Samsung P300 credit card-sized phone
Review At what point does small become too small? Samsung's latest mobile phone is the size of a credit card and only slightly thicker, but has Samsung pushed the boundaries too far?
The P300 first launched in Asia nine months ago but has finally made its way over to the UK. The unit, which measures 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.9cm and weighs 81g, looks like a calculator at first glance and certainly isn't as stylish as other models Samsung has produced in the past.
The front is split into two distinctive areas: the screen and the keypad. The 1.8in, 220 x 176, 262,144-colour screen is bright and crisp with a widescreen feel to it. The display certainly makes reading text messages and phone numbers easy.
Below that is the keypad changed slightly to get everything in. Rather than be long, Samsung has opted for a keypad five keys wide by three keys deep. This means the zero has been placed on the side rather than below the 8 key and the OK/Select button normally found in the centre of the navigation pad has been moved to the side. While it only took us a day to get accustomed to this layout, it is something that you'll have to get used to.
You've got to get past the retro appearance too. For a device that looks like it should belong in your old school pencil case, the SGH-P300 offers a surprisingly large list of features for something so diminutive.
Important stats include Bluetooth, tri-band (900/1,800/1,900 MHz) GSM/GPRS network connectivity and a 1.3 megapixel camera with flash and 4x digital zoom. If that wasn't enough the phone manages to pack in an MP3 player supporting MP3, AAC, AAC+ and e-AAC formats, a video recorder with playback and video messaging capabilities, and 80MB of memory.
When it comes to usability, the Samsung P300 is easy to use and performed well on voice calls.
Anyone who has used Samsung's D500 or D600 will be right at home with the menu options and although some Nokia users may find it requires a leap of logic too far, it's not overall as clunky as the Motorola user interface.
Coming with a leather flip case in the box to keep the large screen getting scratched, the P300 is a very slim phone that will offer virtually everything most users will need. However, the retro calculator look is a problem. Until it becomes ultra-cool to be a geek with calculator then we believe that a lot of people will be put off by its design. We know we are.
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