The Samsung F210 is essentially the follow up to the Samsung Blush. Its tall and slim design makes it really stand out, even among fashion phones, and means that it looks more like a music player than a normal mobile.
Our handset was supplied by Carphone Warehouse, where you can pick it up for free on contact or from £130 on pay as you go.
Like the Samsung Blush, the F201 is aimed at fashionistas and shares that model's tall and thin design. To open the phone, you push the top half of the handset to the left, the screen then automatically swivels into place and reveals the keypad hiding beneath. The keypad may be small, but the keys are reasonably well spaced so texting isn't too much of a problem once you get use to its long and narrow dimensions.
Samsung isn't just aiming this phone at fashion victims -- it's also gunning for music lovers too. As a result it has a rather large 1GB helping of memory for storing your tunes. Unlike the Blush, this can be further bulked up using microSD cards that slot in under the battery cover. The phone will accept cards up to 2GB in size, giving you a total storage space of 3GB.
The music player isn't the easiest to use, but it does support common formats such as MP3, AAC and WMA and the sound quality is top class. The headphones aren't half bad either.
They clip onto the bottom of the phone and have a wire loop so when they're attached you can wear the phone like a pendant. With the headphones in place you can also make use of the built-in FM tuner.
The phone's call quality was very good with speech sounding crisp and clean. It also does a good job of holding on to weaker mobile signals.
The main problem with the F210 is that it's just too fiddly to use. In part, this is due to the small screen. It's extremely narrow and although Samsung has redesigned the main menu to make it fit more comfortably on the display, the sub-menus haven't been given the same treatment.
The result is that you're presented with scrolling text entries because the screen can't display enough characters at one time. In fact, the small display adversely affects pretty much every area of the phone including the WAP browser, calendar, contacts book and even the music player.
We're also not fans of the scroll wheel. It should have been one of the phone's major selling points, but that's not the case because it's been so poorly implemented. The problem is that it's just so sluggish to use. Moving through menu lists using the rotating action of the wheel is so slow that you'll just give up and end up using it as a standard directional pad instead.
The battery life isn't so hot either. The battery has enough juice to provide a tad under 3 hours 30 minutes of talk time, which is pretty poor for a handset with relatively basic features.
We can't say we're big fans of the F210. The unusual shape may make it appealing to some, especially as it can be worn as a pendant when the headphones are clipped to the bottom. However, we just found that the small screen and fiddly controls made it a chore to use. If we were on the look out for a fashion phone, it would certainly be towards the bottom of our list. The handset is available from Carphone Warehouse for free on selected contracts or from £130 on pay as you go.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire