samsung blade review

As a relatively affordable touchscreen device, the Samsung Blade S5600V provides a decent helping of touchscreen-based functionality and media features at an attractive price. It's not the highest spec touchscreen phone on the market, but it still has plenty of finger-action phone appeal.

We liked:

The Blade ups the spec of the Tocco Lite by adding 3G, and HSDPA connectivity certainly improves its online performance. The TouchWiz UI brings some attractive features, such as onscreen widgets – but don't expect smartphone-style functionality or feature customisation.

The main user interface should generally be straightforward for anyone migrating from a conventional phone, and is generally responsive and unfiddly.

As a low cost touchscreen phone, the Blade offers some solid features, including a decent music player (with headphone adaptor included in-box) and an impressive browser performance for this grade of handset. Overall it has a good balance of usable features, even if it's no iPhone.

We disliked:

The Blade isn't intended as a do-everything touchscreen smartphone so it's a bit churlish to point out its obvious limitations. Of course, there's no Wi-Fi, GPS, smartphone functionality, high quality camera or other top-end features.

The resistive touchscreen doesn't offer the multi-touch sensitivity of a higher-grade capacitive type array, although within these limitations, the screen was responsive to touch.

There are issues with the texting set-up, with some of the option button placing affecting the easy usability of the texting numberpad, while the lack of a QWERTY keyboard option is a shame. This is presumably down to the short-ish screen requiring some software compromises.

The screen dimensions may not appeal to everyone either, with some users perhaps preferring a larger display for enjoying video playback. We were disappointed that the camera lacked an autofocus set up, but it's acceptable for quick snaps.

Verdict:

The Blade doesn't have the top end spec of some touchscreen handsets, but this isn't where Samsung is pitching this device – it has others in the range for that market. Those who want more high-tech muscle in their touchscreen will look elsewhere.

But as it is, the Blade works as a good-looking, compact and easy to operate lower-priced touchscreen handset that offers some appealing functionality for your money.