Samsung Genio Qwerty review: Samsung Genio Qwerty

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Typical Price: £100.00
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars 3 user reviews

The Good Good design; well built; decent social-networking features.

The Bad Uncomfortable keyboard; no 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Bottom Line Overall, we like the Samsung Genio Qwerty. Its features are well implemented and its interface is great, but a small, cramped keyboard makes texting and typing quite awkward

6.5 Overall

We've already subjected the  Genio Touch  and Genio Slide to a thorough probing, and now it's the turn of another of Samsung's youth-orientated phones, the Genio Qwerty. Sporting a full Qwerty keyboard, it can be yours for free on a £10-per-month, 24-month contract. It's also available for £50 on a pay-as-you-go deal, or about £100 SIM-free.

Waspish charm
The Qwerty comes with a couple of interchangeable battery covers, but, whichever you choose, you're still going to end up with a handset that's predominantly black and yellow. Still, as long as you're not worried about attracting amorous wasps, it's not a bad-looking device. At 59 by 110 by 13mm thick, it's pretty slender for a phone with a BlackBerry-style keyboard. 

The 56mm (2.2-inch) screen is on the petite side and has a low resolution of 220x176 pixels. This low-res display isn't too troublesome, however, because everything on the screen looks pleasingly large and chunky.

Swappable covers are great but, if you're planning on buying the Genio Qwerty, make sure you like yellow and black

If you think the Qwerty's covers are trendy, wait till you see the interface. The default theme is called 'cartoon' and has the scrapbook-like, Polaroid-esque, corkboard-and-drawing-pins look that indie kids are all over at the moment.

A little cartoon guy watches your menu meanderings from the left of the screen, and yanks a cord whenever you make a selection, presumably triggering some vast, unseen mechanism that makes the phone do whatever it is you told it to. It's a pretty cool effect, and livens up an otherwise dull display, even if it does look like the animated man is yanking a toilet chain.

Atop the Qwerty sits a 3.5mm socket that will allow you to plug in your own set of headphones rather than settling for the rubbish bundled ones. The inner-ear set that comes in the box also features a call-answer button and microphone housed in the cable. That's handy for taking calls without looking like a pervert, as you desperately force your hand into the pockets of your skin-tight jeans, searching for the phone.

Cramped style
The Qwerty isn't without its flaws, however. Nearly everything that frustrates us about this phone is to do with its full Qwerty keyboard. It's just too cramped. Some phones with Qwerty keyboards, like the Orange Rio , have a space between each key, which makes actually finding the button you're searching for much easier. In the case of the Qwerty, they all blend into one, and trying to hit the right key is tricky.

The Qwerty's keypad is cramped, which makes typing accurately a challenge

The central navigation key is also far too close to the top row of Qwerty keys. We often hit the 'down' button when reaching for the 'T' and 'Y' keys, and vice versa.

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