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(Pocket-lint) - Girls Aloud backing, a funky purple colour, and small enough to fit in your make-up case, so is the Samsung F210 the ultimate girls' phone? We get dialing to find out.

The update to its X830 "switchblade" mobile phone, the F210 from Samsung is a thick but narrow mobile phone. Rather than fold out like a clamshell, or slide out like a slider, this model switches out like a switchblade knife.

Doing so reveals the keypad below with two shortcut keys, a dedicated camera button, clear button and pick-up and hang-up buttons. It's all very simple.

The more traditional keypad ditches the two lines of numbers for three (3 x 4 keys rather than 2 x 6 keys) found in the X830 and it's much better for it.

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In fact the whole phone is very simple with buttons kept to a minimum. The front houses the small letterbox screen and a d-pad for menu navigation, while the sides a hold and volume keys.

Close the handset shut and you've got, for all intenses purposes, a device looks like an MP3 player rather than a phone and this helps stress the models music credentials.

Tucked away somewhere in the small shell, Samsung have managed to fit in a microSD card slot, although not hot swappable, an FM radio and 1GB of storage for storing music on, a nice bonus. Music can be transferred simply by dragging and dropping songs across regardless of operating system and the F210 doesn't require any dedicated software.

Elsewhere on the multimedia front there is a 2 megapixel camera and Bluetooth for transferring files or images. The screen, which is incredibly small anyway isn't the best for viewing images back or for snapping, and the biggest problem any budding photographer will find is that because the screen is letterbox rather than square you won't actually get all of the image on the screen at any one time to see what you are shooting in full, making it pretty useless.


The Samsung F210 is a phone foremost and then an MP3 music player second with the rest best being seen as extras that you weren't expecting. It's small, well-made and easy to use, although very much a phone aimed at the girls rather than rugby-playing scar-sporting boys.

Is it any good? If you are looking for a handset that's compact, but doesn't do much beyond making calls then yes. However if you are looking for a device to help you organise your life, then look elsewhere.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 26 November 2007.