The core appeal of the Samsung Genio QWERTY is, of course, the QWERTY keyboard. While not everyone prefers these to a regular numberpad for texting, the Genio QWERTY does offer a very affordable option for those who do.
This style of keyboard, popularised by the BlackBerry, has been done by Samsung before, but the Genio QWERTY takes it down to mass market for those who want to pump out messages or do plenty of online social networking updates.
While the individual keys are quite tiny, they are sufficiently usable and we didn't have any major issues tapping away at it.
Sure, we'd have liked more room to stretch our fingers, but we found it accurate and were able to get reasonably good speeds with it, even with our large thumbs.
Changing texts to multimedia messages is a matter of pressing an Options softkey and selecting multimedia file to add from the phone (or memory card).
On the Orange-branded Genio QWERTY we reviewed, the Orange Messenger Windows Live Messenger-powered instant messaging application was pre-loaded, enabling users to get IM on the handset in a similar way to a desktop PC.
It also had Orange Email preloaded onto the phone's email client, which you can use to aggregate various email accounts into one account, if that appeals to you.
The email client also makes it reasonably straightforward to set up some regular web-based or ISP email accounts.
Settings are pre-installed for various popular email services, including Hotmail and Google Mail, and an email wizard takes you through the procedure to add your email account address, password and username for POP3 or IMAP4 email access.
If the email provider you want to use isn't included, you can type in details manually.
You can set up up to five different email accounts and switch between them when you select the email inbox option in the messaging menus.
The email user interface and functionality is pretty average though. It's a low-tier Samsung client, with a functional mobile phone look rather than being anything more desktop PC-style or BlackBerry-esque.
You can select headers you want to open, and basic no-frills text from the email is downloaded.
There was a limit, however, of 100 email headers at a time on our review sample, after which some had to be deleted – something many may find insufficient.
The phone does support attachment downloading and storing, although there isn't any document reader software to open them on the screen – you can view jpeg images, but not Word documents or PDFs, for example – which is a shame for a messaging-orientated device.
Overall, we'd have expected a bit more for a device clearly geared up for messaging as a priority feature.