Not to be defeated, the company is back with the Tocco, a new touchscreen handset that's available at Carphone Warehouse for free on a monthly contract or for around £350 SIM-free. It boasts a wealth of cool features and a completely redesigned user interface called TouchWiz. Is it a case of third time lucky for Samsung?
Some of the style and panache of Samsung's Armani phone has obviously rubbed off on the Tocco, as the two look remarkably similar. Like the Armani, the front of the handset is dominated by the large touchscreen, with only three physical buttons -- call answer, call end and main menu -- to break up the clean lines.
We've criticised Samsung's touchscreen phones in the past for their drab, monochrome-style interfaces, but the new TouchWiz interface is a breath of fresh air in comparison. It's faster and more responsive and also has adjustable haptic feedback where the phone vibrates slightly when you touch menus or icons.
The interface looks great on the 71mm (2.8-inch) display and features a cleaner layout with more colourful icons. We also really like the slick animations when you move between screens. For example, when you switch from the main menu to the new widgets screen, the display revolves with a pleasing 3D animation.
This new widgets screen is probably the most innovative aspect of the handset. It features a dock on the left-hand edge from where you can drag various applications on to your home screen to personalise it. Widgets range from a music player to digital and analogue clocks, as well as games and a picture viewer. Up to seven widgets can sit on the home screen at any one time. We love it because it provides a neat way of grouping together the stuff that you want to access most often.
There's plenty more to like about the Tocco. It supports HSDPA so you get fast Web access at speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and there are dual cameras for video calling. The main camera is also very impressive. It's a 5-megapixel model and besides autofocus and an LED photo light, it has face detection and smile detection. The latter automatically takes a picture when it spots a grinning mug in the shot. Add in extras like an FM tuner, RSS reader and 223MB of onboard memory and microSD card slot and you've got a feature packed handset.