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Samsung UltraTouch S8300

The main screen features the familiar TouchWiz UI interface and it also has a toolbar with various mobile widgets for you to customise the user interface – clock, calendar, photo album, games, profile, favourites, music player, memo pad etc. You can choose to add the mobile widgets and even move them on or off the toolbar or to the idle screen.

Pressing the menu icon on the main screen brings up the main menu which comprised of Call log, Google, Music, Browser, Messages, My files, Organizer, Camera, Photo Browser, Applications, Alarms and Settings. The Google option offers Search, Mail and Map.

Images looked sharp on the S8300 when we viewed some high resolution images and videos. For videos viewing, you can watch in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Simply tilt the phone horizontally and the display will automatically switch to landscape. The video controls are at the bottom of the screen which you can access by pressing with your finger – skip to previous video/rewind, play/pause, skip to next video/fast forward and menu option. Unfortunately, there is no slider on the time line for fast forward or rewind; you have to press and hold the controls onscreen.

We noted that when you skip to next or previous videos, the time line may portray an inaccurate length of the video. Like the full length movie, Kung Fu Panda (as shown above), the time line shows 1min 15sec as the entire length of the movie instead of 1hr 31min 59sec. (The 1min 15 sec time actually belongs to a previous video)

And when you watched past the limit at 1min 15sec, you can no longer rewind or fast forward. You can skip to previous or next video though. Probably a firmware upgrade would help to fix this minor issue.

On top of that, some DIVX videos (especially the ones coded in the older v3.11 codec) are unable to play on the S8300 even though the phone supports the format. Do take note of this as you may have to encode your movies with the latest DIVX codec for the phone to play properly.

The music player is decent and the volume can go up to a maximum of 14 notch, which is loud enough even as a ring tone.

Samsung has included a Google shortcut on the main menu for you to access Google search, mail and maps. The Google Maps is handy for finding your current GPS location. When you opened the application, the Google Map will automatically trigger the phone’s GPS function and depending on your location, it will show you where you are within few minutes. However, do note that the Google Map application requires downloading some data via the service provider (if you are not using a HSDPA sim card).

The GPS settings are located in the phone settings rather than from a quick access icon on the main menu. From the settings, you can find out the exact Latitude and Longtitude as well as check the satellite status.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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