It's always embarrassing when you're a kid and your dad tries to pull off some old-school dance moves. It usually begins and ends the same way: your dad, flailing about like Mr Blobby and you left feeling upset. Enter the Samsung F490: this is a phone that wants to be cool but will it get its groove on dad-style? It's currently available to buy from Vodafone on a monthly contract.
There's no denying that touchscreen phones are sexy, but the excitement of seeing it for the first time starts to fade away when you pick it up. Unlike the iPhone -- a handset that feels like it's been crafted using premium materials -- the F490 feels too light and less like something that could survive an encounter with a two-year-old.
Glossy surfaces might look good in airports but the F490's reflective plastic screen makes it difficult to see in sunny conditions. We also found that you have to push the screen harder than you would the iPhone's to compose text messages or navigate the menu system, which is disappointing.
Although the F490's user interface -- also used on the Samsung F700 -- looks good, it's not as snappy to use as the iPhone's or Nokia N95's, for example. Scrolling through lists, in particular, takes some getting used to because you have to brush the screen up and down in a certain way: it just doesn't have much pizazz.
This lack of excitement is reflected in the F490's applications, too. The Web browser offers a basic browsing experience compared to that of the iPhone, and wastes a high-speed connection due to its lack of functionality. Even when we tried a third-party browser, the clunky touchscreen made it less enjoyable to use.