Samsung’s gift for creating classy slider phones mixes with touchscreen technology to produce a phone that – it’s hoped – will be the best of both worlds. The Samsung S8300 Tocco Ultra Edition – or Ultra Touch in some countries – has a regular phone keypad that slides out from behind the brightest, most vivid screen imaginable. It’s affordable and great-looking, but can be tough to use.
What we like
The AMOLED screen on the Tocco Ultra Edition looks amazing and is bright and eye catching. It’s touch sensitive, and you can dial and text from the screen or the regular keypad, which is easier, but it’s your choice. You should note that if you text using the keypad and have to correct something, the backspace key is only on the screen. The keypad is comfortable, easy to use and backlit. The casing – a hot red – is pleasing, too, though some carriers have blue as a colour option.
Samsung’s strength with slide phones means the Tocco Ultra Edition is well-balanced whether it’s open or shut. The camera is strong, thanks to its 8-megapixel sensor, LED light and neat features such as blink detection so you don’t shoot your subjects with their eyes closed. The lens is protected behind the slide mechanism, so it has to be open to use it.
The phone is fast and the touchscreen quick to respond. It’s also a great size, slipping into a pocket or bag easily.
What we don’t like
Samsung’s widgets system – a vertical dock of items that slides on and off screen with a tap – can be overwhelming, especially here, as wherever you touch the screen causes the dock to appear. If you drag the icons to the main screen they stay there, which is good, but the 2.8-inch display can quickly become cluttered.
The ‘back’ button that returns you to the previous screen is placed in the centre, which is a hard adjustment, especially as its four corners means it looks like a navigation pad.
Although this is not a smartphone, it’s a surprise to find there’s no Wi-Fi on board, so uploading images from the camera may take a while using 3G connection and may incur data costs. Similarly, web browsing is really only comfortable in a 3G area.
There’s no dedicated headphone jack, though the headset does have an adaptor on the cord.
The Tocco Ultra Edition is a stylish, capable handset with bright touchscreen and a conventional keypad for the touch-shy. It has a good 8-megapixel camera that delivers strong results, but the touchscreen interface is not quite as intuitive as the iPhone.