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Samsung GT S8300 Ultra Touch

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52 Reviews

The Samsung GT S8300 is a stylish looking phone, featuring an impressive 8 Mega Pixel camera. With a combination of keypad and touch screen, it takes a little getting used to and battery life can be lacking.

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    52 Reviews
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      10.09.2012 12:16

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      Not really good

      I got this Samsung on a contract. It was my first touch screen smart phone. I did wanted to have a good camera so 8 megapixel was just perfect and plus because I wasn't sure if I will get use to it with touch screen I could use the regular keyboard which easily slides. However, after a month or two my phone suddenly died for no reason I couldn't switch it back on so it had to be replaced. Second phone worked just fine at first, but after a month it started restarting itself and one day it died and I couldn't turn it back on. It had to be replaced... Third one still works, however time and date after a while started restarting itself in different times so I can't trust on setting an alarm.

      Phone itself in my opinion would be better without a key board. Didn't really use it just to slide for camera and it was kind of a hassle to slide it up and down; it became annoying. The menu is quite basic which I like. Camera had few problems. The first couple of phone pictures came out bit blurry and stripy. It is a nicely designed phone. I wouldn't recommend this phone because of the problems I have experienced - unless they have sorted it out!

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      26.10.2011 22:57

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      Has great features but has a common issue that stops it being a phone

      This phone has a great 8mp camera that takes a clear picture, it also has a camera on the front to make video calls. It holds a micro sd card which is great for storing pictures, videos and music. It has a slide down keyboard which is great for texting and has a touch screen that makes it easy to navigate. The battery lasts me about a day with normal useage using 2g, so 3g may drain the battery quicker. A great feature with this phone is you can block texts from numbers you dont wish to get texts from and a feature that silently sends a text to numbers you set up if your in trouble. The bad point about this phone is the speaker which has a habbit of breaking just after the warrenty is up, this has happened to both of these models iv had and a quick search suggests its a common fault which you can fix or use a hands free kit to talk with and listen to the music, the only problem with this is you cant hear the phone ring. Overall this phone would be a great mp3 player/camera but after a few years isnt much use as a phone.

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      18.09.2011 16:38

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      A decent phone for pics. if you are looking for surfing, watching vids, give it a miss

      This is a durable phone that has the benefit of touchscreen as well as a keypad. The touchscreen is smooth and responsive but could be quicker. The phone is nice and slim and the keypad slides close for compactness. The camera is takes some really good pictures, I had fun with it whilst on holiday. An 8gb is enough to store all your snaps and music and these are really cheap nowadays. On the negative side, there are hardly any decent apps available for it, the battery life as with most touchscreen phones nowadays is fairly short and its recommended that you carry a spare for emergencies. Also the phone does not support wifi so you need a good data package from your provider. To use the earphones, you need to use the special jack that comes with it which is kind of annoying. I am sure most people would like to just plug and play their own headphones.

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      02.09.2011 07:13

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      My best phone so far and it'll take alot to beat!

      I bought this phone through a great contract with '3' that gave everything i needed and more. I found the phone was attractive, stylish, very accessible and came with great features and apps (8.0 megapixel camera is very impressive).

      Straight away the phone was incredibly easy to use and get used to, i was able to customise almost everything and found that the keypad AND touchscreen meant i had a choice in how to text, explore, etc.

      I had heard a few things about the phones quality only lasting a few months (touchscreen apparently becomes delayed, etc), however, i found that mine lasted right up until the end of my contract and even then, the only thing i could complain about was that it required a little more effort to slide the phone up than it had at the start.

      I was so impressed with this phone that after 18 months of using it, i renewed my contract and got another one! Again after 22 months of the Samsung GT Ultra Touch, i'm still perfectly happy with its quality, appearance, features and performance. I love this phone and despite this being my personal opinion only, i PERSONALLY would recommend it as a great phone!

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      12.08.2011 14:46

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      Great product, worth every penny in my opinion!

      I found this phone online when I was looking to purchase a new phone but found that it was £350 on pay as you go and I didn't want to get tied into a contract but I felt this was too much to spend on a phone. I carried on looking for a phone but couldn't settle on anything but this phone.

      I have always been a Samsung customer with my phones anyway so I am used to the way they work. I wasn't going to spend £350 on a mobile phone so kept the one I already had until one day I saw it had come down to £199.99. I went out and bought it straight away because I had wanted it for so long and, although £200 is still a lot of money, I felt it was worth it. I haven't been disappointed with it and I have had it for 3 years now. I love the features on it with the internet, image viewer, texting facilities and I love that fact that it has a proper keypad as well as the touch screen option.

      The calling settings are great too, you can mute people while you are on the phone if you want to say something to someone and you don't want the caller to hear. You can also easily change the volume of the call by the button on the side of the phone. You can also change it to the handset, video call or put it onto speaker phone. These all make the calling experience on this phone easier.

