Samsung Corby TXT preview

Reviews Andrew Williams 18:06, 24 Sep 2009

Ahead of the review, we take a look at the new Samsung Corby TXT, a BlackBerry-like device for the younger generation

In Samsung’s new range of Corby lifestyle smartphones, the TXT is something of a middle sibling, nestled between the lower-end Genio and the slide-out Qwerty-equipped Pro.

At first glance, it looks much like an E-series Nokia device or a smaller BlackBerry thanks to its mini Qwerty keyboard but, as its SMS-inferring title suggests, the TXT really doesn’t have its eye on the business crowd. It is, indeed, doing it for the kids.

Perhaps more so than its Corby relatives, it would appear that the youngster-friendly aspects of the device are all quite superficial. Yes, there are the colourful backplates that encourage you to see your phone as a key portal to self-expression, but other than that, all that was in evidence on the youth front was a strange menu system.

Well, actually the menu system itself is utterly conventional, using a simple 3x3 icon-based grid. What’s strange is the animated chap to the left of the screen that pulls a cord, bell ringer style, whenever you select an option. Odd indeed, especially when it didn’t really seem to tie-in with the Corby series’s 4-colour motif - the Corby handsets come in four main colours, yellow, orange, pink and white.

Still, perhaps the final versions of the Corby TXT devices will feature a handful of different animated menu themes, which would be a nice touch.

The small fingered will get on with the TXT’s tiny keyboard the best, but each key is suitably raised to try and make the keys as accessible as possible within the small available space. We found it pretty easy to use in the time we has with the TXT.

A little less successful is the placement of the soft keys. Hemmed-in by the call and call end buttons, users of feature phones - presumably one of the TXT’s core markets - will likely find their thumbs heading to the wrong spot for quite a while. The soft keys are just too close to the middle of the device, where you might expect to find a D-pad on a normal phone, to make their placement feel entirely natural. Like all control quirks though, we expect it’s something you’d get used to before too long.

The 2-megapixel camera probably isn’t going to set the world alight, but it is at least not too far removed from those seen in the TXT’s more serious rivals. That there will be a market for the TXT seems obvious - you don’t have to be in business to find a BlackBerry-style device useful - but whether the TXT will stand out in the crowd when RIM is starting to cater more for casual users remains to be seen. Still, perhaps those colourful backplates alone are enough to draw you in.

Recycle your phone: Sell Samsung B3210 Corby TXT

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