Let’s get the Nathan Barley references out of the way first: the Samsung Beat DJ is the spitting image of the Wasp T12 music deck mobile the east London media lout sports in the spoof TV show. Totally coincimental, yeah? But can this scratching, sampling phone rise above pretentious gimmick, or is it just well brown?
Taking the Samsung Beat DJ out of the box for the first time, it doesn’t bode well. It’s slim, but the precise hue of TeleTubbie Tinky Winky and shaped like it has wheels on either end. That said, Samsung can always be relied upon to stuff in some top notch hardware, and it doesn’t fail here. The 3.2MP camera is fine, HSPDA makes web browsing pretty zoomy wherever you are, and the 2.8-inch OLED screen more than does justice to your videos.
Samsung Jet hands–on photos galore
But the real talent that Samsung should be singing and dancing about is the Bang & Olufsen audio. Plug a good pair of earphones in, and the Samsung Beat DJ is as good as any dedicated MP3 player, aided by the Danish AV wizard’s tech and a usefully placed microSD slot on the side.
There’s no getting round what Samsung sees as the main selling point though: the DJ program. It’s a gimmick with a shorter lifespan than a daddy long-legs. You can record yourself scratching on top of a song, and chuck in a few samples and filters. And that’s it. It doesn’t help that the screen is so unresponsive that by the time you’ve managed to successfully hit the Sample button, you’ve already missed your timing and your mash up’s a mess.
And then there’s that screen. It’s so small, that you can only type in portrait mode (No landscape QWERTY like the Samsung Jet), and you can only see three narrow lines of text at a time, like a phone from 1999.
If you like to communicate with people via your phone, don’t buy the Samsung Beat DJ. If you’re an audiophile who might begrudgingly answer the occasional call, then go ahead. But don’t come running to us when you snap it in half like an old Cliff Richard vinyl.