The HD is one of five phones launched as part of Samsung’s new Icon touchphone range. It is HSDPA and DLNA-enabled, has Wi-Fi, GPS, and can record and play HD movies.

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At first glance, the HD Icon looks like a big and chunky phone. Looking at the specifications however, show that the unit measures 123 x 56 x 12.9mm and weighs 148g. There are seven buttons (End/Power, Menu, Talk, Volume (Up and Down), Hold, and Camera), two cameras (an 8-megapixel and VGA), and a multi-function jack on the HD. In addition, the company has also included a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing users to listen to music using their favourite headphones.

What is worth mentioning is the HD Icon’s 3.7-inch AMOLED display. The screen is brighter than other mobile phones, with videos and photos looking crisp. Combined with the dual stereo speaker, the HD will be able to pump out loud audio anywhere.

The HD uses Symbian OS (S60 5th Edition), so Nokia users will feel right at home with this device. The touch interface is fast and responsive allowing us to browse through the main menu and options without problems. Besides four shortcut icons on the main screen (Telephone, Contacts, Messaging, Menu), users can customise the unit’s look by dragging pre-set widgets. Dragging your finger to the left or right (from the main screen) will bring the photo contacts or the main menu.

The virtual keyboard is big and can be customised. Users can either type their text messages using a full screen QWERTY, alphanumeric keypad, or handwriting. While all of the text inputs available are good, we found the full screen QWERTY to be the best option.


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The HD Icon comes with 16GB of internal memory (an 8GB option is also available) and can be expanded up to 32GB by purchasing a microSD card. Hot-swapping is possible as the slot is located on the left side of the unit.

The 8-megapixel camera with LED flash takes good photos in well-lit places, but clearly has a hard time taking photos in the dark. One good thing about this camera though is the fact that it can shoot HD videos (1280 x 720) well, with footage looking sharp and crisp.

Samsung claims that the HD Icon lasts up to 570 hours on standby and up to 13.5 hours of talk time. During our test, the unit lasted a little more than a day before having to recharge it. If you plan to use functions like Wi-Fi, push e-mail, and music and video playback, then prepare to charge it at the end of the day.

Overall, the Samsung HD Icon is a good phone that can do it all. It can shoot HD video, has a bright screen and good speakers for audio/video playback, and is very responsive. The 16GB may not be enough for hardcore users who want to watch HD video on the unit, but since the memory is expandable, then it is not a problem at all. It is available now for $999.

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