Smart phones come in many different forms and whilst our last review was of the superb Blackberry Storm 2, this time round we thought we'd take a look at a budget smart phone so we've chosen the Samsung Tocco Lite S5230
We first became aware of the Tocco Lite when a work colleague got one on contract, he absolutely hated it and within a few weeks he'd sold it and gone back to using his old nokia phone with his new contract provider. Whilst looking round Ebay for a good deal on a Tocco Lite it became apparent that some people just couldn't get on with this phone whilst others raved about it. We wanted to know just what it was that had people so divided about the Tocco Lite so we bought one to try!.
The Tocco Lite we bought was silver in colour, brand new in the box and locked to Vodafone. As we already had a Vodafone PAYG Simcard left over from our Blackberry review it was easier to use the remaining credit on that than it was to top up a new simcard so we kept the new simcard and used our old one instead. Our first impression of the phone was that Samsung had a bit of a winner at the budget end of the smart phone market. The Tocco Lite is a really nice phone, it has a nice touch screen with a 3 inch display, a 3.2 megapixel camera with face recognition and video capture, an mp3 player and a great web browser!. I'm not really sure what else you could want in a mobile phone!.
As usual we look for ease of use and I think this is where some people fall out with the Tocco Lite, specially if they are switching from a more 'standard' mobile phone like a Nokia. The touch screen menu's on the Tocco Lite can be a little tricky to come to terms with. We found the key to using the Tocco Lite was to simply use it as you would the mouse pad on a laptop. The phones menu's are easy enough to navigate and you can be adding numbers to a phone book or taking picture or video in seconds. What's not so easy is the side menu. You can actually pull out the side menu and scroll down it just like you can on an I-Phone 3GS and from this side menu you can easily access the internet, launch your mp3 player or any other application you choose to have on your phone. You can also 'drag and drop' these apps onto the phones desktop which is why we suggest treating it as you would a mouse pad on a laptop. Once you get over this and get into it, the Tocco Lite becomes a cracking little phone!.
As with most mobile phones these days, the Samsung Tocco Lite has some nice little features, there is a conveniently placed lock on the side of the phone, very useful if the phone is going to be in your pocket for any length of time!. The camera has a mirror right under the lens so when taking pictures of yourself, you don't have to guess anymore!.
Phone calls and the phone book are really easy to access once you've mastered the touch screen and internet browsing is far far easier than on a standard mobile phone. Tilting the Tocco Lite sideways gives a much better view of internet pages and the touch screen keyboard is great for typing, far far better than using standard mobile phone keys.
As with every mobile phone, if you want to use the music player you have to expand the memory and the Samsung Tocco Lite has a micro sd slot located underneath the simcard, it's easy to plug in a Micro SD Card and once you have, you can store a lot more music and pictures than you can with the standard memory. With a headset and an extra memory card we doubt you would need an Ipod!.
Battery strength on the Tocco Lite is good, one charge generally lasts several days under regular use and spare batteries are cheap enough if you don't buy them from the local mobile phone shop. The same goes for a protective leather case to keep your phone in good condition, we picked up a nice Leather Case off Ebay for £1.85, this was from a UK seller and it was postage free!, for that price the leather case is well worth having!.
Moving music and pictures onto and a Tocco Lite is easy enough with the use of a data cable and of course you have the advantage of being able to charge your phone this way too. We did find the Samsung software a little difficult to use at first but like most software packages, a little familiarity goes a long way and spending some time working things out will make life a lot easier.
In conclusion, although some people find the Samsung Tocco Lite S5230 difficult to use but we think this is nonsense. Once mastered, the Tocco Lite actually becomes a fantastic mobile phone with a lot of features you'd expect to find on a top of the range smart phone. We probably use mobile phones more for mobile internet these days and the Tocco Lite is excellent for this, so much so that it's now taken over the Nokia N95 as our standard take anywhere mobile phone. If you are looking for a cheap and feature packed phone, this Samsung phone is a cracker!.