Samsung bills the B3310 as a 'compact socialiser', although we prefer to think of it as a gregarious dwarf. Offering GPRS, Edge and Bluetooth connectivity, a choice of several bright colours, and a very low price point, this phone is well and truly aimed at the teenage market. You can pick it up for free on a £10-per-month, 24-month contract, for £60 on a pay-as-you-go deal, or for about £90 SIM-free.
The B3310 manages to pack an impressive range of features into its tiny body. Despite measuring only 54 by 91 by 17mm, it offers a pull-out, full Qwerty keyboard, a 2-megapixel camera with video-recording capability, and a built-in FM radio. There's also a microSD slot hidden under the battery, so you can expand the phone's 40MB of on-board storage.
Physically, the B3310's most distinctive feature is that the number keys are placed down the left-hand side of the phone's front. The idea is that, when you pull out the Qwerty keyboard and turn the phone on its side, the number keys are where you'd expect them to be on a computer keyboard. It's a good idea, but it quickly becomes frustrating when you're trying to dial the number of your local Chinese takeaway vendor in a hurry, and the glossy finish on the keys makes it tricky to identify symbols.
As for the pull-out keyboard, the keys themselves are extremely small. Although typing on the keyboard is far from impossible, it could hardly be called comfortable. The spacebar is tiny too, which means texting on the B3310 is a halting affair -- not ideal on a phone designed for keeping friends in the loop.
The B3310 doesn't exactly look like the classiest piece of kit on the market but, despite its cheap appearance, we had no issues with its build quality. Although entirely plastic, the phone's casing is solid enough, and it feels unlikely to fall apart after a few accidental drops.
The B3310 features an on-board music player, but forces you to use the headphones that come bundled with the handset -- with no 3.5mm socket, using your own pair is out of the question. Unsurprisingly, the bundled set aren't particularly comfortable and don't sound great, which seriously hampers the B3310's capability as a music phone.
This phone puts a serious emphasis on social-networking. The home screen features direct links to Facebook and MySpace, which is useful for keeping your status updated on the move, although we'd question the relevance of the MySpace link nowadays. Although MySpace is still popular with a younger audience, this link will be a useless feature that simply takes up space on the home screen for many people.
There's a built-in Web browser but, as the B3310 lacks 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, surfing the Internet is an unbearably slow experience. The social-media functions fare marginally better, as they've been streamlined to consume less data, but be aware that any particularly speedy browsing will be out of the question.
Converse with clarity
The B3310's call quality is solid, with conversations coming through very clearly. Its battery life is impressive too. With 5 hours of call time and over a week of standby time, you're unlikely to be frantically hunting for your charger every few days.
The camera has a maximum resolution of 1,600x1,200 pixels, and doesn't produce great-quality photos, but the software is pleasingly fast when shooting both still images and videos. It'll serve you well if your priority is capturing the moment, rather than producing images with top-notch quality.
It's hard to hate the Samsung B3310 too much, since it packs an impressive range of features into a highly affordable package. Nevertheless, the uncomfortable keyboard and some menu-navigation niggles will undoubtedly start to grate with extended use.
Edited by Charles Kloet