      The phone is fairly hard to use at first but you soon get used to it and now I do not find it hard to use at all! The battery life isn't as good as some phones but I only seem to need to charge it about every 5 days so I don't think it is too bad! I seriously recommend this phone to anyone who wants a touch screen phone with a proper keypad too - you won't be disappointed!

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      05.08.2011 14:18
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      I didn't like this phone, you could buy a similar priced phone, at a much better standard!

      I only had this phone a couple of months, and I wasn't very impressed. Samsungs have never appealed to me very much, I have found them to be quite temperamental and unreliable.

      First thing to note is that there is a touch screen, but only on a strip at the bottom of the screen. I see this as inappropriate and silly, if it's a touch screen it should be either all or none. It seems as if they wanted to introduce the latest fashion, but this is definitely unsuccessful. It is actually very annoying this touch screen. Once you've used the phone and put it in your bag it is easily pressed by mistake. There is a lock on it, but it comes on automatically in a couple of minutes, leaving enough time for it to pressed accidentally(this can probably be altered however, I just didn't have it long enough to look at the settings!). This error has led me to call various people by accident and also go on the internet, wasting my credit!

      The phone has a sliding movement, the touch screen being on top and when slid open, the keypad underneath. This seems silly to me as it feels like the screen should be protected not the keypad. Saying this though, when closed the phone does look a lot more stylish. On mine, the keypad is a red colour, as well as a red border around the screen itself. Metallic Red is also shown on the back of the phone where the camera is placed. The red and black compliments each other well, and makes it look sleek and quite stylish. I also wouldn't say it was gender biased, and would be suited for a man or woman.

      The camera on the phone is pretty good. This was the only feature that really appealed to me. It is an 8.0. megapixel camera, and the pictures are bright, full of colour and in general very visually appealing. When uploaded to a pc the photos are slightly pixelated when enlarged, but it isn't as bad as some other mobiles I have previously owned. On the actual phone the pictures look detailed and full of life ! There is also a camera at the front of the phone as well as the back, which is handy!

      You have the ability to store music and games aswell on the phone, but there aren't any extraordinary accessories that differ form other phones. What is really annoying however is the fact that there is only 'demo' games and full games have to all be bought online.

      One other nuisance was the fact that the ringtone I used lasted about 20 seconds, and everytime someone rang I had to route through my bag desperately, only to usually miss the call. I tried a handful of ringtones, and I found it was the same. I might be wrong, but I don't recall a setting to change this, unless I turned my voicemail off.

      The phone has 80 mb of memory which isn't much, but there is a Micro SD slot, which has the ability of the maximum of 16GB!

      Advantages:
      Pretty good camera, taking good pictures, Bluetooth, ability to store music and pictures, can be a microSD card with 16GB!

      Disadvantages:
      'demo' free games only, annoying touch screen, short length ringtones, not a large internal memory,

      Overall, this wasn't the phone for me. I didn't like the design of it, and I prefer the normal standard set out without a sliding layer. I thought the camera was really good, but the layout of the sliding and random touch screen put me off! Not a hit for me at all.

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      29.03.2011 13:33
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      excellent media and camera features with touch screen and slide out keypad.

      I got this phone 2 years ago on contract with O2 and my first impressions was a very good quality build handset. I had previously owned a LG VIEWTY which was a touch screen too, so I had got used to the touch screen and had read good reviews about this phone as it was also a slide phone with keypad.
      On first impressions the phone had a really good feel to it, it wasn't too heavy or too light and was very thin considering the amount of good quality features in the handset. The screen quality was excellent with vivid images that really stood out, the best I've seen, boosting a high resolution 240x400, 2.8" colour OLED touchscreen that is scratch resistant and yes I can confirm that the screen is scratch resistant as for the time I have owned this phone I have yet to see any kind of scratch on it.
      The back of the phone is plastic, but the front has a metal frame to it which gives that good feel of sturdy.

      Touch screen was a bit fiddly and could have responded better but wasn't too bad though after you got used to it. Texting was easy enough but if you want faster texting I would recommend using the added slide out keyboard as it was quicker and easier to use.

      Camera quality is excellent on this handset as it packs a 8MP lens with auto focus and have found the images to be very good in well lit places, in dark places it doesn't perform as good even though it has a built in flash.
      Video recording is excellent too, the best I've seen on a mobile phone and can record in 30 frames a second for those slow motion scenes, pretty cool.
      This is a 3G handset so on front of this phone is a VGA camera for your video calls which is good enough quality for its purpose.

      Features in this phone are good with an FM radio with RDS and media player that can play MP3, AAC, WMA, MPEG4, H263, H264 and WMV9 files that are all good quality, you can listen to both through the loud speaker or use the supplied in ear earphones which are excellent quality too. There's no 3.5mm jack on the phone itself but you get a hands free included with your phone were you can detach the supplied in ear earphones which have a 3.5mm connection and put in your own.

