Samsung's Corby line-up of phones offer good looks and decent UI all linked together by affordable price-tags. The Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 with its full qwerty keyboard is a Corby phone aimed at users who are more into messaging and don't want to spend too much.

Samsung CorbyTXT B3210: Features

Since the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 is a budget phone, you shouldn't expect too much out of it in terms of features. It has Bluetooth but doesn't support Wi-Fi or 3G and doesn't allow for GPS. It does however have a ubiquitous microUSB port for charging the phone or connecting it to the PC.

A great addition is the 3.5mm jack for headphones which allows you to plug in your favorite pair. Unlike other Corby phones, the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 does not have a touchscreen; its display is a 2.2 inch TFT screen capable of displaying a resolution of 220x176 and 256K colours. It only has 50MB of internal memory but supports microSD cards up to 8GB. It also has a 2MP camera with no flash.

The Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 sports a simple UI with a nifty shortcuts widget embedded on the homescreen that lets you access the inbuilt Orkut, Facebook and MySpace social applications and other regular applications including the music player, calendar and alarm clock.

Samsung CorbyTXT B3210: Design & Usability

It would be very easy to mistake the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 for a Blackberry phone. However, the CorbyTXT is narrower than most Blackberry phones and as a result its keyboard is also smaller. My overall experience using the keyboard was disappointing. First, the keys are a bit too cramped but the more glaring problem is that the keys uniformly require a harder press than what I am used to when quickly typing out a message.

As a result most of the words we were typing were missing alphabets. Also, the D-pad is similarly shackled and requires extra effort which slows down navigation. The right and left menu keys also suffer from the same problem. Thankfully, the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 has a simple UI that is easy to use. Its main menu follows a grid layout and most applications and sub-menus can be easily accessed. Plus, the phone has a good battery and it went two days of regular usage without charging.

The Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 is light, has a slim profile and is only slightly wider than most candybar phones. The model we received from Samsung was black with bright yellow elements and an entirely yellow back. Although we am not a fan of flashy looking phones, we must admit the CorbyTXT looks pretty good.

However, it also uses a lot of glossy black plastic, which takes away from the overall look. The phones display is also not very good even for a budget phone. The viewing angles are particularly poor and there is often a very clear colour shift at certain angles. The Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 phone's call quality was also average as the person on the other end could hear my voice echoing.

Samsung CorbyTXT B3210: Multimedia

For a budget phone, the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 offers good multimedia performance. Yes, the screen doesn't offer much scope for good video playback but the music playback is quite good. The music player is very basic and offers only a few sound customization options but at default it sounds very good with the audio coming across clear and loud. The external speaker is also very loud. The phone also has an FM radio with auto-tune and presets. The FM reception was stable and the audio quality was loud and clear.

The 2Mp camera performs surprisingly well for shooting casual photos. The images we shot missed out on details but otherwise looked good with minimal noise or colour issues. And even without a flash, the camera managed to perform passably in low light conditions. The video recording, on the other hand, was predictably poor. Also, although the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 came with a bunch of games, most of them were trial versions and we only came across a Sudoku game that was the full version.

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Samsung CorbyTXT B3210: Specs

  • Display: 2.2in TFT, 256K colours, 176x144 pixels
  • full QWERTY keyboard
  • Internal: 40MB
  • Card slot: microSD (TransFlash) up to 8GB
  • 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • 2Mp, 1600x1200 pixels
  • Video
  • Alert types: Vibration
  • Downloadable polyphonic/MP3 ringtones
  • Speakerphone
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 2x59.6x12.9mm
  • 94g
  • Li-Ion 800 mAh
  • MP3/AAC/WMA player
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32-48kbps
  • HSCSD
  • EDGE: Class 10, 236.8kbps
  • 3G
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
  • USB 2.0
  • Display: 2.2in TFT, 256K colours, 176x144 pixels
  • full QWERTY keyboard
  • Internal: 40MB
  • Card slot: microSD (TransFlash) up to 8GB
  • 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • 2Mp, 1600x1200 pixels
  • Video
  • Alert types: Vibration
  • Downloadable polyphonic/MP3 ringtones
  • Speakerphone
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 2x59.6x12.9mm
  • 94g
  • Li-Ion 800 mAh
  • MP3/AAC/WMA player
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32-48kbps
  • HSCSD
  • EDGE: Class 10, 236.8kbps
  • 3G
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
  • USB 2.0

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for an affordable phone that takes a page out of the Blackberry handbook and doesn't compromise on multimedia performance, the Samsung CorbyTXT B3210 is a good choice. But even with its price-tag of around £140, there is plenty that the B3210 could have done better including a better keyboard, hardware navigation and screen.

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