Samsung – SGH-F300 review

one side it's a phone, one side it's a music player
Photo of Samsung – SGH-F300
£free on contract

We all know about phones that want to be music players, but the chances are you’ve never seen one quite as confused as the Samsung SGH-F300. It is so confused, in fact, that its has two fronts rather than a front and a back. One front is very much like a mobile phone, the other front is very much like a music player.

The device is absolutely tiny as far as phones go and it would give an iPod Nano a run for its money. It weighs a mere 77g and measures 103mm tall, 44mm wide and 9.4mm thick. In concept the idea behind the SGH-F300 is pretty clever, but the reality is that in everyday use the SGH-F300 doesn’t quite manage to be the best of both worlds.

As a music player the device has three significant flaws. First, it is a bit short on memory. Most pocket music players have a few GB of internal storage to play with, but the SGH-F300 is limited to 128MB. If you want any more you’ll have to use microSD cards.

Its battery life isn’t up to much, either. We asked it to play music non-stop and it managed eight hours of battery life but music stopped after six hours. You can put the SGH-F300 into a supplied leather-look flip case that houses a second battery. This will extend life, but inevitably you lose the sleek, thin, overall look of the device.

The third problem as far as music playing is concerned is the touch-based control pad. We found it OK to start and stop music and flick between tracks, but for some of the other controls you need to run a fingertip along the pad. Volume changes are achieved in this way, for example. It took a bit of getting used to.

On the phone side of things the SGH-F300 is hampered by an absolutely tiny screen: just 33mm wide and 13mm tall. If you are used to even the smallest of mobile phone screens this will still feel minute.

The good news is that making voice calls is no problem and if you delve into what the phone has to offer there are plenty of features here. For example, you get a calendar, to-do list, alarm, timer and currency converter. There’s a WAP browser too, and this defaults to the large display on the music player side rather than trying to squeeze content into the tiny phone side display.

Naturally enough there is a camera, which shoots stills at resolutions up to 2 megapixels. You can use the large screen on the music player side as your viewfinder. And Samsung bulks out the multimedia capability with an FM radio.

Company: Samsung

Contact: 01932 455 000

Designing a device that is a mobile phone on one side and a music player on the other is a clever wheeze, and had Samsung made it work properly the SGH-F300 could well have been a winner. But there are too many flaws for us to really like this hybrid device.