- Small, compact and lightweight; included VGA camera; FM radio and hands-free speakerphone; build quality
- Battery life could be improved, spongy keypad and controls, interface speed
The diminutive M300 packs in a reasonable amount of features for such a low price, though the slow interface speed combined with a poor keypad may turn some people away.
Price$ 129.00 (AUD)
Without a doubt one of the most compact flip phones to hit the market, Samsung's diminutive M300 is an entry-level GSM handset designed for first time users, or those who might want an affordable second phone. At just 85g, the M300 still manages to pack in a fair amount of features including a VGA camera with 4x digital zoom, an FM radio and a hands-free speakerphone.
Measuring 80x40x16.7mm it's hard to believe the M300 is a flip phone. It's surprisingly tiny and light, making it ideal to slide into a pocket or bag and forget about. Despite the compact size, the M300's plastic surface feels solid and the flip is smooth and easy to open. Our review unit was part of a limited edition The Simpsons Movie pack, so it was finished in a "Simpsons yellow" colour - regular M300 units are available in dark blue and coral pink outfits. The limited edition handset includes five preloaded The Simpsons wallpapers, one ringtone and also includes a mobile flasher in the package.
Being an entry-level handset, features are naturally sparse although the M300 does well to pack in options normally reserved for its more expensive brethren; an FM radio and hands-free speakerphone are often overlooked at this price range. The interface is simple and easy to understand, with bright, labelled icons in the main menu and a simple list format for most of the submenus. A downside is the interface's speed, as it's slow and doesn't respond well to constant, quick key presses. The keypad and controls are also disappointing; they feel spongy and require a real firm press, so both messaging and general navigation does tend to suffer. The 65k colour display is serviceable, but not outstanding for a phone in this price range.
The FM radio works well, although the included headphones (which act as the FM antenna) aren't of a very good quality. The VGA camera is fine for a few happy snaps, but obviously isn't adequate for much else - especially since it doesn't include a flash. For security, Samsung's uTrack feature is present. When a SIM card in the M300 is replaced, the mobile tracker sends an SMS message to an earlier nominated phone number, revealing the mobile phone number of the new SIM card. The M300 also has standard SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input, along with a basic WAP browser, games and Java 2.0.
Battery life figures are a little disappointing when you consider the M300 is an entry-level handset. Quoted Samsung figures are up to six hours of talk time and 290 hours of standby time, meaning you'll be charging the handset every one or two nights, depending on usage patterns.
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