camera

If you're thinking of getting a phone with a decent camera, the Genio isn't the place to look.

Not only are the images produced by the 2MP sensor tiny at just 1,600 x 1,200, they look poor.

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A tendency to overexpose and a susceptibility to lens flare meant that pictures taken outdoors looked blown out and weak.

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We also noticed softness and poor colour accuracy. The camera is at least responsive, and there are some decent modes, such as the different self-timer settings, which are good for taking pictures of yourself and friends.

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There's also a continuous mode which takes nine frames in about seven seconds, but in order to ease the load on the camera and the phone's processing hardware images are downsized even further to a measly 320 x 240 pixels.

Media

Encouragingly, the Genio includes a widget for YouTube, but this is a disappointment from the start.

To begin with, all the widget does is launch a web browser and redirects you to m.youtube.com, and secondly, because of the slow data connections, actually watching anything without letting it buffer fully, is laughably hard going.

That means you need to have a decent stock of media ready before you leave the house, and the Genio is reasonable good on this count.

It doesn't have much in the way of built-in memory - just 50MB is enough for a small commuter's library of music - but there's a microSD slot buried under the battery cover, and the Genio supports up to 8GB of external memory. The media player is no iPod, though. It works well enough, but it looks appallingly basic.

One area we can't criticise the Genio in is its integrated FM radio. This largely atones for the inability to stream rich media such as video. We had no problems finding stations, and the player can tell you which radio station you're tuned to, as well as exactly which show you're listening to.

The bundled headphones are good enough, besides being non-leaky plug-style affairs. The FM radio can't be played over the Genio's speaker unless the headphones are plugged in - they act as an aerial.