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Samsung's new credit card phone: spiffy!

The Samsung SGH-P310 offers a spiffier design and upgraded features

Samsung SGH-P310

When we reviewed the Samsung SGH-P300 last year, we thought it had a perverse appeal. Though it looked like a grade school calculator, its credit card-like dimensions were unique and frankly, pretty cool. Also, its feature set was generous for the phone's size. Now, at CES this year, Samsung is showing the P300's successor that was introduced in the fall, the Samsung SGH-P310.

Fortunately, Samsung managed to make the design a bit more attractive with a black color scheme and a redesigned keypad. We also like the circular-shaped navigation toggle, which beats the square control on the P300 hands down. Features improved as well with a 2-megapixel camera (compared with a 1.3 shooter on the P300), Bluetooth 2.0, and a MicroSD card slot. Other offerings include a speakerphone, a music player, a document viewer, tri-band (GSM 900/1800/1900) world phone support with EDGE, and a bright 262,000-color display. And it all comes in a handy leather folder, like its predecessor. The U.S. market it lagging in widespread availability, of course, but you can get it for around $300.