      Going through the menu is easy enough, everything is well lead out and easy to find and understandable. Other features include 2.0 Bluetooth, Java games, GPS receiver, voice dialling and wigets. All your favourite wigets can be located and stored on your front display on the side bar which I like as you get easy access to all your favourite applications like, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and many more.
      Battery could be better, I would have to charge mine every night and would only be using my phone for calls and media occasionally.
      I also received a 1GB Micro SD card, but this phone can except up to a 16GB Micro SD card.

      If your interested in a touch screen phone but have never used one, i would recommend this handset as you can always resort back to using the slide out keypad, also if you want a phone with an excellent camera and video recording with alot of great features then this is your ideal phone, but be aware the battery is not great.

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      10.02.2011 16:14

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      A good phone, but it only lasts a few months!

      The Samsung Ultra Touch is a great phone for the first few months you have it. The touch-screen technology is fairly advanced, and the extra features it comes with are all really high quality - 8.0 mega pixel camera, video, sound record, internet access and music player. It was great at first! However, in my case, after only a few months of having the phone, the back became very weakly attached to the body of the phone, and it now won't fit it at all. The predictive text is also very confusing, and a real hassle to sort out if you want it to be easy and effective. Overall, I would recommend the Samsung Ultra Touch as long as you are not bound to the handset by contract, and can easily get it replaced if it does go wrong. I would definitely say that insurance on it is worth the extra money! A great phone, but seems to go wrong rather easily.

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      28.09.2010 14:56
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      I personally would not recommend this phone

      I had this phone on an o2 contract and was really excited about recieving it. The concept of a touch screen and a slide phone in one was what drew me to the phone.

      Well what can I say, what a disappointment this phone was, Very flimsy, looked more like a toy then a phone. Battery life was awful, was lucky if it lasted the day, I was constantly charging this phone, I think the longest I went without charging it was about 14 hours. Touchscreen was not very responsive. Spent most of my time trying to get the phone to do what I wanted it to do without much success. Maybe I was using it wrong I dont know hehe.

      Texting on it was a nightmare aswell, if you spelt something wrong, or the predictive text didnt spell the word right you had to delete the whole word and start again, (which Im not used to this, always had Sony phones which you could press back and it would highlight the whole word)

      On the whole, I personally wouldnt recommend the phone, but do know a few people that like the phone alot.

      I would say if you are looking at getting this phone read as many reviews on it as possible to get an idea of different people's view on it.

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      05.09.2010 19:34
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      not the best phone ever, easily worst than its competitors

      When I first got this phone I thought it was great, it had a slide out keypad which meant I didn't need to worry about using the touchscreen, and it seemed like a reasonably good smart-phone.

      However, after using this phone for less than a week it started to develop a fault. During use it would regularly turn itself off, and it takes a long time to reboot! Thinking this was a problem with the handset I ordered a replacement, but the problem persisted. I then ordered a replacement battery, and the problem appears to be fixed. However, by this time I had a new phone which I used instead.

      The best thing about this phone is its 8 Mega Pixel camera and touch screen display, both of which are great, however, the rest of the phone is definately below par. As this is a Samsung phone the only apps available for it are Java apps which you have to aquire from the internet. This is much more difficult than it is on Nokias, with the Ovi Store, Android Phones, with the Market Place and the iPhone with the Apple Store.

      Overall, this phone is far from being as good as its similiarly prices competitors, but does have a good camera..

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      30.08.2010 14:12
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      Worth the money

      I bought this phone as I thought it would be a good introduction to touch screen technology. It has a slide out keypad underneath, which means you can go old school if you don't take to the touch screen, so encompasses the best of both worlds.

      It has some jazzy features, as the menu at the side of the phone has some useful apps already included, such as the calendar, top three contacts and birthdays reminder. Added to this, you can move the apps onto the 'desktop' and place them wherever you like, further customising your phone. However, I stopped placing things on the desktop after a while, as there is no way to lock them in place. As soon as your thumb hits the screen by mistake, they are sliding about all over the place. I also found that the downloads store for apps was very limited and never seems to be updated. Therefore, I only use a few of them and use the side menu to access them.

      The other annoying thing about this phone is that because of the keypad underneath, it is impossible to use it one handedly. The screen is so top heavy that it tilts over when trying to type, meaning you have to hold it in place.

      Another issue I seem to be having is phantom phone calls! Sometimes the phone seems to get knocked in a certain manner known only to itself and this causes it to protest by ringing you! I have spent quite a few minutes trying and failing to answer phone calls with no one at the other end.

      Aside from these glitches, it is a good phone with lots of useful features, such as the radio (although it doesn't let you use the speaker function unless you put the earphones in first, then take them out!) and the reminder and stopwatch with lap app. I also like the fact that like Motorollas, it gives you a reminder when you haven't read a message- great for when you have been away from the phone or haven't heard it at first.

