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Samsung B3410 review: Samsung B3410

The B3410 is best at basics, it gives the user a great messaging experience, with a well-spaced keyboard and solid call quality. However, if you're looking for more, then you'll need to look further afield.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
4 min read

This may sound obvious, but texting teens love QWERTY keyboards as much as business users with BlackBerrys. The Hiptop Slide was a huge hit for Telstra, the LG WebSlider was big at Boost Mobile, and the Samsung B3410 should find a niche for these tiny-thumbed texting machines.


Samsung B3410

The Good

Great QWERTY keyboard. Responsive touchscreen. Loud, clear calls. Solid battery life.

The Bad

2G networks only. No 3.5mm headphone socket. Basic camera.

The Bottom Line

The B3410 is best at basics, it gives the user a great messaging experience, with a well-spaced keyboard and solid call quality. However, if you're looking for more, then you'll need to look further afield.


From front-on the B3410 shares the same basic design as most Samsung phones in the last 18 months or so. The exposed earpiece speaker above the screen and the three mechanical keys below the screen look identical to those on the Samsung Galaxy Icon amongst many others. The B3410, however, is much thicker than most Samsung touchscreens, owing to the fact that the screen slides vertically to reveal the pièce de résistance, the full QWERTY keyboard.

To define a good keyboard is to identify a few key elements. Firstly, you want decent spacing and definition between the keys, and the B3410 has this. The keys are each quite wide and raised to a gentle hump, helping you to find one key next to another. You also look for a keyboard with a good physical response, we often call this "clickiness" because you want the keys to click when pushed and spring back. It's subtle, but the effect is to have the key push your fingers on to the next key, helping you to type quicker. Again, the B3410 passes this simple test, and overall we found the typing experience to be quite good.

The phone also features touchscreen input, though this isn't quite so good. Whether it's an issue with the screen or with the software, we found it difficult to accurately press buttons on-screen without slowing our movements right down. Luckily, Samsung has included a four-way direction pad on the keyboard which we deferred to for most menu and website navigation.

Around the edge of the phone you'll find the standard volume keys, camera key and a lock-screen key for deactivating the touchscreen. Two ports we found the B3410 missed though were a 3.5mm headphone socket for our favourite headphones and a micro-USB port for charging and/or connecting the phone to a PC. Instead, these tasks are performed through a proprietary port, which means you won't be able to use superior third-party headphones, and you wouldn't be able to share your charger with friends who don't use a Samsung.


The B3410 supports the functionality you can expect from most mobile phones, but for AU$199 don't expect much from each individual element. For example, the B3410's camera is a 2-megapixel model without a flash or auto-focus. The camera fires quickly, which helps offset the lack of auto-focus, with images captured in 0.6 of a second on average. This, however, doesn't help the image sensor produce any better than average photos, as the colours are washed out in our test shots and pixels are noticeable.

The B3410 also features a built-in music player and an FM radio for those with a less than adequate music library. Both pieces of software are simple affairs that perform the task at hand well, but they're unfortunately not assisted by the lack of a 3.5mm headphone socket. This means you are forced to use the crumby bundled headphones, which won't do your favourite tunes any justice.

Our greatest disappointment, though, is the lack of 3G network compatibility. The B3410 is a quad-band 2G phone, and while this is fine for basic phone tasks, it does mean that surfing the web is a painfully slow exercise. The irony here is that Samsung has included a reasonably good mobile web browser on the phone so the absence of 3G is all the more prevalent. For most people web browsing might not be on the top of their list of must-haves, but when compared with other phones in this price range, 2G phones are the exception and not the rule.


The standout performer in the B3410 is its 960mAh Lithium-ion battery. While this spec is small compared with the 1000+ mAh batteries in today's smartphones, it does manage to deliver three days or more in battery life, depending on usage. This is most likely thanks to the lack of 3G, but for those of you looking for a simple phone experience and long battery life, the B3410 fits the bill.

Other areas of the phone's performance are good as well, there's very little lag when navigating the menus, text appears quickly as you type it, and the earpiece speaker delivers loud, clear audio during calls. We've never been huge fans of the Samsung TouchWiz user interface, but for the most part it is a mild distraction at worst when using this phone.


The B3410 is best at basics, it delivers a great messaging experience with its well-spaced keyboard, and call quality is loud and clear. If you're looking to do more with your phone than these simple everyday tasks you're better off looking further afield, as the camera and music player are both bare-bones affairs, and the web browser struggles with the phone's 2G-only networking.