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Samsung Lucido S7220 review: Samsung Lucido S7220

Samsung's Lucido offers up an excellent range of features, including a fabulous little AMOLED screen, which makes watching your 5-megapixel camera footage a pleasure. It's very resistant to fingerprints too, if that bothers you, and the microSD slot and GPS round out a perfectly decent 3G phone

Flora Graham
4 min read

The Samsung Lucido S7220 doesn't make any massive mistakes, but it doesn't inspire us with thrilling successes either. It's perfectly adequate as an average-looking phone that's straightforward to use and has a good range of features.


Samsung Lucido S7220

The Good

Clear, vivid screen; GPS; fast Web browsing thanks to HSDPA; keyboard shortcuts on menu items; decent camera; memory card slot.

The Bad

Ugly, confusing icons; poor video quality; insanely prolific beeping; no map app pre-installed.

The Bottom Line

We were underwhelmed by the Lucido, which felt dated despite some cutting-edge features, including HSDPA and GPS. There's nothing really wrong with this phone, but there's nothing inspiring either, except for the lovely AMOLED screen. If you like the Lucido's looks, it's a good mid-range choice, especially if you have a problem with fingerprints

It won't break the bank either -- the Lucido is available from free on contract for £35 per month, or for £140 SIM-free.

Easy to use, but ugly
Samsung has scored points with user interfaces on some of its phones -- for example, the Samsung i8910 HD does a fantastic job of polishing up the touchscreen version of the Symbian S60 operating system. But the UI on the Lucido felt dated and slightly geeky to us, like a pre-production version. Icons, for example, were old-fashioned and hard to understand in some places. We'd prefer to see text for commands such as 'save', rather than what we're pretty sure is an obscure icon of a 3.5-inch floppy disk. A floppy disk, for heaven's sake, which no one under the age of 20 is going to recognise!

The Lucido's keypad isn't as easy to use as it looks

On the other hand, we liked that menu options had keyboard shortcuts, which made navigating around easy and quick. Overall, the Lucido's not hard to use, it's just not going to win any prizes for good UI design.

We had been excited about the Lucido since we started seeing the press photos, but we didn't find it as attractive in person. It wasn't as thin as we expected, and the grey colour and red stripe didn't turn us on. But it is very resistant to fingerprints, so it could be a decent choice if you hate the current trend of super-glossy phones, such as the Nokia 6700 Classic. The buttons are fairly big, but we didn't think there was enough separation between them -- especially between the context-sensitive buttons and the call buttons -- so they weren't as easy to press as they look.

Still life photography
There aren't many innovations in the Lucido, but it does have a wide range of features. It has a 5-megapixel camera with an LED photo light, and we were impressed with its vibrant colour reproduction, although our photos were rather noisy, even in bright light. In darker conditions, the LED photo light did a fair job of illuminating our shots. But we found we had to keep a very steady hand when snapping to avoid blurry photos.

Videos looked fantastic while we were filming, thanks to the Lucido's beautifully vibrant AMOLED screen, but they were disappointing to watch afterwards. They were heavily compressed and jerky, and so they wouldn't be much use for capturing a moment.

There's only 110MB on board to store your snaps, but there's a microSD card slot so you can expand it by up to 8GB.

Missing a trick
We hit another roadblock when we tried out the built-in GPS. The GPS worked fine, but our sample handset didn't come with an application to enjoy it with -- we had to download and install Google Maps ourselves, and then the phone popped the Java app into the Games folder. It's fantastic to see GPS on a less expensive phone, but this feature should be front-and-centre in the menu, so you don't have to be tech-savvy to get it up and running.

There are a couple of innovative features on board, such as the fake call feature. If you hold down the shortcut key, which is set to the bottom of the five-way function key by default, you can receive a call from an unknown number.Handy in case of emergency -- like a blind date that's gone wrong, perhaps. But before the call starts, a huge message comes up that says 'fake call activated', along with a beep to confirm. Oops, the feature is rendered useless, and almost certain to land you in trouble if your date catches a look at the screen -- to be fair, it's a foolproof way to end things early.

The Lucido's 5-megapixel camera has an LED photo light and takes vibrant, if rather blurry, photos

Another feature we were eager to try was the etiquette pause, which was meant to mute the phone or mute the ringer, or something, when you flip the handset on to its face. But we couldn't make it mute anything, from the speaker to the microphone. In fact, the Lucido is one of the loudest, most annoying phones we've used. Every key beeps a different tone, and there are beeps to confirm the most trivial operation, too. Under threats of death from the rest of the team at CNET towers, we had to keep the phone on silent at all times. It's worth noting, however, that these beeps might be helpful for visually impaired users.

Good to get connected
Web browsing on the Lucido is good enough to be handy, especially with 7.2Mbs HSDPA keeping downloads quick over 3G. Even complex Web sites look great on the sharp, clear screen, but because it's only 56mm (2.2-inches) in size, it's not much use for anything more complicated than a little mobile Facebook or Twitter.

The Samsung Lucido S7220 didn't set our world on fire, but it has a solid range of features and a lovely AMOLED screen, so we're willing to forgive its dated user interface and annoying abundance of beeps. A couple of the features didn't live up to our expectations, such as the GPS with no maps app, and it wasn't as good-looking in real life as in its press photos. But it's easy to use, and not expensive, so if you like your phones traditional and fingerprint-proof, it could still be the choice for you.

Edited by Nick Hide