      It is quite slim line and not too bulky and looks good, and I find the touch screen to be very good compared to some others on the market, which can be too fiddly. Overall, a good phone which does the job of a stop gap between a basic and a smart phone well.

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      25.08.2010 15:53
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      Great phone with a couple of little flaws that could be rectified. Would reccommend!

      I've had this phone for almost a year and it has proved to be very reliable. The combined touch screen and buttons can take a while to get used to, especially whilst texting, but it works well and I have found it to be responsive. With other touch screens I have tried I tended to keep hitting the wrong thing, but I don't seem to have that problem with this phone. It's good looking as well as sturdy - feels substantial which is nice. Music player is good, the sound is decent from such a small device and I have had no trouble with it. The camera is also impressive - the photo's are of a good quality even when you transfer to the computer. Great for blogging / facebook etc.. It's very easy to upload songs / images using the usb although I would prefer a more simple drag and drop option rather that having to use the samsung software. The one thing that lets the phone down are the widgets in my opinion (not a problem for me as I don't use them!) E.g, you can chose to have the MP3 Widget on your home screen, so you just scroll down to use it. However, on several occasions I have been unable to scroll down, and it seems the only way to rectify this problem is by turning the phone off and then on again.

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      11.08.2010 22:40
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      too complicated for me.

      My Samsung ultra touch was a phone I previously owned. Is till have the phone but I no longer use it as I now have a cheaper and simpler phone. I bought this as pay as you go over a year ago when I decided I wanted a more stylish phone. I noticed a few friends had this also, I thought it would get me back in the 'cool group' After all, my phone before that was a Nokia! Now, that is saying something. I have to be hoenst and say im a little bit of a nerd when it comes to technology, especially phones. I have no diea how to work them, so I like them to be as simple and easy to use as possible.

      Appearance:
      Ok, first thing's first. What doe sit look like. From a personal opinion, I think it looks pretty smart. You have the touch-screen with two call buttons underneath. You then flip the phone up to see your numbers. The number buttons are pretty wide, I feel that I can't text fast and I keep pressing the wrong letters because they all feel in the wrong place. The buttons are flat, I prefer buttons that stick out a little so you know where you're pressing. I quite like the way it slides up from the back, it looks very sleep and when you slide it up, it allows you to see the cameras. The touch screen in pretty big, so you're safe if you have big fingers (mine's are petite, so it wouldn't have been a problem for me either way)

      Use:
      Now this is important for me, and all you other phone nerds or old-aged people. (Sorry, I couldn't resisit). I find useage of this phone pretty hard. It is quite difficult to work out how to use it. When you bring your menu up, there is various pictures to allow you to see what to touch. However 'text messgaes' are at a tiny button at the bottom, which I think is useless because it is the thing that you sue most often. You also need to keep scrolling down to get to things, which I personally find very annoying.

      Touchscreen:
      The touch screen annoys the living daylights out of me. Apart from the iPhone, I would never buy another touch screen after this. First of all, it does a command about 20 seconds after you touch a button. The button highlights, it makes a little noise to let you know you've just touched a button, and then it makes you wait. It is even more annoying because you need to go through lots of different things just to get into your pictures or messages! Apart from it being slow, there's not much other criticism for it. It has never scratched. Although I do have to say, that it wont let you use the touch screen with anything else other than skin. The skin on the top of my fingers is hard, so it wont recognise it. It MUST be touched a bit lower down your finger. I have tried to change the settings, but no matter what I do, the light on the screen cuts out after two minutes. This bugs me!

      Camera:
      Ahh, the camera. This is always an interesting one. In order to get into your camera, you have to go to applications. Which I think is silly, the camera should be there on it's own! I have to be honest and say that the picture quality is very good. It must be to do with the fact when not in sue, the camera is covered so its less likely to get dirty. There is an exposure value setting, and you can change the focus mode, timer and resolution (I don't touch things like these, I just manage to get myself in trouble). As usual, it clicks pretty slow, and you have to touch the screen to take a picture. I think the button to take a picture should be physical, but that's just me.

      Other features:
      There is also Bluetooth, voice recorder and video editor. Also, an FM radio.You can play games such as 'Tumbling rice', 'BRain juice', 'brick braker'' "mini gold las Vegas' 'monopoly world' and 'the sims' (trial).

      Overall opinion, I no longer use this phone because I find it too slow and difficult to use. However it is a good phone but some things should be left to the young and modern! I paid £80 for this which was quite a good buy considering most people took it out on contract, the network is orange.

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        04.08.2010 16:01
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        Very good affordable phone

        I've had this phone for just over a year now and find it to be a fairly reliable phone with all the features you would expect from a a mid-high range phone for a good, not too extortionate price.

