Samsung D900 review – A Critique

Samsung D900 review – A Critique

Samsung D900 - Open BackOn to the problem areas. To understand the issues I have, you need to understand a few things about this phone. This phone boasts an impressive standby time of 360 hours and they achieve that by having no external indicators. In standby there is NO LCD visible, there is NO flashing led. Literally nothing that at a glance will tell you the phone is on and working or that you have missed any calls. Which in itself is not bad if carried out correctly however Samsung have failed miserably to understand a persons needs from the phone.

Missed call handling is useless. I am not a teenager anymore and I don’t have the constant urge to play with my phone – so for me my phone is generally sitting in my coat pocket or on my desk. When I have a missed call I need to be told about it, my Motorola had a missed call / message alert which beeped every few minutes (user adjustable) so why is it missing on the Samsung?? The Motorola also had a red flashing led and external lcd to alert you, so they could have got away without the missed call alert but the Samsung does not have the luxury of these.

Same problem plagues the low battery handling, the Motorola would give off a very loud beep every so often for hours on end. With the Samsung the low battery condition only last about an hour before the phone turns itself off, the warning period needs to be much longer. The phone has a possible runtime over a few days long and no external indicator of battery level, so the user needs to be informed sooner about the low battery level.

Samsung D900 - Closed side on

Here we arrive at the most laughable issue the low battery warning itself. Generally it is a given when you are low on fuel you drive in a manor which conserves fuel and not drag racing every car from the traffic lights. Samsung designers don’t seem to follow this philosophy the D900 turns the LCD as well as the lights on for the Duration of the user set back-light which at standard is 30 seconds.

The silliness does not stop there, the audible alert loudness is for some strange reason controlled by the key volume. Why on earth do the Samsung designers think that the low battery warning should be at the same sound level as my key presses??? Now when I set the key volume (a) the phone is no more than 15inches from my face. (b) I set a level which provides me with enough feedback without letting the whole world know I am using my phone. When the phone is low on battery power it is generally out of sight. The only answer I could come up with for this stupidity is that Taiwan is currently experiencing a trend where people are texting with their phones in the pocket, so they need unrealistically high key volume levels!!Samsung D900 - Key Volume Display

Joking aside these problems have a serious effect on confidence in the phone, I am constantly sliding the phone open to check if it is still on and if I have missed any calls. This phone is elegant and sophisticated clearly aimed squarely at business professionals who by their very nature should be spending their time doing business not worrying if they are contactable.

Here is my list of things to be corrected on the D900:

  • Low battery warning period to last minimum 4 hours
  • Audible low battery warning to have separate volume setting (or tied to the ringer volume)
  • Visual low battery warning can be a brief flash of the back-light to get as much use out of the remaining battery life.
  • User adjustable audible missed call / message reminder.

With these small changes in the firmware the D900 will be one great phone.

20 thoughts on “Samsung D900 review – A Critique

  1. mostafa

    hey!! i have the same goes for my mobile … a blue ambulence kinda light icon appear on top beside the network icon that never goes and somtimes turn to red and makes vibration and to cancel it i have to press the red button that ends the call..
    plz waiting for a reply thank you 🙂

  2. rommel

    i have problem of samsung d900i. good signal appeared but limited service appear in network name? i cant call i cant send text? but there is a signal… please help me

  3. Zara

    i have a samsung Steel (SGH-L8

    i’ve taken a few videos and photos on it..

    i plug the usb cable in and it wants me to choose one of three says “select USB Mode”:
    1) Media Player
    2)PC Studio
    3)Mass Storage

    all i want to do is transfer the photos and vids to my on god’s earth do i do this??

  4. Zarfi


    as for the SOS thing..does it matter if it’s on or not?
    thanks so much again!!! 😀

  5. Cindy

    In regards to the siren type icon closer to the signal.. you have to turn of your SOS message. that is that i did to make it go away…

    Menu>Messages>SOS Message>Message sending->NO

  6. Zarfi


    i have a D900, 18 or so months now..however 3months ago, some stupid blue police type button appeared..well not a police..but you know how they have a sirent which is blue, that’s the shape of it..and it sometimes goes red..and no it’s nothting to do with bluetooth coz it’s been on from the beginning and this thing only appeared a few motnhs ago..and also coz when i swtiched blue tooth off, nothing happened…

    any help?

