centric device, we are glad that Samsung decided to include a 3.5mm earphone jack. On the flip side, the earphone jack is protected by a flimsy protective flap. After going through the trouble of having to flip it up every time we plug in our earphones, we won't be too surprised if users choose to rip it out entirely.

The long standing relationship between Samsung and Bang & Olufsen (B&O) continues here with the Beat DJ's B&O ICEpower speakers. Its audio delivery comes off booming on the handset which makes it almost as loud as the XpressMusic 5800's onboard speakers. Nonetheless, the bass delivery was slightly lacking, but this shouldn't deter those who seek a loud and clear device as the Beat DJ.

What got our fingers and hearts pumping was the Beat DJ application found in the handset which is the main selling point of the phone. With the application, you can load up your own collection of tracks and customize them by adding effects like filters, voices, echoes and more.

Add to that, you can act out your wildest fantasies as a wannabe DJ by running your finger against the screen and mimicking the scratching effects of DJ vinyls. And to top it all off, these customized tracks can be recorded for sharing purposes. The sore point of this is that you can't add in the effects all at once and you are limited to adding one effect at a time.

Features at Your Fingertips

The phone also features an on-board 3.2-megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash, which churned out impressive looking images. The colors in the image were pleasing and the details of the subject were retained.

Connectivity options stand at Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP for wireless listening, as well as A-GPS support. The only thing that we missed was Wi-Fi support which could have allowed the phone to go an extra mile in our good books if included.

The battery life is average at best. We ran it under cellular connectivity, full brightness, while listening to music and it clocked at 3 hours and 45 minutes long. Safe to say, daily charging will be required.

Final Say

The Samsung Beat DJ is slated for release at the end of May. It is aimed at youths looking for a single device that can handle their calls and messaging needs on top of their music listening needs. If you are an executive and desire the same features minus the music extras and a better-rounded handset, then perhaps the Samsung Ultra Touch S8300 would be a more suitable buy.

Product Specifications

  • Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz/HSDPA
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v2.0 enabled with A2DP, A-GPS, microUSB
  • Memory: 50MB onboard, microSD
  • Display: 2.8-inch (240 x 400 pixels)
  • Camera: 3.2-megapixels with auto focus, LED flash
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo headset capable
  • Battery: 960mAh
  • Dimensions: 112 x 51 x 13.9mm
  • Weight: 99.7 grams