        The big factors which appealed to me were the dual keyboard & touchscreen, and the camera. I am a fan of touchscreen phones and like using them, but the slideout keyboard is very useful for heavy-duty texters like me! The onscreen keyboard is a little fiddly to use but like I said, it isn't any hassle to pull out the keyboard for texts and the onscreen keyboard is great for things like web browsing.
        The camera is impressive at 8MP, and I have found it to be my best camera yet. Extremely clear photographs, with many different settings and options. The camera settings can be a little confusing to navigate but fine once you get used to it.

        The design is nice, and the phone is a pleasant palm-fitting size with a good sized screen. It is very similar to other samsungs, and if you have had a samsung before then you will click with the menus and navigation instantly. Personally I didnt need the manual at all but if you are new to samsung it is worth a read. You can get the phone in red or blue, both of which look nice. I love the chrome touch as well, which makes the phone look very elegant. I have also found the phone to be very resilient, as mine has been dropped from a window and the middle of the road with minimal damage!

        The battery life is very good, and if the phone is fully charged lasts me between 2 and 5 days, depending on how much I use it. A lot better than many phones that i've had to charge every day!

        My one complaint about this phone is that it can be quite slow and unresponsive at times. The touch screen can take a couple of seconds to respond, usually when receiving messages. I overlook this in general though, as for the most part this is one of the best and most reliable phone i've had.

        You can get them for around £120 - £150 new, or £70 second hand, which is very good for the features. A good phone that isn't overly complicated but has many features you need and some that are suprising, such as GPS.

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          15.07.2010 16:41
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          Great phone with an excellent array of impressive features.

          I'm not one of those people who are obsessed with getting the latest mobile phone. I just tend to upgrade every so often when my existing phone is starting to look a little dated and lacks many of the useful features of the more modern phones. When shopping for a new phone I usually opt for a relatively decent phone that you needed a small mortgage to buy when it first hit the shelves. A few months down the line, it's still the same 'more than adequate' phone, but now it's available to purchase at a much more respectable price.

          This was the case a few months ago with my Sony Ericsson K610i. It did the basics ok, but not much else. I wanted a phone that would still perform the basics well, but also double up as a good camera (to replace my separate device) and let me do other things as well, such as surf the internet, play music and listen to the radio. Naturally, it also needed to look modern and stylish. After shopping around, with all this in mind (and the fact it had a neat touchscreen), rightly or wrongly, I opted for the Samsung Tocco Ultra.

          * The Phone Itself *

          It is a slide phone that is very handily sized. Its dimensions are roughly 108mm long by 53mm wide by 14mm deep. When the phone is slid open to reveal its numeric keypad it extends to about 140mm long. Its slim figure makes it perfect for comfortably sliding in and out of pockets without protruding too much. The screen takes up the majority of the front measuring in at 62mm high by 32mm wide. The phone is very light, weighing in at just 120g. It's got a nice black finish with dark red trim. The phone is very sleek and stylish. It feels good quality and looks robust.

          * External Buttons *

          There are a few buttons scattered around the phone. There are 3 on the front. The left of these is for making and answering calls. The middle one is for navigating back through menus. The third is a power button for switching the phone on and off. There is a very useful volume button on the left hand side which is used for adjusting different sound levels, but also doubles as a scroller on menus, lists and web pages. It also functions as the zoom button for the camera mode. There is a record button used for recording sounds, videos and taking photos. All these external buttons are useful and mean you don't have to use the touchscreen to accomplish these simple tasks. There is also a lock button on the right for locking and unlocking the phone. This is essential because the touchscreen is capable of activating anything with the slightest touch or rub.

          The lock key is a little infuriating. In order to unlock the phone you have to press and hold this button for quite a time before everything is activated. Then even more annoyingly it auto-locks itself and goes back into idle mode after just 30 seconds of inactivity. So if you're reading an internet page or message then it may well vanish before you've finished!

          There is an adapter on the right for connecting chargers, data cables and other accessories. The adapter does have a protective cover, but you will need to be careful with it as it does feel a little flimsy. The camera lenses are positioned at the top of the phone and it has to be slid open in order to use. This reveals the picture viewer and the flash. The battery, sim card slot and expansion card slot are all situated behind the cover positioned at the back. As usual you can't insert or remove the sim or memory card without removing the battery, which is a pain. I like the idea of switching my memory cards between devices. The set up on this phone makes this very impractical. While I'm on the subject, a memory card is a must for this phone. The photos taken by the camera are bulky because of the high resolution so the extra capacity is essential. You only get a meagre 100MB as standard. I have a 1Gb card and this does the job perfectly. It also means you can backup your contacts list which is useful. They are widely available online and in high street shops. The phone accepts microSD cards up to 16GB. You can currently purchase a 4GB card for less than £10. Obviously it goes without saying that the larger the card capacity the better.

