Hands on: Samsung Genio Touch, Qwerty and Pro review
25th Sep 2009 | 11:02
Budget social networking range boasts some powerful features
The Genio Touch
Yesterday Samsung formally announced its Genio line of budget, youth-orientated handsets. We already knew about the Genio Touch, but Samsung also launched two more models, the Genio Qwerty and Genio Pro, as well as showing off all three properly for the first time. We'll look at the whole range in detail here.
Before we start we should explain to avoid confusion that the range is known as Corby, not Genio, elsewhere than the UK, while the Genio Qwerty is known as the Corby TXT.
The Genio Touch first up. It's a 2.8-inch haptic feedback touchscreen device. Like the other models, it utilises Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz interface coupled with a "Cartoon UI" skin as you can see from our pictures. It's a 2.5G handset with EDGE compatibility. The lack of 3G may surprise, but this handset has been designed to hit a very low price point.
Unlike the other two models, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack on the Genio Touch, but there is the ability to plug in an included adapter for music or the integrated FM radio. MicroSD is the supported storage card, but there is a 50MB internal memory.
The camera isn't brilliant at a lowly 2 megapixels, but Samsung has designed this to be an extremely cheap handset – it'll most likely be free on even budget contracts. The touchscreen interface is slick and user-friendly, even if the screen needs a definite touch rather than anything gentler.
All the Genio models make use of what Samsung calls 'fashion jackets' – you can buy the phone in one of four colours – Jamaican yellow, festival orange, minimal white and cupid pink – while you can adapt your handset from a choice of different designed battery covers should you wish to. Sounds like a Nokia 3210? Yep, that's what we thought (and with the Nokia you could change the front, too).
Aside from our sniggering though, the Genio Touch is clearly here to serve a purpose – a fun, functional and cheap handset aimed at those who don't want to get too techy but need to keep in touch. Samsung will shift bucketloads.
The Genio Pro
The Genio Pro sits at the other end of the scale and adds a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and 7.2Mbps HSDPA compatibility as well as push email and Microsoft Exchange support.
Quite a contrast from the cheap-and-cheerful Genio Touch, this handset is aimed at "young professionals" – presumably those who need more advanced internet and email while still retaining that penchant for social networking.
The phone also has dedicated music keys to go alongside the headphone jack and 120MB of memory. IM services such as Google Talk are also supported.
We like the Pro a great deal and UK network subsidies should ensure that it will still sit at the bottom end of the market despite its advanced functionality.
The keyboard is surprisingly reasonable to use despite its size - if it was a choice between the Genio Pro and the Genio Qwerty at a similar price, we'd plump for this one every time.
The Genio Qwerty
The Genio Qwerty is our least favourite of the three handsets. It is designed as a "message-centric mobile for heavy texters" - it has a QWERTY keyboard below the screen – and features a 2.2-inch display with H.263, MPEG4 and WMV, 40MB of memory and FM radio.
Still a 2.5G handset with EDGE, the Qwerty sits in between the other models and has a frankly terrible keyboard. The keys are so small that you'd need to be under 10 to text on it properly. Perhaps that's the point, but we somehow doubt it.
All the handsets are extremely lightweight – the Qwerty weighs in at 94g for example, while the Pro is 135g and the Touch a mere 93g. As with the Genio Pro, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack.
As with all the models there's integrated social networking through a choice of up to 75 downloadable and included widgets. Widgets for the popular social networking sites are included as standard and status-updating of Twitter and Facebook can be performed right from your main home screen should you so desire.
We're just not sure about the Genio Qwerty - it's not got great functionality and is the somewhat awkward middle sibling. If you really need a keyboard, the Genio Pro is where it's at.
Liked this? Then check out Samsung Android i7500 Galaxy review
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