Samsung Tocco Lite budget touchscreen phone
Too Lite a touch?
Review Having scored considerable touchscreen success with its debut Tocco F480, Samsung has been understandably keen to extend its Tocco-branded portfolio – first with the Tocco Ultra Edition GT-S8300 numberpad-packing slider/touchscreen combo, and now with a budget version, the Tocco Lite GT-S5230, also known as the Star in some territories.
Low connectivity diet: Samsung's Tocco Lite
As its name suggests, the Tocco Lite goes easy on high-end features. It offers a similar TouchWiz user interface as recent Samsung touch phones, but 3G connectivity is absent. It doesn’t do GPS or Wi-Fi either, and its camera is a modest 3.2Mp snapper. This Tocco is also light on the pocket, selling for as little as £90 in some pre-pay packages. Its obvious rival is the LG Cookie – another sub-£100 touchscreen handset.
The Lite measures 106 x 53.5 x 11.9 mm and weighs a mere 92g. The front is a slab design dominated by a clear and bright 3in, 240 x 400 resistive touch display. A simple trio of buttons sit under this: Call, End and Back keys. On the sides are a camera key and a screen lock/unlock button on one side and volume/zoom rockers on the other. A covered slot on the flank hides a regular Samsung multi-connector port for charger, USB cable and earphones. There’s no standard 3.5mm headphone socket.
The user interface feels and behaves in a similar way to its Tocco predecessors. The resistive screen means you press and drag to select and scroll around the display with none of the easy, fluid gesture movement you get using the iPhone or other capacitative screen handsets. Still, for this type of display – and at this sort of price level – Samsung has down a good job in ensuring the TouchWiz UI is responsive and accurate.
On the standby screen, the TouchWiz UI features user-selectable widgets that can be dotted over the display. These can be used to activate applications, give tap-to-activate control over functions, or access online services from the standby screen. In fact, there are three alternative standby screens you can swipe between, using a sideways sweep of your finger, like turning a page. They can be handy for keeping the homescreen uncluttered if you’re using lots of widgets.
Also available in pink
There are some 37 widgets you can choose from - some hidden but selectable in the menus - which can be dragged and dropped from a toolbar. These range from stuff like calendar, messages, photo gallery and music players controls, to ones launching online services such as Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube and Google apps. Additional widgets can be downloaded, though the choice is limited.
It does have EDGE
70% is fair
I've recently bought this phone to ride out the final 7 months an 18 month contract after i knackered my nokia and didn't have insurance (lesson learnt with expensive smart phones!)
I'm really happy with this little touchphone, it is not a smartphone and shouldn't be assumed to be anywhere near that class of phone.
I have to write a lot of text messages each week (100+) to herd the hypothetical sheep who form the hockey team i captain and find it a very easy to type on in both horizontal qwerty and vertical numberpad styles... once you get past the quirks as there are some areas that aren't intuitive, especially using the T9 function. You can really rattle out tex when you get the hang of it
Web browser: never used it, why would I? the phone doesn't even have EDGE let alone 3G
Build quality: it's plastic and shiny so it feels very light and has scratched up something chronic. The back panel is lightly dimpeled though so is very easy to grip and type one handed.
Alarms: easy to set up and a nice little intuitive swiping motion to turn off the alarm or put it in sleep mode (no one ever reviews alarms but everyone uses them!)
Battery: Awesome, i've never had less than five days and i'm never off the bloomin' thing
the phoneis not perfect, but if you want something that does google maps and all that other gumpf get an iphone or android phone. If you want a perfectly useable everyday phone for naff all money it's cracker
I signed up to a new Vodafone contract last week, and got myself the Samsung Jet. I got the to throw in the Pink Tocco Lite for the missus, and I got some major brownie points for it :)
If it had 3G it would have been perfect - I can understand why they ditched wifi, but 3G really cripples a lot of the phone's features.
It handles calls well, the interface is intuative, reasonably quick and stable, and the qwerty keyboard option is very good - Even for my fat thumbs.
Overall, it is a good cheap phone - It's just a shame that it was clearly designed well by a decent engineer before having 3G and WiFi removed by an accountant..........
Couple of observations
I have one, it's alright but the interface can be infuriating at times. e.g. the backspace is right next to "Done" on the qwerty screen, which in turn is right on top of "Send" on the create sms screen behind it. That, coupled with the non-repeating nature of the backspace key (holding it wipes your entire text) means more than a few half-written texts containing something you'd changed your mid about saying ends up getting sent.
Also the accelerometer is crap, but I've yet to use one that isn't.
There's also a few weird eccenticities, like the qwerty keypad not having an ampersand (you have to revert to numpad for that).
The lack of a d-pad means positioning the cursor in text is difficult.
The browser won't render my local bus tracker web site, but the WAP version of the same site causes the phone to crash every time. Joy.
There's no option to lock the widget layout, or line them up, so they all end up half-dragged around the place. Annoying if you're borderline OCD about stuff like that. Also depending on your provider there's often no way to delete unwanted crap (like Yahoo! on O2) from the widgets bar.
All negative points, but just niggles really. On balance I like the phone - just. It's good if like me you rarely use your phone and want something with monumental battery life on a cheapskate contract. Speaking of which, the battery life is the #1 standout feature for me. I make on average 2 five minute calls a day and send half a dozen texts, don't use the MP3 player or anything, and I get 8 days out of it easy. On that front it's like having a Nokia 3210 again.
@Butt Futter: Who shat in your handbag Doris?
Still a 70% rating?
For this waste of perfectly usable plastic? If you're so cheap you don't want to spend more than a hundred bob on a phone, ffs, don't get some cheap knock-off POS. Either stick with your old-fashioned dumb-phone, or get a proper one. Having said that, I'm sure that thousands of imbeciles will plonk down their dad's hard-earned cash to get one, because it comes in pink.