          The front screen slides up to reveal a standard numeric keypad. This allows for great flexibility. You can then call, text and e-mail using either the touchscreen or the keypad.

          My phone came with a mains charger, earphones, computer connection cable, software CD and a manual. There are obviously plenty of other accessories available but these will be sufficient for most people.

          * Screen *

          The large 2.8 inch AMOLED touchscreen was one of the main reasons I chose to buy this phone, and it didn't disappoint. Its large size means that plenty of information can fit on the screen at the same time. The resolution is good at 240x400 pixels and the colours are vibrant. The icons, text, etc. are plenty big enough for viewing. Because the screen is large there is plenty of room to scroll your fingers across it while navigating and selecting stuff. I do occasionally however struggle to get the screen to recognise my finger taps and scrolls, especially when selecting smaller items. You sometimes need a few attempts before your tap registers. This isn't a big problem but can get a little frustrating. The Samsung touchscreen responds well to taps and controls, reactions are immediate. However, you don't get the crispness that you get from the iPhone for example. People with large fingers will struggle with certain things such as selecting items from drop-down lists. Because of the nature of the touchscreen it is best to be used by people with smaller, clean fingers. And because it's a touchscreen it should always be used in a clean environment. Even for small fingered users in a spotless environment the screen will inevitably get smudged. Fortunately it does wipe clean very easily (just be careful not to scratch it in the process).

          The touchscreen is intuitive to use and I managed to get the hang of it almost immediately. Even though I complained a little about the occasional missed taps and scrolls on small items earlier, I think that the sensitivity is just about right. Well, lets face it, I don't think that it's possible for this kind of technology to be 100% accurate.

          One problem I have with this phone is the fact that it doesn't display anything when it's locked and in its idle mode. All my previous phones displayed a symbol or something to alert me that I had a message or a missed call. With this phone I have to unlock it and open the screen whether I have any alerts or not which is a real pain. There is a setting for the phone to beep repeatedly every minute when a text message arrives. This does help with the above problem but will not be for everyone, and still doesn't help with missed calls.

          When the screen is activated the top line constantly displays the signal strength, time of day, battery level and an array of icons. Icons are displayed for all sorts of things describing the connected network, message status, Bluetooth, current profile, etc.

          You can customise your home screen with the applications you use most often, with what Samsung calls widgets. There is a widget bar containing shortcuts to just about everything. It's a bit like a Windows Start Menu on your computer. You click it to open it and then find the program you're looking for. Because the list is so long its not really useable unless the item you want is at the top. I find that moving your favourite widgets to the main screen works best (as long as you don't mind covering your wallpaper picture), although it is possible to position your widgets off-screen so that you can scroll them in. The widget bar is a great idea, but in practise does not work great at all. The whole process of adding and moving widgets is very fiddly. Usually it's just as easy to access your application through the menu system. This is something that Samsung needs to overhaul in the future.

          * Calls *

          As you would expect from a modern phone it's very easy to make and receive calls. The phonebook and keypad are available from the main screen. The phonebook is very intuitive to use. All your contacts are listed, but it's very easy to scroll down the list by dragging your finger down the touchscreen. You can also use the search box to search for specific entries. You can also easily select your favourites and groups of numbers.

          The sound quality is very good while you're on a call. I've never had a problem hearing anybody, and as far as I'm aware nobody has had a problem hearing me. You can easily adjust the volume using the silver adjuster on the left side of the phone.

          The speakerphone function also works very well. I find this extremely useful when I'm placed in a queue. I can just put the phone down and do other things while I move up the queue and wait to be connected.

          * SMS Text Messaging *

          As most communication seems to be carried out via text these days, the ability to easily write text messages is a must with modern phones. One of the great advantages with this phone is that you can use either the touchscreen or slide-out keypads to generate your messages. Writing messages using the touchscreen alone really is simple. The keypad icons are large thus reducing the number of errors made. I actually prefer to use the touchscreen for making messages rather than the slide-out keypad. It's simple to switch between numeric and alphanumeric characters, upper and lower case and there is lots of punctuation and other symbols available. There is however one problem with writing messages and that is if you need to go back and correct a mistake or make a change. It's extremely difficult to re-position the cursor within the message. You have to manually click the cursor to the desired position with the touchscreen which is extremely difficult and it often takes numerous attempts to get it right. This can be a major problem if you often make changes to your messages as you're writing. This could so easily have been avoided with the addition of a directional navigation button.

          Another small problem is the lack of a delete key on the keypad (which is another reason why I choose to compile messages using the touchscreen). It means that you have to switch up to the touchscreen and press the virtual delete key there instead.

          The predictive text has a bit of a life of it's own. Instead of putting the most commonly used words at the top, it tries to guess what you are writing and gives you some strange options. Cycling through all these options to find the word you're looking for is too long-winded, so it basically means that you have to type every word in full all the time.

