Samsung U300 review: Samsung U300

Typical Price: $549.00
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2 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Super-thin design. 3.2 megapixel camera. Good battery life.

The Bad Touchpad is way too twitchy. No user-replaceable battery. GSM only.

The Bottom Line The U300 may only be a GSM phone with some rather severe limitations – but it's dead sexy. Is that enough?

Visit manufacturer site for details.

4.3 Overall

Design
Samsung's SGH-U300 (or the "Ultra Edition 9.6", depending on which side of the product box you happen to be reading) is a slim and very attractive looking clamshell phone. At only 100 x 51 x 9.6 mm, it's actually dangerously thin. We could see the U300 being banned from prisons, for a start; a little bit of work with a nail file and this thin phone could become a rather effective shiv.

The outside of the U300 houses a simple blue OLED display; flip it open and there's a much more appealing 2.2" QVGA TFT display that sits above the keypad, which at first glance appears to be touch sensitive. It's not -- a quick bit of testing with a stylus shows that it's just a very flat pressure sensitive panel with virtually zero travel. The left hand side of the U300 houses a very slim volume control as well as the combined headphone and USB socket. Like most Samsung phones, this is a proprietary jack that leads out to a standard USB plug.

Features
The U300 is a Tri-Band GSM phone with EDGE capabilities -- so no 3G, no HSDPA, and essentially, no functional web browsing. Yes, the ability is there -- but does anyone want to crawl around the web at GSM speeds any more?

It supports Bluetooth 2.0 and comes with a rather spiffy 3.2 megapixel camera. This is easily the standout part of the U300; it takes very good photos and even has limited editing functionality built into the camera. On the entertainment side, it has integrated Bang & Olufsen low power speakers, which is impressive for a phone that's this wafer thin. You're rather limited in how much music you can load onto the U300, however, as although it supports synchronisation via Windows Media Player, it has only 70MB of onboard memory and no expansion slot. A quick mea culpa here; we originally reported the U300 as having a MicroSD card slot -- and we were wrong. 70MB is what you've got -- and it's all you're ever going to have.

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