The Samsung Lucido S7220 doesn't make any massive mistakes, but it doesn't inspire us with thrilling successes either. It's perfectly adequate as an average-looking phone that's straightforward to use and has a good range of features.
It won't break the bank either -- the Lucido is available from free on contract for £35 per month, or for £140 SIM-free.
Easy to use, but ugly
Samsung has scored points with user interfaces on some of its phones -- for example, the Samsung i8910 HD does a fantastic job of polishing up the touchscreen version of the Symbian S60 operating system. But the UI on the Lucido felt dated and slightly geeky to us, like a pre-production version. Icons, for example, were old-fashioned and hard to understand in some places. We'd prefer to see text for commands such as 'save', rather than what we're pretty sure is an obscure icon of a 3.5-inch floppy disk. A floppy disk, for heaven's sake, which no one under the age of 20 is going to recognise!
On the other hand, we liked that menu options had keyboard shortcuts, which made navigating around easy and quick. Overall, the Lucido's not hard to use, it's just not going to win any prizes for good UI design.
We had been excited about the Lucido since we started seeing the press photos, but we didn't find it as attractive in person. It wasn't as thin as we expected, and the grey colour and red stripe didn't turn us on. But it is very resistant to fingerprints, so it could be a decent choice if you hate the current trend of super-glossy phones, such as the Nokia 6700 Classic. The buttons are fairly big, but we didn't think there was enough separation between them -- especially between the context-sensitive buttons and the call buttons -- so they weren't as easy to press as they look.
There aren't many innovations in the Lucido, but it does have a wide range of features. It has a 5-megapixel camera with an LED photo light, and we were impressed with its vibrant colour reproduction, although our photos were rather noisy, even in bright light. In darker conditions, the LED photo light did a fair job of illuminating our shots. But we found we had to keep a very steady hand when snapping to avoid blurry photos.
Videos looked fantastic while we were filming, thanks to the Lucido's beautifully vibrant AMOLED screen, but they were disappointing to watch afterwards. They were heavily compressed and jerky, and so they wouldn't be much use for capturing a moment.
There's only 110MB on board to store your snaps, but there's a microSD card slot so you can expand it by up to 8GB.
Missing a trick
We hit another roadblock when we tried out the built-in GPS. The GPS worked fine, but our sample handset didn't come with an application to enjoy it with -- we had to download and install Google Maps ourselves, and then the phone popped the Java app into the Games folder. It's fantastic to see GPS on a less expensive phone, but this feature should be front-and-centre in the menu, so you don't have to be tech-savvy to get it up and running.