Samsung Classico in-depth review -

 

Look and feel

A black and silver slider phone that looks impressive, but unfortunately is made from plastic and thus feels flimsy.

Ease of use

Spacious keys for speedy texting, easy navigation and some fun, quirky features.

Features

For a low-cost phone the Samsung Classico packs a good, solid feature set such as a five-megapixel camera with smile detection, as well as some added extras. We especially like the ‘etiquette pause’.

Performance

With HSDPA data speeds the handset performed well, and the camera produced pictures with good clarity.

Battery life

Battery life is adequate.

The verdict

The Samsung Classico has a competent feature set, but unfortunately the look of the phone has been compromised to achieve the low price tag.

 

 Samsung Classico Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:52 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Excellent camera experience with a host of additional features.

Cons:

The plastic build belies what is underneath the bodywork.

With so many mobile phones announced each year it’s easy for the odd one to slip under the radar. These stealth handsets tend to have a lower spec, are flimsy, and are available on affordable prepay deals. Imagine our surprise then, when we inadvertently stumbled across the Samsung S7350 Ultra Slide – with a five-megapixel camera, HSDPA connectivity and A-GPS navigation, this is no slouch.

Look and feel

Virgin Mobile has taken the S7350, rebranded it as the Samsung Classico and now offers it as part of its ‘best ever £20 monthly tariff’. The Classico joins Samsung’s ever-growing slider portfolio and sports a silver and black combination that looks as though it is made of steel. However, it is actually plastic, which gives the handset a vulnerable feel, particularly the rather flimsy battery cover.

 

The sliding mechanism requires a forceful push, but it’s smooth and fluid, and reveals a 3x4 standard keypad, which is spacious enough to compose texts at lightning speed. Beneath the 2.6-inch screen are four hard keys that surround a well-positioned D-pad that is excellent for one-handed navigation. Press this key when the phone is idle, either slid open or closed, and you will be taken to the menu. However, shutting the phone automatically locks the device, so a combination of the hard keys is required to activate the phone first if it is closed.

Five-megapixel camera

One function that will only operate when the phone is slid open is the five-megapixel camera, as the lens is hidden behind the front of the phone. Samsung has decided to decorate the area surrounding the lens with a tacky, chequered pattern. We feel plain silver, or even black, would have been a far better alternative.

 

Once the camera has been fired up, the navigation pad enables shortcuts to the LED flash, brightness settings, timer speeds and the macro on/off setting. The ‘macro’ setting should be used when attempting that close-up shot, and we’re pleased to say that it definitely makes a difference. The definition of colour improved, as did the contrast.

 

Other settings can be accessed via the more extensive camera menu, including the wonderful smile shot and face detection. Although these two features have been around for a while, we’re convinced they are continually improving. Both features identified up to three faces, and smile shot worked each time one of our subjects grinned. Smile shot does need to be switched on each time you use the camera though.

Fake call

The Samsung Classico packs in some quirky features that are bound to prove popular, including ‘fake call’ and ‘etiquette pause’. The former can be activated by subtly pressing the navigation key down – your phone will then ring as though you are receiving a genuine call. Clever stuff indeed, but as the handset will most likely be locked when closed, you will have to press a combination of keys to activate the navigation pad, thus losing the subtlety aspect.

 

As for the ‘etiquette pause’, switch it on and, should you receive an unwanted call or alarm, simply turn the phone face down to switch the ringer off.

Conclusion

Throw in A-GPS and HSDPA data speeds and the Samsung Classico is one competent handset. However, while it matches others in terms of specs, the build of the phone still feels very much in the lower end of the market.