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(Pocket-lint) - Chelsea seem hell bent on alienating the entire world, but new sponsor Samsung Mobile has gone for a far more inclusive approach with the first 3G and iMode combination handset.

From a very young age I was always told that putting all your eggs in one basket was a bad thing; so how come this smart little Samsung phone is so enticing? It’s the first device to offer both 3G and iMode connectivity, so if you want rapid internet access on the move it looks like the ideal phone. Well, it does as long as you want to use the impressive - but fairly limited - selection of content providers available on iMode, and are willing to view all the videos and content you access on the relatively small 1.9 inch screen.

But that’s partly the point of the Z320i, because considering all the connection options this handset has to offer - to which you can add Quad band functionality and Bluetooth - it’s small and very neatly put together. It may not be as slim as the LG U880 or RAZR V3x, but with its neat sliding mechanism and short stature it’s more pocketable than most 3G handsets.

It also manages to squeeze in a 1.3 megapixel camera for snapping your mates and there’s the option of video calling too - there’s two cameras on board, an option I prefer to the single swivelling lens.

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There are some downsides though, the main one being the lack of any kind of memory expansion options. Okay, so the 100MB of installed memory is reasonably healthy, but if you are thinking of downloading video or music to the built-in MP3 player than you are going to use that up quickly. Also, why can’t people put standard headphone sockets on the phones - at least that way they are easy to upgrade and replace!

Still, these are relatively minor points, and in action the Z320i is an excellent little phone. The menu system is very user-friendly, and it performs very well in the all important areas of voice calling and browsing.


The best of both worlds in a very friendly handset, what's not to like!

Writing by Shaun Marin. Originally published on 30 March 2006.