Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:57:29 PM
Funky, efficient and enjoyable to use
Tough to type on at speed or at length
Samsung’s latest keyboard phone is no business device, despite the full keyboard on the front. One glance tells you that the Genio QWERTY is aimed at the youth market, who are keen to text, email and even, you know, call their friends. It’s light and funky, and though it doesn’t feel high-end, it doesn’t look cheap. It’s definitely priced to appeal to younger buyers – Orange has it for £59 on prepay. Of course, for that money you won’t get Wi-Fi or GPS, but at least there’s Bluetooth.
Like other Genio phones from Samsung, the Genio QWERTY has a distinctive orange-yellow back that looks great. If you don’t fancy it, Orange has kindly included an even gaudier orange version as well as a more demure black option. Though – let’s be clear – if you feel the black one’s for you, then this phone may not be.It’s colourful on the inside, too, you see, including a very neat Cartoon theme that is fun to use. On this setting, the main screen is designed as though you’re looking down at your wristwatch as you walk along. Sneakers peep in and out of view and the watch gently rocks back and forth. It’s very good. The screen on the Genio QWERTY is only 2.2 inches, thanks to the space taken up by the keyboard, which isn’t the most usable. It’s nowhere near as efficient as that on a BlackBerry Curve, for instance, so you’ll need to hunt-and-peck carefully – especially as there are no error correction smarts such as you’ll find on a high-end device like the iPhone.
BlackBerry has had success in the youth market thanks to its instant messaging program. Here, there’s Orange Messenger, which is a wise addition, given the target audience. There’s also a ‘Social Life’ icon for Facebook, Twitter, bebo and MySpace links. So that’s social contacts, back to usability. The D-pad worked pretty reliably, taking you in the right direction every time (it’s better if you use your fingernail), though chubbier fingers may find they often press the adjacent soft keys instead. And while we’re on the subject, it’s mildly irritating that the labels for the soft keys are in the corner of the screen, while the buttons themselves aren’t. On most other phones the labels are in fact above the End and Send keys, so it’s confusing at first.There’s an easy-to-use music player that offers average sound quality through the large speaker on the rear of the phone, though at least it’s cunningly angled so it plays loud even when the phone’s lying on its back. (This may not be a bonus if you’re on the same train as someone with this phone.) The 3.5mm headphone jack improves the sound hugely, and this is an impressive feature considering the phone’s low price. The camera is a lowly two-megapixel model and there’s no flash, but it’s good enough for taking snaps to text and email to your mates. There’s a video recorder option, too, but it’s buried in the shortcuts in the camera application.
It won’t please an iPhone user because of its more basic specs, small screen and unsophisticated styling, but if you’re under 25, like a phone with a loud look to it and you want to keep in touch with your mates via messaging and status updates, then the Samsung Genio QWERTY is a cool phone.