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Samsung Genio Touch review

A cheap touchscreen phone that does the basics well

samsung genio

The Genio's interface makes a poor first impression.

Compared to the crisp, vibrant screens of top-end phones like the iPhone, Pre and HTC Hero, the Genio's screen is a little muddy and a bit blurry.

The edges of characters and numbers lack definition and the less said about the horrible default wallpaper the better.

That lack of sharpness isn't a problem most of the time: we were still able to hit decent speeds while tapping out messages, but it does mean that the wow-factor of some of the things you can do on a mobile these days - watching videos on YouTube or looking at photos, for instance - is a little blunted.

samsung genio
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The 2.8in screen's low 320 x 240 resolution doesn't help much. Worse, the main menu can be sluggish.

Tapping and dragging the widgets, which appear on the left-hand side of the screen, is frustrating as they jerk by.

The Genio helps out somewhat by providing haptic feedback whenever you touch it - it gives a short buzz of vibration when you touch the screen, which is handy for instantly telling whether your input has been recognised.

The drawback is that out of the box, this is a noisy companion. Every single touch on the screen is accompanied by an irritating digital bleep or tune. These can, at least, be turned off in the settings menu.

Positives

It isn't all bad, though. Samsung's bizarrely-named TouchWiz interface is sensible and easy to get around. The icons on the screen work well and are the right size for the tip of a finger - we never encountered a situation where we wanted a stylus.

A final usability word goes to the Genio's overall build.

It feels very light and thin in the hand, which is broadly a good thing, but without any significant weight anywhere on the phone it feels a little unbalanced, and certainly doesn't have the luxurious feel of handsets such as the HTC Hero.

Even if it doesn't look it, every time you pick it up you'll be reminded that the Genio is a budget phone.

samsung genio

The widget engine is fairly effective. It's a simple idea - drag a widget icon off the left-hand scrollbar onto the phone's desktop and it's installed.

For instance, you can install the Facebook widget and access your friends' data and write status updates without needing to visit the browser.

The lack of on-screen real estate is combatted by swiping your finger from side to side, revealing supplementary home screens either side of the original.

The number of available widgets is good enough and encompasses most of the major social networking sites, although it would be surprising to see wide support from application developers.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCellular Phone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported8 GB
Built-in Memory40 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time9 Hour
Product ModelS3650 Genio Touch
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)90 g
Maximum Video Resolution320 x 240
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height103 mm
Width56.5 mm
Depth12 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time730 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameS3650 Genio Touch Cellular Phone
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-S3650CWAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

The Genio Touch mobile phone is the cool and colourful way to connect. Not only is it packed with features, it's got flair. Its bold bi-colour cover can be interchanged with a funky patterned one or a chic black one - choose which based on your vibe each day. And when you're in the mood to message, Genio's convenient widget icons give you instant access to your favourite social networking sites. Update your Twitter status or send that picture you just snapped to your best friend in just seconds. Whether it's a funny Facebook comment or its cool case colours, Genio Touch was designed to help you share who you are, inside and out.