Samsung genio slide verdict

The Samsung Genio Slide is the most attractive of Samsung's Genio clan to date, packed with the sort of features you wouldn't normally expect of a phone at this price.

With 3G HSDPA and Wi-Fi, its collection of social networking options are decent enough to use. A-GPS is a welcome bonus, while its entertainment options – including a fine-sounding music player and native BBC iPlayer application – add to the appeal.

You also get a fair amount of in-box memory card storage and good earphones as standard.

The slide-out QWERTY keyboard has a finger-friendly action that's good enough for a device of this sort, while this touchscreen phone package is compact enough to carry around without overloading your pocket.

Sure, its resistive touchscreen won't give you the enjoyably slick finger-flicking pleasures of an iPhone or other capacitive screen-equipped high-enders.

The control set-up is more functional than flash, although there are some useful touches like the TouchWiz home screen widgets.

At this sort of price point, though, the Genio Slide offers a terrific amount of functionality.

We liked

The amount of features you get for your money makes the Genio Slide stand out. The slide-out QWERTY keyboard combined with the touchscreen control are the immediate headline grabbers, and we were pretty happy with the keyboard action.

But high-speed connectivity using Wi-Fi or HSDPA and the addition of A-GPS give this handset a significant edge over it range mates and other rivals in the price bracket.

The online functionality of the handset – including a reasonable touchscreen browser, Google Maps, a crop of social networking apps and an easy to use BBC iPlayer app – provide the phone with plenty to entertain.

It also sports a pleasing music player (and a 3.5mm headphone jack socket!), and comes with a 2GB memory card in-box... and let's not forget you can swap back panels if customisation is your thing.

We disliked

It would have been good to have had a capacitive multi-touchscreen, but you can't get everything at this sort of price point.

The 2.8-inch screen isn't the biggest either. The dimensions affect some control elements, such as the space available for widgets and the text numberpad layout– although the QWERTY keyboard deals with the latter issue.

Generally, though, there was a reasonable amount of space to work fingers onscreen.

We occasionally found the multi-screen home screen swiping trying, as we attempted to avoid dabbing widgets as we stroked our way through the busy screens.

We'd have preferred a better email wizard for automatic settings installation, too, on a messaging-centric device.

The 3.2-megapixel camera has a decent interface, but image results were limited by its fixed focus lens and lack of additional flash illumination.

Although we found the browser easy to operate, it felt underpowered sometimes when rendering large rich pages.

Verdict

Pitched at the youth market, the Samsung Genio Slide certainly delivers a terrific feature package for a low-cost touchscreen handset, with a roll-call of functionality you'd expect of a higher-end model.

It's miles cheaper than the similarly-specified LG Intouch Max GW620 Android phone, and manages to offer similar functionality in most places.

Its slide out QWERTY keypad and social apps mark it out as a messaging and social networking heavy-hitter but it also delivers plenty of entertainment and loads of useful gadgetry for your bucks.