          When you come to add recipients to your messages there can be confusion if your recipient has more than one mobile number; e.g. one for private and one for business use. If this is the case the phone lists all their numbers without a field name or description. This is then a problem because it's impossible to distinguish between the numbers without knowing exactly which number belongs to which field.

          The phone can also send and receive MMS messages.

          * E-mail *

          E-mail can be a little fiddly to set up. You have to enter all of your account settings including server names and port numbers. However once everything is setup, downloading your messages is easy and relatively quick. You can choose to ignore attachments which is a handy little feature.

          Creating e-mail messages is obviously not the easiest task in the world using a mobile phone. But, as soon as you get to grips with text entry, then it isn't too bad. Just try to keep your messages brief!

          * Internet *

          The internet on this phone is fairly useable. The manual informs you that it has a 7.2 HSPDA connection. In reality download speeds are not all that great. The browser is however capable of displaying full HTML which is both an advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is that you can access a lot more web sites but the disadvantage is that it takes longer to fully download and render a lot of the pages.

          To get the most out of the internet I suggest you get a stylus or use something similar to tap the screen. This is because many of the links are very small and it's difficult to click them with your finger. Because the screen size is quite large you can get quite a lot of a page on the screen at one time. The browser is very easy to use. You have your usual home, back and forward buttons as well as a box to manually enter a web address. There is a zoom feature to enlarge small sections and you can obviously scroll the screen to view the sections of the page that won't fit on the screen. There are links to your recent history and there is the ability to add pages to your favourites for easily accessing your common links. Connecting to the internet is simply done by clicking an icon. When going online you are prompted to confirm the connection so that you don't inadvertently go online and start racking up charges.

          There are obviously limitations such as java and flash which can't be played in this browser. But the majority of pages will work well. Special WAP pages work perfectly and these download very quickly.

          Its quite neat to have the internet with you all the time in your pocket. However the small screen and relatively large download times for many pages means that you won't be using it all the time. It's useful to have around when you desperately need to access or check something when you're away from your computer, but it will never be a substitute.

          * Camera *

          The camera can be as simple or as complex as you like. It's an 8 megapixel camera which means very good and detailed picture quality. Incorporated is a dual-LED flash which is especially significant at night where those dark pictures are really brought to life. The pictures I've taken with this are superior to those I took with my old 3 and 5 megapixel digital cameras. It's real easy to take a simple photo, but there are plenty of additional features for the more technically advanced users. The shooting modes allow you to take single photos, continuous shots, panoramic views, smile shots, mosaics and framed pictures. All of which work really well. The panoramic view shot almost allows you to take a picture of the entire 360° surrounding you. You can adjust the focus, timer, picture resolution, colour balance for different light conditions, effects (e.g. black and white, negative, watercolour, etc.), ISO sensitivity, exposure, flash, etc. as well as a multitude of other settings. The camera takes great pictures in the dark and moving shots can be captured admirably as well. There is a 4x zoom which allows you to get those distance shots in great detail.

          The camera is also capable of capturing video up to 30 frames per second using both available DivX and Xvid codes. It's not quite to the standard of a proper video camera, but it is still more than capable of getting great clips.

          One small gripe I do have with the camera is the time it takes to actually take a picture. More so when it is auto-focusing. You have to press and hold the button for a good second before the picture takes. This inevitably means that you will move and shake slightly before the shot is captured.

          * Music player *

          The phone can double up as a personal music player. It plays files in a variety of formats including MP3, AAC and WMA, through the built-in music player application. You can play the music through the phone speaker but it is quite tinny. You get a much better quality through the earphones and they are essential to fully appreciate the music. You are able to sort your tracks by artist, album or track name and even view the album cover image. You can create your own playlists which is very useful.

          * Video Player *

          As well as music the phone can also play videos in a few different formats including MPEG4, H263, H264 and WMV9. The quality is very good but because of the small screen size it's not recommended for viewing over long periods. In football terms it's better for playing the highlights, rather than the whole match. Oddly there is no link from the menu system to the video player application. You have to navigate to your video file and open it that way. A little strange but it's something you get used to.

          * FM Radio *

          The FM radio is a great little feature and one of my favourites. I use it while at the football to keep abreast of scores in other matches. You can listen to the radio either through the speakers or the earphones like the music player. It uses RDS to display station names when you successfully tune in. You manually scan frequencies on the FM band from 87.5MHz to 108MHz. when you successfully tune in you can then add it to your list of favourites. Alternatively there is a neat self tuning feature. If you select this, it will scan all available frequencies and add any stations it finds to your channel list (removing any existing entries, so be careful). This is great if you move about the country quite a lot and constantly need to keep retuning. You just do a complete rescan and you have all available stations in that area. Amazingly, it only takes a couple of seconds. I'm not sure how many channels you can have in your favourites list, but I have exceeded 20.

