Much like any other compact camera out there, the ST550 comes with a simple, yet elegant design. The most striking thing about the ST550's exterior is its glossy surface. Needless to say, it'll be a 'smudge fest' on this camera. Though not obvious, the secondary LCD is situated next to the lens, and we think Samsung did a good job in keeping it as inconspicuous as possible. Activating it is as simple as tapping the LCD, which displays an ample 1.5-inch live feed from the sensor. While gripping the device, we tend to activate the said secondary LCD without intending to. What this might mean, is the unnecessary usage of power to light up the LCD without us knowing, since it is situated to the front and not immediately visible to the photographer. To keep itself as streamlined as possible, the ST550 comes with minimal and flushed buttons. In this case, it was too flushed for our liking.
The bottom of the device houses a proprietary connector for both data and power. Right beside it is the battery slot, and to our surprise, we spotted a microSD slot within. That means you can't reuse your previous SD cards. However, like most camera vendors, Samsung will be bundling the ST550 with an 8GB microSD card. Looking ahead, the microSD format is now the widely adopted storage medium of choice across all formats. This would translate to more flexibility in using your new 8GB microSD card for not just only the camera, but also your other mobile devices.
As we mentioned, the ST550 is going for a clean and simple look. This is evident with a 3.5-inch touchscreen panel that fully encompasses the device's rear. With no navigational buttons in place, it goes without saying that you'll be dependent on the touch screen user interface for almost everything. Having a 3.5-inch touchscreen has its benefits, since everything is contextual in nature. We'll give a brief introduction of its user interface in the next page.