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Samsung Z560 review

 Review: March 2007  

Last updated June 2009

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: 3G clamshell phone with 2 megapixel camera with autofocus, video calling, music player, memory card, Bluetooth™ & HSPDA.



The Samsung Z560 is the first phone in Europe to introduce HSDPA. HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) is a new technology that has been dubbed "3.5G". This enables downloads at speeds of up to 1.8 Mbps - that's 6 times faster than normal 3G. The benefits of this are improved quality of downloads, streaming media and video calling.

The Z560 is a clamshell format phone with some great features in addition to the 3.5G technology. It has a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and 4x digital zoom plus a video recorder that records in MPEG4 format and can handle videos of up to 1 hour duration, memory permitting. There's also a second video camera that is used for making video calls. The internal display is 2.3 inches, and is a high quality TFT display with 262,000 colours and a high resolution of 240 x 320 pixels.

The Z560 also has good support for music playing. The music player can support MP3, ACC, ACC+, e-AAC+ and Real formats, although not WMA. Audio quality is good, via the twin speakers with 3D stereo sound, or via a headphone. The phone is compatible with Bluetooth stereo headsets as well as wired headsets. The music player functions can be accessed with the clamshell closed and there are buttons for play, fast forward, rewind, pause and stop. The smooth touch music keys light up when pressed.

The internal memory of the phone is limited to 30 Mbytes, but this can be expanded using a MicroSD memory card. Battery life is good.

Samsung Z560 features include:

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Samsung Z560 user reviews

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Average rating from 26 reviews:

Reviewed by EJ from Penang on 28th Aug 2012
I bought this phone many years ago since it was launched in Penang. It's a great phone and I'm still using it. The only setback is the battery but it came with a spare battery when I bought. So, it's alright.

Reviewed by Evan from Singapore on 14th Jan 2010
i just got dis phone and i cant seem to send messages with it, does any1 know why?

Reviewed by TM from Bangladesh on 13th Jul 2009
Its an awsome phone. I will give it 100 in 100 for durability. I have used many folder phones like this but none of them were as durable as this. I used this phone very roughly but till now Its very much ok. The only problem i found is battery life.thats all

Reviewed by Big Roy from England on 19th Jun 2009
I have had my Samsung z560 for 2 years and I love it to bits.I have had many chances to upgrade but I always want to have the Z560.I use the phone mainly for calls,texts and the internet.My only gripes are the battery life being too short and you cant personlize the wake up alarm but I cant grumble.

Reviewed by Anirban from India n Bangladesh on 11th Jun 2009
Its a boss phn

Reviewed by Jo from Tyne and Wear on 8th May 2008
I had the samsung z560 for 1 year, and it was the best phone i had in years!!! i found it simple to use, easy to take pics, play music files etc, and the battery life was brilliant - 1 & 1/2 hours charge gave me 3 days battery life. in fact i liked it so much that i still have it jus for taking pics and such, as i prefer the camera on this to my new phone

Reviewed by amr said from egypt on 7th Oct 2007
THIS PHONE good but it not have fm radio

Reviewed by James from UK on 14th Sep 2007
DO NOT BUT THIS PHONE!!!!!!!!!! you cant have your own choice of tunes for the alarm or txt alerts the battries last about 5 mins (ok a lil longer in truth but still) the loud speaker is quiet it doesn't charge through my car or any of my friends cars i am going back to t-mobile tomorrow i have totally had enough of the phone

Reviewed by usman from nigeria on 16th Jul 2007

Reviewed by Carolyn from Wales on 13th Jul 2007
Had this phone for 2 weeks and in that time all I had done was enter new Contacts and text people a few times. The battery life on the phone was only ever upto 10hours. The phone has 2 batteries that come with it which I thought was weird but after the phone only lasting 10hours I worked out why. So I took it back to the shop for a exchange, they exchanged it fine, only to find out again that the battery is the same. Have now found out that the phone has been recalled. Now trying to decide what phone to exchange it for!!!

