Samsung D500 Unanimously Voted the best phone of the year 2005 by the GSM World Council, the phone is clearly not a disappointment. Key Features â€¢ 262k colors display â€¢ Bluetooth â€¢ 96 Megabytes of memory â€¢ Mp3 Player â€¢ 1.3 MegaPixel Camera Whats in the box? â€¢Handset â€¢External Speaker â€¢Battery â€¢Handsfree kit â€¢Handstrap â€¢Manual Build The D500 is smaller than what it may seem in its images. The dimensions of the phone are 93.5 x 45.7 x 23.5 mm and weighs only 99 grams. The phone is made of very high quality plastic which is sturdy and scratch resistant till a certain extent, which covers the sides and battery of the phone. The rest of the material used is like the black part of the SonyEricsson T610. The sliding mechanism is certainly better than the older sliding phones like the Nokia 7650, Siemens SL55 etc. Just a push of the finger slides open the upper screen, revealing the flat keypad beneath and the 1.3 Megapixel cameras, mirror and flash behind. The phone can be operated for most of the tasks like navigating through the menu, making calls from the phonebook, playing music etc. On the left side of the phone is the volume key and on the right side are the camera key, external speaker/handsfree plug and the infrared port. Display The Samsung D500 boasts a beautiful screen with a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels, showing 262k colors. Samsung has chosen a TFT display, which means lesser visibility in sunlight. The display indoors is bright and very crisp, as good as the display of the infamous SonyEricsson S700. The display is divided into 4 parts, from top to bottom, first comes the battery meter, signal strength, alarm icon etc. Next is the time, day and date row. Third part, the major part of the display is for the wallpapers and at the last and bottom most part is menu and contacts soft key. The phone offers 4 color options or â€˜skinsâ€™, and new skins cannot be downloaded. Animations can be set as wallpapers. There is still no screensaver feature and the screen turns almost blank, only the time, day and date are black, while in standby mode. Software The D500 carries better software than the older D410. Pressing the menu key opens up a 9 icon menu. Java is supported and games can only be downloaded through WAP by default, but some tweaks are available to alter the same. The software is fast and stable. The phone has a built in MP3 player which proves to be very useful wit the availability of 96 Mb of shared memory. The phone also has the capability to playback videos. The phone accepts images in .jpg, .gif and .bmp format. The phone also has a voice recorder and also plays .amr files. The mp3 player has 2 types of â€˜equalizerâ€™ values, which means you can either have vertical barâ€™s jump up and down while listening to music or you can have barâ€™s move horizontally. The calendar can have up to 400 entries and the phonebook can store 1000 numbers. The organizer is good, but not too great. The good part about the organizer is that 3 alarms can be set simultaneously and anniversary function is also supported. The phone also shows the world time and has an inbuilt calculator, converter, timer and stopwatch. Pros: Fast and stable Nice look to the mp3 player A Play list can be created 3 Alarms can be set simultaneously Cons: Not smart phone software (Symbian, Windows etc.) Games cannot be transferred through the computer without tweaking Connectivity The D500 is the first Samsung phone to offer Bluetooth, which works very well at a good speed. Transferring 40 Mb of data from my computer took less than 20 minutes. The part I found nice is that while transferring files from the phone, the device can be searched from the send menu itself. This instead of first pairing the device from the Bluetooth menu, the device can be searched while sending itself which means quicker and less irritating operation. The phone also offers infrared connectivity which works both ways, i.e. from and to other phones. The phone has GPRS connectivity and setting can be received over the air. Messaging The phone supports multimedia messaging and there is a choice between the limit, 100kb or 295kb depending upon your service provider. Messaging is fun because of the flat keys and ample spacing between the keys. A very interesting thing about the messaging part is that up to 10 numbers can be blocked which means short messages from those 10 particular numbers will be automatically blocked by the phone. Call Features The phone has an inbuilt speakerphone and also comes with an external one. The phone also has a voice clarity function which cuts most of the background noise from the other side and giver better sound quality. The sad part is that calls cannot be recorded. The good part is that the loudspeaker can be turned on by pressing the â€˜okâ€™ key rather than from the call menu. Camera 1.3 Megapixel camera, Video and flash, all that it required to complete a camera phone. The camera is very good and the videos are crisp. Flash plays its part in lighting up the photos. The bad part about the camera is that the resolution it shows before taking the picture is 10 times worse than the outcome, so itâ€™s a bit confusing. The phone offers 8x Zoom at VGA Resolution. The camera on the whole is as good as the one on The SonyEricsson S700i. Photos taken from the camera can be zoomed from the image viewer. Frames can be added to the pictured either while taking them or after they have been taken. Ringtones The phone supports MP3, Midi, amr and MMF ringtones. The sad part is that the phone does not ring and vibrate simultaneously while receiving a call in the case of midi ,mp3 and amr ringtones, it vibrates first and then rings or just rings. This is a major drawback of the phone. However, the phone does support â€˜mmfâ€™ ringtones which vibrate and ring at the same time, but that is completely upto the ringtone itself. As far as loudness is concerned, the phone is very loud indeed and can usually be heard ringing in a crowd. Multimedia Functions The phone has 96 Megabytes of memory which means about 32 songs of an average size of 3 megabytes. The phone comes with an external speaker which can be attached to enhance the sounds of the phone. The video playback is smooth and clear. Music playback is also clear and a playlist can be created within the phone itself. Privacy The phone can be locked, as in while starting up the phone will require a password to be activated. Also, Images, sound, videos, multimedia messages and music can be locked, which mite prove to be a useful feature. Conclusion For starters, the phone is very good looking and has most of the modern day features. The phone is really easy to use and the slider is not at all a problem. The camera is great and the multimedia functions can prove to be very entertaining.Priced at Rs.20,000(New delhi), I would recommend the phone to people looking for stylish phones and not having a limited choice of brands.