While we wait for the Sony Ericsson K850i Cyber-shot to arrive, the 5MP camphone club remains pretty elite. Right now, the duopoly of the Nokia N95 and LG KG920 wield the pixel power in these parts, and now both handsets have to welcome a third classy shutterbug to the fold – the Samsung G600.

It certainly can’t be accused of following the camphone herd. While the N95 and LG920 both wrap up the 5MP lens in a full fat frame, the G600 slides into shot with an incredibly svelte 14.9mm profile. It may not be a fully paid member of the size zero Ultra range, but the G600 has a lightweight and expertly fashioned compact chassis close in design to the U700.

Five alive

Thankfully, Samsung has ditched the U700’s front touch-sensitive keys for bold mechanised buttons. This makes the G600 a pleasure to handle and sweet to navigate through its lucid UI.

The Korean manufacturer has always been a slave to detail, and has also designed some neat skins and menu transition effects like slide and zoom to match the fluent slide action.

But has Samsung compromised the performance of its 5MP lens to help it squeeze into that sleek torso? Thankfully, only in one area – it has a raw LED flash rather than the superior Xenon.

Otherwise, this slim snapper takes some stunning pictures. It shoots in a 2560x1920 pixel resolution and is particularly skilled at close-ups – the macro focus setting weaves some incredible detail for a camera phone. You can also view your snaps on the dazzling, crisp 2.2-inch display and squirrel them away on the bundled 1GB micro SD card.

On the EDGE

The embedded NetFront web browser crops the full internet pages to neatly fit the screen for easy digestion and a virtual pointer icon has been added to aid navigation. Unfortunately, with only EDGE speeds, download times can be sluggish and the lack of 3G is the only real major gripe we have with the G600.

Our mild disappointment was eased by the fully featured and dynamic sounding music player, which boasts an 11-band equaliser, playlist creation on the fly and space for podcasts. The G600 musical talents also stretch to Stereo Bluetooth support (for up to two headsets) and built-in FM radio with recording capabilities.

Samsung has done a supreme job keeping the design stakes high and pocketability just right without sacrificing the camera performance. The G600 is one hell of a stylish camphone – an epic showdown with the K850i looms.

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Samsung SGH-G600 review

The G600 has managed to combine sophisticated style and mighty megapixel power in one sleek slider package. Gold star for you