Reviewed by Istobarts from Philippines on 29th Jun 2007
So far, I have had my phone for almost a week now. I like the phone, with the fast internet downloading stuff but what I do not get is the external screen. It does not do anything much except it will light up in a few seconds to show any missed texts call and etc. And, you get to open the phone to double check for any notifications. I find this absolutely redundant and foolish, especially from a business phone at that. This is one oversight by SAMSUNG. But nonetheless, the phone suits my needs. Just hope that SAMSUNG develops a battery that can last longer. But I would still recommend that this is good phone.

Reviewed by Crosbie from United Kingdom on 23rd Jun 2007
Owned for 3 months and sent back because of a on/off key failure. Awkward handling with volume and camera buttons where it is held causing those bits to function when not wanted. Had a mind of its own. As a modem, speeds were slower than dialup. Wish I could have had the same modem/phone without extra buttons, bells and whistles. Simple is better!

Reviewed by Richard from UK on 23rd May 2007
Had the Z560 for about four months now and I’m more than pleased. I also like the clamshell design, the large buttons and the overall look of the handset. The main screen quality is excellent and the software is quirky but OK when you get used to it. Camera is good AFAICT, but I use a "proper" digital camera for photography anyway. Customisation of the phone via tones and alerts is limited but I don't think it's enough to reject this handset. Battery life is lousy especially when using the internet at 3G+ speeds so I do need to recharge it a lot more frequently than I did for the Nokia’s and SE’s I’ve owned in the past. The media player is awful. It plays music (fortunately), but offers no functionality for managing large numbers of tracks/albums. I bought a 2GB Micro SD/Transflash card and had the same problem as another reviewer with the phone just rebooting all the time. Got a 1GB card and this works fine. Samsung tech support replied to a support q uestion I posted saying the Z560 had only been tested with 1GB cards. Interesting since most of the reviews I’ve read suggest 2GB works. Have these reviewers actually tried it I wonder? ;o). The “PC suite” software is also awful. You can’t manage messages or contacts. Fortunately for me, I was able to bluetooth my contacts from a SE D750i to the Z560. However, the killer application here and the thing that excuses all the other issues mentioned above is the high speed internet connectivity (HSDPA). The built in web browser works really well, although as this is my first 3G phone, I have no comparisons. The ability to re-render web pages into a vertical scroll only format is pretty impressive. And is it fast... using T-Mobile's W&W+ I get full featured 1Mbit/s internet access on my laptop which IMHO is quite amazing. I know things will get even faster than this but this is more than enough for the usual gmail/bbc/wiki/amazon/youtube type stuff. I can even make a VPN connection to the company network and connect to our exchange server. Unlike another reviewer, I had absolutely no problem getting XP to use the phone as a modem. Also, download Google’s new mobile JAVA app for GoogleMaps. I guarantee you’ll be impressed. In summary, I would recommend the Z560 to anyone who likes the idea of having broadband internet in their pocket. I does exactly that and you can phone people up.

Reviewed by mary from uk on 12th May 2007
just got it and i loooove it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i was wondering why it doesnt accept my 1gb micro ds memory card? but i love this phone!

Reviewed by laura from england on 24th Apr 2007
this fone is da best eva ive had problems wid my oda 2 phone but this fone is GREAT!!!!!!!!!! i recommend you people out there to buy it NOW

Reviewed by Jools powell from UK on 19th Apr 2007
I bought this phone because I like clamshell phones. Its got big buttons and a big bright screen. I wanted a phone that would double up as a MP3 player as well. However when I inserted the 2gb micro sd card it just continually reboots. Well, if the phone cant deal with a card of this size it aint going to be much good as a MP3 player replacement. I've got used to the software and overall I quite like it. Battery life is never really a problem with me because I plug it in every night when I get in. It also comes with 2 batteries like all samsung phones do. I like the camera and the video, both nice and sharp. Would I pay a lot for this phone, perhaps not. I'm on pay as you go and I got this phone new on ebay for £130 inc delivery. If I can get the card thing sorted I'll be happy.

