Samsung Genio Touch review: Samsung Genio Touch

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The Good Generally good interface; stylish, customisable design; decent music player.

The Bad No 3G or Wi-Fi support; low-resolution camera; no Qwerty keypad option.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Genio Touch offers a stylish design and plenty of smart-phone-like features, backed up by a good music player and a generally decent user interface. If you can overlook the lack of 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and the occasional usability issue, you'll find it's a pretty good budget handset with some clever tricks up its sleeve

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6.5 Overall

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You don't have to be a Genio to work out who Samsung's new touchscreen phone is aimed at. Bright colours, interchangeable back covers and built-in Facebook support are all dead giveaways that the Genio Touch is intended for the younger generation. It's also cheap. You can pick one up for free on a £20-per-month contract, £100 on a pay-as-you-go deal, and £130 SIM-free.

Young at heart
The Touch is small for a touchscreen phone and pretty light too. The interchangeable back cover may seem like a gimmick, but it actually has a fairly major impact on the look of the device. A slick white back cover gives it a more grown-up, Apple-type feel, whereas a bright orange or pink cover with a swirly pattern makes a more rambunctious statement.

The Touch is comfortable to hold, and hard to fault in terms of build quality, with only a couple of tiny niggles spoiling an otherwise well-engineered handset. The microSD card slot, for example, is underneath the back cover. Unlike some phones, however, the slot isn't hidden beneath the battery, so it's not too difficult to get at, particularly since the clip-on cover is so easy to remove.

The interface has also been designed well. There are three different home screens and a pop-up sidebar that hosts a selection of widgets, for easy access to your favourite applications -- Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all come pre-loaded. The handset also gives vibrating feedback with every finger swipe or button press, which is a pleasing touch. A clever 'smart unlock' feature allows you to use your own personalised finger gesture to access the phone's home screen or launch apps when it's locked.

All the usual tools can be found in the main menu, such as a calendar, file browser and so on. We particularly like the visual 'photo contacts' phone book. Add all of its features up and you have a handset that's beginning to look rather like a smart phone.

Butter fingers
The Touch isn't quite as slick, however, when it comes to actual operation. We found the touchscreen somewhat less responsive than those of other devices of this type, and it can be frustrating to use. Scrolling through a list of options can often result in one of the choices being selected accidentally, for example.

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