          * Menu/Functions *

          The menu system is easy to navigate with the touchscreen. However, many of the functions and settings are not in the most logical place. Some settings, such as the new message alert beeper, is hidden away in the profile settings. It took me ages to find it!

          There are many menus and settings within this phone. I find that it's worth spending a little time just going through a menu in detail to see exactly what it is capable of.

          * Customisation *

          As usual for phones these days there is plenty of opportunity for customisation and this one is no exception. You can add your own wallpaper to the main screen, personalise the startup and shutdown sequences. You can identify each contact or group of contacts with their own ringtones which I think is great as you know who is calling before you even take the phone out of your pocket.

          * Contacts/phonebook *

          The phonebook is a neat little application for storing details of all your contacts. You are able to store your contacts name and address. Their private and business phone numbers for both landline and mobiles. Birthdays, e-mail address, fax number and personal web address. You can personalise the sms and phone call ringtones for your contacts individually. You can even add an image which pops up when they call you.

          You can segregate your contacts into groups. This is especially useful if you regularly send out messages to all members of your football team for example. You select the group as the recipient and your message goes to everyone in the group. You can also add your most used contacts to your favourites list.

          Using the phonebook is fairly straightforward. Its simple to add new contacts and its relatively painless to add the details you need. Searching for a contact is best done by swiping your finger vertically down the touchscreen. Alternatively you can search by initial letter, contacts group or favourites.

          * Computer Connections *

          The phone can easily connect to your computer for copying files (music, pictures, etc.) and synchronising your e-mails and contacts. You can use the accompanying USB cable or you can use Bluetooth. Both of which I find work extremely well without a problem. Samsung provide their own PC Studio software which you can use for all your file transfers and contact synchronisations. However, as I'm trying to reduce the amount of software on my computer, I just connect as a mass storage device and do my transfers manually. This works just as well.

          * Battery life *

          Battery life is not bad considering what you can do with this phone. Obviously, as always, there is plenty of room for improvement here. If you're a heavy user, making calls, sending messages, playing music/radio, taking photos, etc. then it will not last all day. For light users, who send one or two messages a day, take the occasional picture, make the odd call, do a bit of internet browsing, etc. then a full charge will last quite a few days. Charging takes up to 2 hours to fully charge and the phone does inform you when charging is complete so you don't damage and overcharge the battery. Officially, talk time is 4 hours and standby time is 350 hours on a single charge.

          * Google Maps *

          Google maps is a real neat little application on this phone. Great if you often go out on long walks or bike rides. When you start it, it automatically locates you using a GPS signal and then plots your position on a google map. The times I have used it I have found that it isn't wonderfully accurate. For example I've just switched it on now and it says that I'm somewhere within an area of 4500 square metres, which is quite a large area. Although not wholly accurate it's still a great and handy little tool to have.

          * Convertor *

          There is a neat little application which converts all sorts of units. Currencies, lengths, weights, volumes, areas and temperatures. This is really useful in all sorts of situations especially when on foreign holidays when you're trying to work out how much something costs in our money.

          * Other Features *

          There are numerous other features which I havn't described. There are just too many. There are games, stopwatch, Bluetooth, file explorer, photo browser, calendar, personal organiser, alarms, calculator, voice recorder, video editor,

          The alarm clock is also a nice feature while your away from home. It means you don't have to pack an alarm clock. It works really well, and includes many different alarm settings and snooze functions.

          * Price *

          The phone price has dropped dramatically from its original crazy £350 price tag. You should now be able to pick one up for a more reasonable £100. When you see what you are getting for your money, I think this is fairly good value.

          * Overall *

          Generally I have been very pleased with my purchase. It does everything I need it to do and plenty more. There are a few things that niggle me about this phone, but I have found that I can work around them without too many problems. I would definitely recommend this phone to anyone.

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        • Product Details

          Samsung Ultra Touch is a truly beautiful full touch mobile which provides the best full-touch user experience. The name of "Ultra" is realized as the perfect balance between the inner and outer value which is a perfect style brand representing Samsung. Samsung Ultra Touch perfect style is achieved with not only the design, but also the smartness inside.

          Technical Data

          Product Description: Samsung GT S8300 Ultra Touch - mobile phone - WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
          Product Type: Mobile phone - 3G
          Service Provider: Not specified
          Mobile Services: Video Call
          Form Factor: Slider
          Phone Design: Slider
          Dimensions (WxDxH): 52 mm x 13 mm x 110 mm
          Weight: 118 g
          Colour: Platinum red
          Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
          Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
          Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player, GPS receiver
          Display: OLED display - colour - 2.8"
          Mobile Email Client: Yes
          Internet Browser: Yes
          Digital Player (Recorder): WMA, AAC, MP3 , MPEG-4, H.264, H.263
          Supported Flash Memory Cards: Micro SDHC
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