  7. Natisha

    Regarding the strange red/blue icon that doesn’t appear in the manual, it is a voice message indicator…go to Messages, and Answering Machine to review and/or delete the message. The icon will then go away

  8. Chanelle

    heyy, I have a d900 and on it there is a icon at the top of the screen, its red and blue and pops up two bars icons away from the bluetooth, No idea what it is can anybody help?

  9. sam

    hey.. does any one know how to turn of da sound whenva u touch a button on the d900..i find dt very iritatin n wnt it of..

  10. Charlie Pearce

    …and I can see it annoying people in my office if I’m away from my desk for half an hour!

  11. Tarkan Post author

    I am shocked that even the newer 900i model still has not corrected this problem.

    Samsung really need to go and use their phone in the real world and then they may realise the need for this.

  12. Charlie Pearce

    I have just worked out that you can set the incoming text tone to repeat every minute or every two minutes. Not ideal though.

  13. Charlie Pearce

    I bought a Samsung 900i on Sunday (my final shortlist was that or a Nokia 6300), and I’m also pretty disappointed about the lack of indication of missed calls/texts. I rarely fiddle with my phone – it’s usually on my desk or in my pocket unless I’m using it – so if I’m not next to it when somebody sends me a text I’m not going to realise until the next time I send one myself. At least with my six-year old Nokia 3410 I’d instantly notice the “Message received” at the top of the black and white screen when walking past – as you say there’s absolutely no indication on the 900i… 🙁

  14. Tarkan Post author

    Thanks, I am glad the review helped!!

    I learnt early on to keep the battery topped up, I do think that for phone like this you really need some sort of alert for voicemail and missed calls – as you say maybe on the next model.

  15. Anna

    “the audible alert loudness is for some strange reason controlled by the key volume”

    Thank you so much for this information!! The alert was driving me crazy. Like fmac says, the phone will make these alerts probably every minute for AT LEAST 24 hours in the case of my phone (D900i). But I’ve turned the key volume to zero and now there’s no noise. I am happy 🙂 I wish it mentioned this in the manual…

    What does drive me crazy is that you can’t run the battery down faster once the low battery alert starts without spending money (ie. calling someone). I tried to run it down faster by taking a photo, using the MP3 player or playing games, but it doesn’t let you do any of that. Just the annoying “Battery low!” I KNOW IT IS!!

    Argh. But mostly, I love my phone. Just a few issues that’s all. And the worst one has now been resolved! Thanks again 🙂

    The answer to this question:
    “I looked in Menu > Settings > Sound Settings > Message tone , only changed the repetition for text messages – not voice mail or missed call.
    On the message tone menu what other choice are there?”
    is that you can only do this for text messages or email on the D900i. There should be voice mail or missed call (especially as the screen is totally off in standby mode) but alas, neither. Maybe on the next model…

  16. Tarkan Post author

    Maybe the firmware has been changed on the 900i , my phone after owning it for over 1 year, still only has a low battery warning for less than 2 hours before powering down.

    I looked in Menu > Settings > Sound Settings > Message tone , only changed the repetition for text messages – not voice mail or missed call.

    On the message tone menu what other choice are there?

  17. fmac

    My phone (I have the D900i)will beep low battery for almost 24 hours before turning itself off! I personally can’t stand the low battery nagging, so how do I get rid of it?

    Which is weird because there is a setting for missed calls/texts and you can change how often it alerts you. It’s found it Menu > Settings > Sound settings > Message tone > after you pick what tone you’d like, you can change the repetition for once, every 1 or every 2 minutes. Hope this helps.

  18. Tarkan Post author

    Sounds like you have the bluetooth enabled which is the icon you describe.

    It does sound like you have a faulty phone or battery, but before you get worried about it try the following.

    press menu / applications / bluetooth / activation and set to off. This will remove the blue icon.

    Then charge the battery up and then time how long it stays on, opening the slide up every hour to check the phone is still on.

    Also you can also try doing a phone reset which can be found Menu / settings / reset settings.

    Good luck, Tarkan

  19. Abdul Hakim

    salam , hi

    well with my phone i got only one serious problem.

    i bought my D900 7 month ago
    i think its still new and never felt off

    the problem is my phone starts to turn off by its self indeed the batt is high i mean the batteries bars are full but i dont understand why it stat to turn off by it self , which i got very important calls to be missed.

    one thing more a blue ambulence kinda light icon appear on top some times which never went away.
    i have read the menu the icon information is not mention there.

    so kindly reply me on that problem’s i will be thanks full.

    regards hakim

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