Samsung P300 mobile phone

At what point does small become too small? Samsung's latest mobile phone is the size of a credit card and only slightly thicker, but has Samsung pushed the boundaries too far? We check it out.

The P300 first launched in the Far East nine months ago has finally made its way over to the UK. The unit which measures 86 x 54 x 8.9 mm and weighs 81g looks like a calculator at first glance and certainly isn't as stylish as other models Samsung has produced in the past.

The front is split into two distinctive areas; the screen and the keypad. The 220 x 176 pixels 262k-colour screen is bright and crisp givin a widescreen feel to it and one that makes reading text messages and phone numbers easy.

Below that is the keypad changed slightly to get everything in. Rather than be long, Samsung has opted for a keypad five keys wide by three keys deep.

This means the zero has been placed on the side rather than below the 8 key and the ok/select button normally found in the centre of the d-pad has been moved to the side. While it only took us a day to get used to this shift it is something that you'll have to get used to.

Get past the retro look and the device that looks like it should belong in your old school pencil case offers a surprisingly large amount of features for something so diminutive.

Important stats include Bluetooth, Tri-band and a 1.3 megapixel camera with flash and digital zoom.

If that wasn't enough the phone manages to pack in an MP3 player supporting MP3/ACC/ACC+/e-ACC formats, video recorder with playback and video messaging capabilities, and 80MB of memory.

When it comes to usability, the Samsung P300 is easy to use and performed well on voice calls.

Anyone who has used the D500 or D600 from the company will be right at home with the menu options and although Nokia users will find is a bit of a jump in logic for some of the tasks overall its not as clunky as the Motorola interface.

Verdict

Coming with a leather case in the box to keep the large screen getting scratched the P300 is a very slim phone that will offer virtually everything most readers will need, however the retro calculator look will put a lot of people off.

Until it becomes ultra-cool to be a geek with calculator then we believe that a lot of people will be put off by its design, we know we are.