Samsung Electronics

slide rule

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am

The heyday of clamshell handsets appears to be waning, as two of the world's largest mobile-phone makers introduce some of their best designs to date in slider format. Nokia's 8600 Luna and the Anycall U608 from Samsung Electronics are not high-end 3G smartphones but have set a new benchmark in slider style.

Attention seeker

The alluring 8600 Luna (right) - named in honour of the ancient Roman goddess of moonlight - feels good to touch thanks to a sexy combination of materials - smooth, nearly opaque glass, chrome, stainless steel and titanium - that makes it glow. A soft light pulsates beneath the ergonomic keypad, which rises smoothly from within the glass cover when it slides open. Nokia has used a single micro-Universal Serial Bus port for the first time, allowing users to charge the phone and have audio and data connectivity through a single link. The sleek black handset also has quadband GSM network, a two-megapixel camera and a large, bright display.

Size matters

Samsung, which has released mostly slider phones in Hong Kong this year, has produced a slimmer, lighter quadband GSM phone. The compact Anycall U608 (above right) weighs 81.5 grams - compared with the 8600 Luna's 143 grams - and is a compact 11mm thick. The advanced device has a 3.2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player and Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers. It is available in blue, copper and silver.

Measure up

The striking Nokia is bolder and easier to use than the Samsung, with functions so straightforward even first-timers will grasp it. Samsung, though, offers a better balance of style and features and, on a price to performance ratio, comes out ahead.

The 8600 Luna costs HK$6,398 while the Anycall U608 is HK$3,480.