[PHOTO AT LEFT - BEAT IT: The Samsung Beat DJ’s body is made of high-quality plastic, painted in three different colors. Metallic gloss frames the display and the touch-sensitive scroll up front. Eye-catching violet is used on the sides of the phone. Manila, Philippines]

MANILA, JULY 28, 2009 (STAR) By Kathy Moran - OK, OK. Perhaps I am one of the billions (at least it seems like billions) of people who grew up hearing Michael Jackson songs.

So I guess you will forgive me if I take a few words from one of his songs. Although, truth to tell, I can identify more with his “Heal The World.” Really, wouldn’t we all want to make the world a better place?

It must be the Samsung M7603 (yes, another one of those “I wonder where this Samsung robotic number came from” cellphones). This cool looker goes by the “nickname” Beat DJ.

Let the review begin

One of the newest music cellphones from Samsung, the Beat DJ has a full with touch-screen AMOLED display.

Aside from the really clear touch screen, I liked the fact that the new Beat DJ cellphone has a Beat DJ application and DISC UI that allowed me to add preloaded voice samples and sound effects to a song and then record it.

I had so much fun playing DJ. I was even able to “scratch” a few records in the virtual turntable screen, which allowed me to be music “expert” — virtually, that is.

I was told that with the Beat DJ, Samsung has taken music on cellphones to a level of quality that is exciting and fun to the user. Fascinated with the Beat DJ application, I spent a few hours just trying to scratch a record, give a song my own beat and then record it.

Tech time

Just so you know that this is still a cellphone review article, let me share with you the tech specs of the Beat DJ.

For starters, the AMOLED touch-screen display is 2.8 inches. It’s got lots of memory (not just for text messages) but for all the music that you load into it. How much? For starters it has 50MB internal memory and a micro SD card slot for up to 16GB. That’s a whole lot for a cellphone that is one great MP4 player as well.

As far as picture-taking is concerned, the phone is equipped with a three-megapixel camera and can do geo-tagging, smile shot and face detection. I will add here that the photos I took on the phone were quite neat.

Let me not forget the hard-tech specs like HSDPA, EDGE, Bluetooth v 2.1, USB 2.0 (micro), GPS with A-GPS, MP4 playback support, SRS Virtual Surround, and FM radio with recording.

As a gadget lover, one thing that I constantly remind myself is that I should never get lost in the tech specs. It’s better to drown in the good things that the phone can do — in terms that both you and I will be comfortable with.

Keep it simple

I like that this phone is designed like a small PSP. Splash blue is the color of the Beat DJ I took for a test use, and I must say that I did get a lot of “What cellphone is that? It’s so cute” questions.

But while this phone is indeed cute, it is loaded with functions that make it cute with an attitude.

For starters, it is easy to navigate. The cool widgets function as shortcuts and all it takes is a quick push on the right widget to get to the function you want. The widgets make the cellphone really fun to play around in. Ease of use are three words that come to mind with this phone.

It is fun to have a cellphone where I was able to drag a widget to wherever I wanted it to be on the display of the phone. Most cellphone users I know like to personalize their devices — and this function takes personalizing to an even higher level.

Texting is easy because the touch screen is very sensitive; I had no problems typing out my texts.

Stop, look, listen

The Samsung Beat DJ’s body is made of high-quality plastic, painted in three different colors. Metallic gloss frames the display and the touch-sensitive scroll up front. Eye-catching violet is used on the sides of the phone.

There are only three buttons on the front surface of the phone. The call and end keys and the back button are located at the bottom, matching the design.

The empty space between the screen and the call buttons is where the real uniqueness of this phone lies. It’s the semicircular touchpad, which is used for all the functions of the cellphone. Together with the touch screen, it forms a circular scroll that stretches from the bottom third of the display to the receiver keys.

At the top of the “now playing” screen are three virtual buttons. The first button is for turning on Beat DJ, another to view playlists and a third to access the settings. Track lists in both Beat DJ and the music player are displayed and can be scrolled by either the touch-sensitive wheel at the bottom or the volume rocker. The Beat DJ has a Bang and Olufsen audio amplifier, which makes the music even better to listen to.

It is the Beat DJ application that transforms the cellphone into a DJ deck. It can be run from the music menu or directly in the music player. The standard music controls are at the bottom, two skip buttons and play/pause. The fast-forward and rewind commands are handled though the touch-sensitive arch that extends over the music keys. It’s really fun and amazingly responsive.

There are six buttons that I will call my fave buttons, as they gave me control over the mixing deck. These are REC, Scratch, Filters, and Samples. By pressing the REC key you can record a sound file, which will keep all user actions that affect the sound of the played track. Scratch, quite logically, turns the circle into a virtual vinyl, which you can spin on the touch screen to do scratches. I just love the wonders of music and the joy of being able to manipulate it and not scratch a single CD.

How do I like the Beat DJ?

Let me count the ways

1. It’s got an unusual shape. Something different in cellphones is always a welcome development for me.

2. The Beat DJ application is truly a great application for music lover and for wannabe music spinners.

3. Fake call. Ok, I know this is an old trick, but it was really fun that I could set the phone to ring at a certain time. It is what I call French leave made tech.

4. Mobile widgets, which let me customize the phone in the way, best suit me.

The Samsung Beat DJ is for music-crazy users who prefer MP4s that double as cellphones. It is sure to appeal to folks who want to consolidate their music-playing devices without compromising on style, function and experience.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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