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So I finally decided that I just had to have a touch screen phone (one of the drawbacks of being an engineer it being noticed what state your technical toys are in!). After a bit of research I found that one of the disadvantages of having to buy a pay-as-you go touchscreen phone is that they are, on the whole, notably more expensive than the traditional phones. I settled on forking out for the Samsung Genio and paid a visit to a local mobile phone retailer. On this occasion I was glad to have shoped instore rather than online as whilst browsing I came acros the Samsung Genoa the Genio's younger, less accomplished, less money grabbing brother. It came in as less than half the price of the Genio but looked identical. So what was the catch. They both make phonecalls and deal with texts - excellent the first thing I require in a mobile. They both have a pleasing, smallish, rounded in the palm shape - I only have little pockets and hands so this is most useful. They both have a colour touchscreen - the whole point of the trip - and the obligatory web access. So far so good, so why the price difference; the expertise of the sales man was required - the Genoa only has a 1.3 mega pixel camera ad you can't interchange the back covers. I had a very quick think and could see no pressing personal requirement for either of functions that would necessitate me paying double for the phone. So I left the shop clutching my new Samsung Genoa and planning on spending the afternoon reading the instruction manual.
For a first time user of a touchscreen phone I would say that the manual is an essential read. The Genoa is simple enough to use you can place some icons on the screen which gives you quick access to functions such as texting, alarm clock and a weightloss calendar (I haven't figured this one out yet!) and the main menu is clear with icons large enough to tap with a finger end. The screen is generally responsive to a gentle touch although you can find you've miss texted or scrolled to an undesired screen from time to time (mine seems to be doing this a lot after it got snowed on whilst using it at a bus stop for five minutes). There is also, bizarrely, three main screens which you scroll between, initially look identical and can be loaded up with different easy access widget icons. I personally can't see the use for this and use one screen with a couple of everyday use icons on it.
I enjoy using the phone and it has been reliable, with good battery life, for the past few months. However there are a few minor irritations. Texting is simple, large clear touch keys; but if, when using predictive text, you find you selected the wrong word you can't simply reselect it and choose another you have to delete and start again. As I said a minor irritation but it can make texting more fiddly than it should be.
Also when making a phonecall activating the keypad screen, for whatever reason, is again a little hit and miss and its not overly obvious which unlock/lock key your supposed to press. On the theme of lock and unlock one of the pleasing features is a simple button on the side which you click to lock the phone, essential to prevent the phone doing goodness knows what in your pocket. I haven't felt the urge to fully investigate but I don't think this phone supports the download of apps, however I find the functionality it has is more than enough for my needs - texting, phoning, taking basic photos to text on and internet access.
This phone is not an all singing, all dancing app downloading, multi functional smart phone, but if you want a gentle introduction to the world of smart phones (or if you want to look like you can keep up with technological fashion without breaking the bank or requiring technological empathy) then this is the phone for you. I would happily buy another.