When we were at the GSMA World Congress two months ago, the Samsung Soul was the cell phone from which we couldn't escape. Gigantic Soul posters papered every part of Barcelona, from the airport to the convention center. All that hype can make you a little weary, but we were glad to hear today that the phone will make it into the hands of consumers. Starting this month and continuing into May, the Soul will land at major wireless carriers in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. As usual, U.S. carriers are holding back, if they decide to pick it up at all, but Samsung is promising that the Soul eventually will be sold in most GSM markets as an unlocked model. Retail price will be about $635 (400 euros).
In case you don't recall, the Soul is an attractive slider phone with a sleek design and a unique touch-pad navigation control. The well-stocked feature set includes a 5-megapixel camera, a music player, Bluetooth, a speakerphone, 100MB of internal memory with room for a 6GB memory card, messaging and e-mail, and various personal organizer functions. Though it is quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900), it's optimized for European 3G bands only.
During the brief period we played with it in Barcelona, it seemed to perform well. A full assessment will come just as soon as we can get our hands on a review model. But in the meantime, check out our Samsung GSMA slide show.