Samsung Tocco Ultra Edition S8300
Touchscreen, keypad and a killer camera, but where's the WiFi?
Review While last summer’s Tocco proved a hit for Samsung, its follow up isn’t simply a feature-refreshed, identikit Mark II model. For this season’s flagship Tocco Ultra Edition, Samsung has reconfigured the original minimalist design with a significant extra – a sliderphone keypad – adding a different dimension to the look, feel and playability of Samsung’s pocketable Tocco.
Samsung's Tocco Ultra Edition S8300 opts for 7.2Mb/s HSDPA instead of WiFi
Other makeovers include an 8Mp camera and A-GPS technology provides satellite-based location finding, too. While it packs 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G high-speed mobile data connectivity, Samsung hasn’t added Wi-Fi to this upgrade. A real shame considering this useful feature is increasingly on the roster of higher-end mobiles.
The Tocco Ultra Edition also runs on Samsung’s latest TouchWiz v1.5 touchscreen user interface which, as well as finger swiping controls, supports a larger variety of home screen widgets – including a selection of online mini-apps, just like the Samsung Pixon. The display has been improved, yet it’s still a compact 2.8-inch array. The WQVGA 240 x 400 pixels resolution, 16m colour AMOLED screen looks impressively bright and vivid, and gives a reasonably clear account of itself under strong sunlight.
Unlike side-loaded handsets packing a Qwerty keyboard, such as the LG Prada Phone 2, the slide-down keyboard on the Tocco Ultra doesn’t add much bulk measuring just 110 x 51.5 x 12.7mm and weighing in at 119g.
The slide-out keypad is there primarily to make it easier for conventional phone fans to dial numbers and, more importantly, compose messages – something many touchscreen phones, including the Tocco, have had issues with. The flush, smooth keypad is suitably responsive and pleasing to use as an alternative to an onscreen touchpad. There is no Clear key however, or navigation/select buttons, so you still have to utilise a bit of touch action when texting.
Trim phone: sleek even with the sliding keypad addition
From the front it appears at first glance that Samsung has done a belts-and-braces control job by adding a diamond-shaped regular navigation D-pad under the screen, between the Call and End buttons. However, this is in fact simply a Back button when navigating the menus; it doesn’t do any up/down or sideways positioning. Indeed, touch selection is still the main act on this model.
Got one...loathe the bloody thing!
Got one of these bloody things the other day, and am in half a mind of swapping it back for my old G600 if not for two things. The camera is brillient, and the texting is oddly very smooth. I originally hated the keypad as it's a gel like thing, but it is actually very responsive and very fast to text on.
The browsing is utter crap though. And the widgets thing is a nice idea, but the way you can't lock them to the desktop and a minor finger slide means you've scattered them all over the place is an immense pain in the backside...why oh why can't you simple save the positions?!
As for the AC above on the dictionary...can you hell as like, and its very annoying you can't :(
If you don't want browsing, and just want something thats very good for texting, calling, and using the camera then it's brillient. The fake call thing is great! mwhaha phone yourself to get out of anything mode, gotta love it!!! Everything else, pretty much forget it, although it does have a really nice "I can club someone to death with this like a thinkpad" feel of build quality to it.
Yes, I use WiFi on my iPhone all the time. Not so much when I'm out and about, but at home or at friends houses where I want to Google something, check train times, etc etc. Much quicker over Wifi. I wouldn't buy a phone without it... well, not a smart phone anyway. Any such device is crippled.
So, it's more expensive than a G1, doesn't have a G1's WiFi, doesn't have a G1's qwerty keyboard and doesn't have a G1-size screenl for web surfing or email. And it uses a closed, proprietary o/s instead of Android. Why exactly should I want one of these again?
Samsung Tocco Issues
Two complaints about the Tocco. Wondering if they have been resolved in the Ultra edition:
Cant edit the dictionary. If you put something in wrong, you have to reset the phone to factory settings.
Cant change the picture slideshow when you lock the phone. Not particularily problematic, but would have been nice.
wifi not quite the killer
TBH do people use wifi a lot? I find it more of a hassle. It is simply easier to use the onboard HSDPA or 3G rather than scan for a station, enter my voucher code, surf 50mb before being cut off. Ive never gone over my allowance but then again i'm an average surfer (and most of the time I switch the pictures off). Granted if you want iplayer on the move then you need wifi but arent you better getting a pocket surfer? The screen isnt really good enough for serious iplayer or youtube action anway.
What about battery life with bluetooth on? My samsung omnia eats battery when bluetooth is on, and how about altering the display brightness to get longer life? Again, I need to turn down the brightness on the screen when im using tomtom else the battery is gone in 3-4 hours.