The Genio Slide has a broader girth, thanks to the sliding keyboard tucked away behind the screen, but the phone's dimensions – at 105(h) x 56.9(w) x 15.68(d) mm and 135g – give it a compact and solid feel.
It's impressive that despite it bringing a full QWERTY keyboard, it's no pocket bulger, so you won't get anyone asking if you're pleased to see them.
Pitching for the youth vote, the Samsung Genio Slide comes with swappable 'Fashion Jacket' back panels, adding a bit of customisation potential for would-be buyers.
Three of the clip-on covers are included in-box – with our sample we got a business-like black cover, plus two white ones, one with a retro swirly pattern on it.
It's hardly a deal-maker, but some users may welcome the chance to get away from the normal black touchscreen look and go a bit funk-a-delic.
From the front, though, the Samsung Genio Slide does have an archetypal Samsung touchscreen design – it's glossy black minimalist, with just Call, End and a central Menu button under the display.
The 2.8-inch QVGA (240x320 pixels) touchscreen display is a resistive type rather than a higher-end iPhone 3GS-like capacitive one, so doesn't have multi-touch and the smooth flowing action of Apple's headliner.
The 2.8-inch screen isn't as lengthy as some we've seen and its wider dimensions are similar to those of the Samsung Blade.
Around the sides is a familiar combination of camera, screen lock/unlock and volume/zoom controls, plus a Micro-USB port and that useful 3.5mm headphone socket on the top of the phone.
The slide-out QWERTY keyboard is the real design eye-catcher though. While not exactly novel for a touchscreen phone, it's still quite rare at this sort of price point.
The sprung slider action is smooth and easy but feels firm in place ready for twin-thumb tapping.
Slipping it out immediately switches the screen orientation from portrait to landscape. The metallic red keypad uses almost the length of the slider tray, so despite minimal gaps between them, the 42 buttons on the keypad have sufficient room.
Keys are slightly contoured to differentiate between them as you're typing away, and the key action is responsive.
It's possible for finger tapping messages while resting on a desk, though we expect thumb-typing in-hand will be the favoured input method for most people.
We found the keypad accurate enough for brisk, fluent typing of messages, and generally we had no major gripes about its user-friendliness.
Keys are sensibly arranged and labelled well enough, and the Samsung Genio Slide also contains a couple of keys for quickly opening up new messages or launching the browser.
As with any phone keyboard, it takes a little getting used to if you want to improve your speed.
Initially we didn't find it quite as comfortable as the larger (and much more expensive) Nokia N97 Mini, for instance and the Samsung text input system occasionally doesn't feel as intuitive when you're adding punctuation. But very quickly we got decent thumb-typing speeds up on it.