Reviewed by Joshua Prentice from England on 15th Apr 2007
this phone is absolute rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! do not buy it! it is so hard to navigate that it takes you two weeks to write a text!

Reviewed by Roz from UK on 11th Apr 2007
I've had this phone for a week and I'm afraid I'm sending it back. The major issue I have is battery power. It's supposed to last for 320 hours on standby and offers 3.7 hours talk time. However, this is wildly inaccurate. In reality, I've found the phone barely lasts a day and a half with minimal use. I charged the phone fully, sent about 10 texts, spoke on it for approximately 20 minutes and the phone was dead by the next evening. And once it goes, it goes quickly. Some indication that there are problems with the battery might be evidenced by the fact that Samsung put a spare battery in the box. All well and good if you're prepared to put up with having to switch round and still only get two and a bit days out of them. The second issue I have is with the external display. It doesn't do anything! If you get a new message, it lights up briefly but that's it. I've had basic clamshells in the past that at least manage to display a 'missed call' or 'text message waiting' icon on the front so you don't have to keep flipping the phone open to see if anything's waiting for you. And, since this phone is aimed at business users too, it seems like a glaring oversight. Okay, you can set the phone to beep 'periocically' (for that, read at annoying two minute intervals - enough to drive colleagues mad if you're away from your desk) but it's that or nothing. You can't change text message alert tones (apart from the pre-set ones in the phone). I spent £5 downloading a tone to use as a text message alert (never dreaming there would be a problem tailoring such an advanced phone), only to find I couldn't use it. You can only change ringtone. Texting - the predictive text doesn't seem to be as intuitive as that on my old Motorola. And, annoyingly, it doesn't push to the front more frequently used words. So, if you add your name, for example, you'll still have to scroll through other words you never use before you get to that one. Also, as far as I can see, it only allows you to add a spelling once it can't recognise anything else. So I've spent time just typing in random letters waiting for the 'spell' option to come up. When sending a text, it seems you need to press a few more buttons than are probably necessary to add your contact - it's a fairly drawn out process... On the plus side (if there can be any positives after the annoying negatives), the phone does look good. It's slim and lightweight, yet feels substantial once it's flipped open. Okay, it's not going to be for you if you love teeny phones that you can barely see. But if you actually like to feel that you're chatting on the phone, then this is satisfying to use. I haven't used the MP3 player - and, to be honest, given the poor battery life, I'd say that it's pretty redundant. The same must go for surfing the net. I've tried it and, while speeds are impressive, the phone heats up in a most worrying manner. I'd also have to guess that it's also draining precious batter power at a rate of knots. So, given the poor battery performance, I avoided doing too much on the phone for fear it wouldn't actually funcion as a telephone when needed. All in all, a really disappointing bit of equipment, given how advanced it's supposed to be. My advice would be to look elsewhere for your HSDPA experience.

Reviewed by Ivor from UK on 10th Apr 2007
I've had this phone for months now so its nice to finally see a review on here. Overall I like this phone a lot. Build quality/looks: is excellent - untouchable. Looks are top notch. Its a man's phone without a doubt though(this is due to the width and design). Its slim and looks good when flipped open. The glossy finish is really classy and looks expensive (although a finger print magnet). Functionality - Everything is good except the text messaging. Coming from a Motorola V3 the predictive texting on offer here is really primitive. The Internet is fast and it all looks good on the big screen. I don't know whether its phones in general or this phone but surfing the web feels really limited. There is no flash and many of the formats that you down load on the web don't seem to be supported. Does anyone know if a fash player can be supported?. Overall: a really great phone. I almost swapped this one out for the D900 but I'm really glad I didn't. Also a big plus is that I'm the only person so far that I have seen with this phone which is a welcome relief after the nightmare being one of the billions with a Motorola V3

