Samsung Star mobile phone
Samsung's Star mobile phone is a good introduction to the world of touch-screen mobile phones
- Compact, responsive touch screen, TouchWIZ UI, good on-screen keyboards, price
- No 3G, screen isn't particularly sharp, widgets could be improved, no dedicated apps
The Samsung Star is a functional and easy to use touch-screen handset that will appeal to people on a tight budget. The lack of 3G connectivity will turn many potential buyers elsewhere, however.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Samsung's Star (S5230) is an entry-level, prepaid mobile phone that features the company's TouchWIZ UI. It's a good introduction into the world of touch phones for first time and occasional users. Exclusive to Virgin Mobile, this sleek mobile phone is responsive and easy to use but the lack of 3G connectivity will force many users to look elsewhere.
The Samsung Star (S5230) bears an uncanny resemblance to the original Samsung Omnia. It's thin, light and, despite the largely plastic build, it feels sturdy and well built. Below the display are three physical keys: answer, end call and a large back button. The central position of the back key does look strange, but as the menu button is on the touch screen itself, this is something you'll quickly get used to. External volume controls on the left side and lock and camera buttons on the right round out the controls.
The Samsung Star's display is bright but it doesn't have a high resolution. It's bright and clear enough for everyday use, but text isn't as sharp as we'd have liked and sunlight glare outdoors can be an issue. Horizontal and vertical viewing angles are commendable, especially considering the price and market positioning of the phone. The phone uses a resistive touch screen and Samsung includes a stylus, but you shouldn't be needing it very often — the display is responsive and most keys and buttons are large enough to tap with your fingers.
Like many Samsung phones, the Star runs the company's proprietary OS and features the TouchWIZ user interface, which is also used on the Icon range. The TouchWIZ interface uses a three-page home screen and has a big focus on widgets. A row of widgets sits on the left edge of each screen. To use one you simply drag an icon from the panel to the main area. Each of the three home screen pages is customisable and you can add any widget onto any page. Unfortunately, the widgets’ functions aren't labelled in the sidebar, so it's hard to work out what they do without adding them to the screen.
Unlike other TouchWIZ UI Samsung phones, the Star's menu is split into two pages, one for the main menu and the other having three sliding tabs for communications, tools and multimedia. The multimedia page includes shortcuts to many social networking sites and online services including Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Flickr, but these are merely links to the mobile Web page of each service rather than dedicated apps.
The Star can be unlocked using by drawing a letter of the alphabet on the screen — Samsung's "smart unlock" feature. You can use different letters to launch apps as the phone unlocks, including messaging, music and the Web browser.
We found the Samsung Star's messaging capabilities to be excellent for an entry-level touch-screen mobile phone. Samsung offers three input options, including a numeric keypad, a landscape QWERTY keyboard or handwriting recognition using the stylus. The keys are responsive and there is no keystroke lag when typing at fast speeds.
The Samsung Star's lack of 3G connectivity is a real downside. Though it's an entry-level handset, there are 3G mobile phones available with similar prices, albeit not with a touch screen. Though the Star's touch screen is handy and very easy to use, we're not so sure it makes up for the lack of 3G, especially for those looking to access the mobile Web.
Other features include a basic 3.2-megapixel camera without flash, a suite of PIM functions, an FM radio, voice recorder, music player and Bluetooth connectivity. A microSD card slot for extra storage is included, but it's under the battery so you'll have to power off the phone to access it.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 2 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 3 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 4 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
- 5 iPhone 8: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Data Centre OperatorOther
- FTProgram Manager - Agile / DigitalOther
- TPBusiness Analyst ManagerNSW
- TPNetwork EngineerVIC
- TPAutomation EngineerQLD
- FTSenior Network Designer - Australian Citizenship RequiredOther
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation)NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - eCommerce/Supply ChainOther
- FTInformation Security ConsultantQLD
- FTPayments Business AnalystVIC
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTDevOps Engineer/ LeadOther
- FTProgram Communications SpecialistOther
- FTMicrosoft Exchange Engineer- Azure & Cloud X2Other
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Financial Services - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCIT Specialist - System ServicesNSW
- TPCyber Security ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior NodeJS DeveloperQLD
- CCDigital Content ExecutiveNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSystems/Business AnalystACT
- FTSenior Java DevelopersACT
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Project ManagerNSW