Samsung Tocco Ultra S8300 review

Is the new Samsung Tocco Ultra S8300 up to the task?

The Samsung Tocco Ultra Edition
The Samsung Tocco Ultra Edition

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Samsung has bundled the new PC Studio 3.1 with the phone, and it provides a simple to use and easy interface should you want to ever mess about with your phone with your PC.


One of the best features is it allows your Samsung to work as a mobile modem, something that your network might not be too happy with but it should be fine if you keep nice and quiet.


The software itself has been given a massive overhaul, and looks and works fabulously. It essentially turns your phone into a PDA portal, and while the functions might not look or work as well on the handset, they look almost Mac-esque on the PC. There are separate windows to access your organiser, calendar, movies, photos and almost everything else, as well as being able to send text messages from the PC.

We really liked the new interface, and nice touches like being able to configure the system so that drag-and-drop files were automatically converted to a more phone friendly format were a real bonus. We'd go as far as saying the new software was actually a new reason to connect the phone to a PC, other than as a modem or to back up contacts, as it adds a whole new dimension to the Tocco Ultra Edition.


Some nice extras on the phone include the ability to fake call yourself, something Samsung was keen to show us when the handset was unveiled. Basically you record a message to yourself, and by holding the down key in standby mode the phone would call you and play back the message.

Quite why it's important that you have a message to listen to we don't know, but it's a quirky and interesting feature nonetheless. However you do have to have the phone unlocked to activate it, and if you're using it to silently start a call to ward off potential muggers, then the last thing you want is to be fiddling around in your pocket.

As usual on Samsung's handsets, Google Maps, Mail and Search is built right in, although the Mail option only takes you to the mobile site. Downloading the client wasn't too hard, and was easily accessible through the widget screen, as well as being able to run in the background to check for mail updates, so the Tocco Ultra Edition got a big tick for that category.

Google Maps isn't as good as you'll find on other phones, as it was slow, sluggish and devoid of haptic feedback, meaning it was hard to know if you'd pressed something. It also struggled to use the GPS as quickly or accurately as other phones, but it was passable if not in the same category as the iPhone or an HTC offering.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.