Reviewed by Dez from UK on 7th Apr 2007
Some say that this is a huge phone - and, admittedly, it is if you like a phone that stops at your jaw. However, if, like me, you still like the feeling of talking on a proper phone (i.e. into a mouthpiece) then this is a great phone. It also means there's enough room for decent size buttons, which makes texting a whole lot easier. Plus, it's not a large phone when shut. It's slim, lightweight and really rather sleek. I must confess that I don't use this phone to its full capacity - I can't take to surfing the net from a mobile. But from what I understand, it's more than capable of performing and the few times I've been on, speeds are very impressive. However, for such an advance phone, a couple of things perplex me. Firstly, the external display... this lights up for a couple of seconds when you close the phone, or for a pre-specified amount of time when you press and hold one of the buttons on the side of the phone which is all well and good - however, the phone's external display doesn't glow in any way or indicate when you get a message (apart from when it comes in initially). It would be helpful to see at a glance from the outside whether there are any messages. So, in a way, the external display seems a little redundant. Also, although there are different 'profiles' you can choose to determine the way the phone rings in different scenarios (i.e. in meetings, when you're outside etc), you can't seem to choose yourself how frequently you want the phone to beep in order to alert you to the fact you've missed a call, got a message etc. It's either once, or 'periodically' which is annoyingly frequent. I'd like to be able to get it to beep every 10 minutes, say. Further, although you can download ringtones and change those, you can't seem to add on any new text message tones. A little annoying for such an advanced phone. After all, what's the point of being able to access all this on the net if you can't tailor every aspect of the phone... All in all though, a really great, user-friendly bit of equipment.

Reviewed by Robert from Philippines on 30th Mar 2007
I'm disappointed that Opera Mini doesn't work on this phone.

Reviewed by ddr2 from Greece on 29th Mar 2007
Well, another samsung with superb built quility. I gave my moto v3xx for this one, and the main reason was buit quility. External screen is very good(for an external one). Internal screen is just WOW!!! Camera is quite good.Although there is no micro mode option , the phone can take very good picture from close distances.(seems that micro mode option is incorporated) What is more, ringing tones are very loud. Also, music quality via headphones is one of the best(I used to have a SE w900, so I'm able to compare. In general,no problems with this phone, I like the design, but battery life is poor(2 day max.)This is the only bad point.

Reviewed by Daniel Clark from England on 21st Mar 2007
This is the best flip phone I have ever seen and does a lot of liking for me

Reviewed by bob from england on 6th Mar 2007
buy this phone it rocks

Reviewed by jw from australia on 3rd Mar 2007
its an awesum fone. the only fault with th fone is....its ugly..... sorry

Reviewed by Joshua from England on 28th Feb 2007
I have had hundreds of phones over the years due to a job in the industry. The bottom line is, at the moment I have a few phones, but the Z560 is the best of the lot. The phone is small, light, reliable, has a brilliant camera and screen, and the HSDPA implementation is excellent. I have it on a T-mobile contract and reception is great. The phone plays a wider range of music formats than my MP3 player and the 2GB microSD card I added means it can carry as much music too. The keypad is large and tactile, the phone is well shaped to fit the head, and though the battery life is only average, Samsung supply two batteries with the phone, so it all works out. Unfortunately, there is a major failing by Samsung with this phone, and it is the Samsung PC Suite software. It is horrifyingly bad. I have tried three different builds of the software, the latest being 3.11 and that is about as stable as the Microsoft OS of the same name. Getting the software to allow you to run the phone as a highspeed modem for a laptop is a battle. You cannot manage text messages, contacts or settings as easily as the Nokia or even (heaven forbid) the Motorola counterparts. And seeing as the biggest thing with this phone is the 3.5G aspect, it is a crying shame that most users are limited to using this on the phone, albeit with its good screen, instead of making the most of the modem capabilities with a laptop due to bad software. It’s a shame. They were so close.

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