It can be rather difficult for a handset maker to produce something that appeals to young people. Do it wrong, as most companies do, and it all looks incredibly patronising and uncool.
Samsung, fortunately, seems to be pretty good at appealing to everyone. The Genio is a colourful number, with changeable rear covers and a selection supplied in the box. From the off, it’s already got the looks – but what about when you switch it on?
The 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen shows off Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface and does so with a QVGA-resolution.
Compared to its higher-end models, this does cut the quality of icons and images – but not the overall layout. You still have the easily accessible on-screen shortcuts to the dialer, phonebook and messaging application, plus access to a range of widgets that sit on any one of three standby screens.
As is customary these days, the Genio Touch has access to Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Google and YouTube. It’s obviously important to point out that with all of these online services, you’ll need to be on a suitable tariff that isn’t going to land you with a bill for hundreds, or thousands, of pounds.
There’s no Wi-Fi or 3G either, but support for EDGE should keep things chugging along nicely, network permitting.
Besides the battery covers, you can also customise the phone with different colours and fonts, or go for the crazy cartoon theme, which really jazzes up the menus.
When the screen is locked, you can use gestures to unlock, make a call to a speed-dial entry or fire up an application. Another cool feature allows you to scroll through frequently used contacts by photo.
Throw in a selection of cool ring tones and the Genio Touch isn’t going to disappoint anyone that takes ownership of it.
The 2-megapixel camera is a bit of a shame, and video recording maxes out at 15 frames per second in QVGA-resolution, but the media player performs well and even plays a number of video formats.
The battery promises up to nine hours of talktime, or 730 hours standby. Even a quarter of that would be more than ample in real-life conditions. In fact, the only thing that might make it seem uncool is the fact that someone like me loved it – so perhaps I should say I hated it instead?
At the low-end of the market, LG and Samsung are battling it out with a range of small, sexy and pretty well featured touchscreen devices. Samsung has come up with the Genio Touch (a Genio Qwerty offers up a more traditional phone experience with a keyboard) that uses its popular TouchWiz user interface, with a few tweaks to make it ‘yoof-friendly’. There’s a 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen and amazing battery life, as well as customisable themes, fonts and changeable battery covers. The Genio Touch isn’t as cheap as the Alcatel OT-708 but it does offer up more.