The newest model in the range is the Samsung Genio Slide Unlike its touchscreen and QWERTY stablemates, it has a slide-out keyboard which you can use in conjunction with the onboard touchscreen to navigate menus and write texts or emails on the move. The Samsung Genio Slide is available on some astonishingly good value Vodafone deals but it has an awful lot to keep you interested well beyond your first play. This is a phone with the kids in mind, so social networking and TV on the move are both represented.
The hardware is sturdy in places, nowhere more so than the keyboard, which is every bit as good as high-end efforts found on the likes of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and the Nokia E72. High praise indeed. If we have any complaints, they centre on the slide mechanism. It feels rather unstable and shows the Genio Slide up as the cheap mobile phone that it is. Make sure you take great care when using it, as it feels like it could become a complete liability after long-term use.
While the screen itself is ok, we did find the touch tech felt a little cumbersome and dated. This is a wider criticism of all cheaper touchscreen phones, which favour the affordable resistive tech over the pricier capacitive skills of the likes of the iPhone and HTC Hero. Occasionally, getting into menu systems can be laggy and you’ll definitely end up hitting the same button more than once in order to get a response.
The all-conquering BBC iPlayer is present and correct, here with a sideloading app which sits in the easy-to-find widgets sidebar. Tap it and it’ll let you access shows you’ve downloaded on your PC and dragged onto the device. It’s unsurprisingly straightforward and looks brilliant on the 2.8-inch screen.
You won’t want to indulge your passion for the EastEnders omnibus, but the odd half hour trip to Albert Square is just fine. It makes the Genio Slide ideal for commuters. But the true calling card of the Samsung Genio Slide is its social networking, tied in neatly with Wi-Fi and HSDPA access. Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and MySpace are all accessible from the aforementioned sidebar, from where they can be easily dragged onto the homescreen for instant access. Getting into your favourite network is easy: just tap in your username and password and you’ll be away in a matter of minutes.
The Genio Slide’s software is pleasingly straightforward, using the TouchWiz UI which Samsung has been fond of since the first Tocco mobile, released almost two years ago. You’ll find three different home screens as well as the easy-to-use sidebar, which sits down the bottom when you open the slide mechanism. Apps can be dragged from here onto the front screen, so you can tap in directly.
In all though, the Samsung Genio Slide is a phone that sets the standard for its rivals. The likes of INQ will be looking on with envy at its wide range of talents and just how easy it is to use. It’s astonishingly simple to get the hang of and shows Samsung is making decent enough software to match its strides in the hardware side of the business. If you want a lot of phone for your money, and your budget’s been squeezed, then this is the phone to get right now.