Samsung is leaving no stone unturned in the battle of the smartphones, leaving Nokia and others a real uphill task in the touchscreen race. Having sold 40 million touch phones in 2009 alone, Samsung has enough wisdom to know what really sells. Someone hunting for a Rs 8000 – Rs 12000 touchscreen smartphone isn’t a power user and the Samsung Corby / Star range suits them just perfectly. The iPhone wannabes if you can call them (and there isn’t any shame in being one); love the freedom of memory cards, ringtones, bluetooth file transfer, better camera with flash, cheaper price etc. The latest addition to the low end touchscreen from Samsung is the Star Superb (S5560). Bundling WiFi, 5MP camera, full touchscreen and a compact design at a price point of mere Rs 11,000 (<$250) is pretty much a success formula. IMO this one certainly kills the Nokia 5530 and even gives the 5800 a run for its money.
The Star Superb is basically a Corby design with the finishing of a Samsung Star. Confused? Well the Samsung Corby series is this colourful and trendy looking phones that appeal to a lot of girls. While Corby has never been promoted as a girly phone, the business users always stuck to the elegant Black finishing of the Star (that does away with the curves to give it a classy look). However the Star Superb (GT-S5560) trims down a little, adds some curves and retains the elegant black finishing to appeal much better to the ones who prefer a non flashy touchscreen (not a power phone, not a super business phone, but just a mature looking device). Samsung has read the market situation pretty well and rolled out the Superb just in time. The Nokia 5233 / 5230 has just entered the market only to face tough competition from the original Corby and Star / Star 3G; whereas the 5530 is about to hit the shelves in India at around the Rs 11000 mark. Star Superb doesn’t add any better UI, software or touchscreen to what we have seen with the Corby / Corby Pro. The usual homescreens (3 of them), widgets that can be placed on the screen or hidden in the side menu etc. The phone ships with a stylus in the box, though the operations are optimized for a full touchscreen (which is 3 inches wide) usage. However a 5MP autofocus camera with flash does the trick along with the compact design.
The back cover of the Superb isn’t the usual shiny plastic that you see in the Corby. Instead its a much more rubber / velvety material which gives the impression that it would catch scratches / marks pretty easily. The handset that I handled was just 4 days old and you can see the marks on the back already. (The same look is sported in the Omnia Pro and the Jet though they have a very elegant looking translucent back cover) . Apart from this the design looked pretty neat. The left side houses the volume controls and the right, the ‘lock’ and camera button. The good thing with Samsung is the box full of stuff they give you. A free 2GB microSD, datacable, soft cover, headset, CD and stylus.
When competing with Nokia in terms of mobile Internet or as a smartphone Samsung would feel the need for a better OS here (btw they are coming up with BADA OS soon), however this segment is more sensitive to price and media features, that Samsung scores with. If you are looking for a touchscreen that has a decent camera / media support – The Superb fills the gap for you at the lowest cost. At Rs 11,000 this one is quite a steal.
A sample image clicked from the Samsung Star Superb Camera. click to enlarge
The back cover pose 2
Unboxing the Star Superb