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Samsung Tocco review | Smartphone features

Published on: Sunday, June 7th 2009                   Written by: Casper van der Kaaij - Photography by: Mark Peters

Samsung Tocco widgets

Samsung Tocco widgets

Samsung S8300 widgets bar

The menu of the Samsung UltraTouch is accessible via the menu button on the touchscreen. The main menu features a 'Widgets' bar, as we are already familiar with from the latest Samsung mobile phones. Some adjustments have been made; you can now press anywhere on the screen to open the widget bar. This also causes the widget bar to open unintentionally, however, for example when you try to click on a missed call. This also makes the main screen somewhat larger than you'd expect at first, since you can scroll on through it and add more Widgets. The menu itself comprises of twelve icons. In addition to the standard functions, a Google menu has been added in order to get to Google Maps, Google Mail or the search tool quickly.

Samsung Tocco menu

Samsung Tocco menu

Main menu of the Samsung Ultra Touch

The menu looks similar to those of the Samsung Pixon and Samsung F480 mobile phones. Compared to the F480, the Tocco's menu is smoother and scrolling is easier. Still, I get the feeling the menu also stutters more, although this could also be just the test sample I am using. Loading and scrolling through pictures is not entirely flawless. The phone is rather slow and all you get to see at times is a vague sample. You can also rotate the phone to scroll through the pictures, however; this does not work comfortably. You go through the pictures far too fast and stopping is difficult. The motion sensor seems to lack sensitivity in this case.

 

Samsung Tocco review

Samsung media player

T he multi-media player of the Tocco is neat and straightforward; the large icons are simple to use. You also have a timeline at your disposal. If you slide your finger along it, you can wind a song forward. In case a CD cover is available, it will be displayed. Furthermore, the music player can also stay active in the background. The MP3 player Widget is then automatically placed on the main screen. The built-in speaker is excellent, although several high tones are lacking, as usual. Playing video files is also fine, even DivX. If you put an AVI file on the memory card, you will be able to watch a movie on the go. The reproduction will automatically change to full screen upon rotating the phone, which always worked fine in practice. Furthermore, the keys will lock automatically and the movie keeps on being displayed when the phone is closed.

 

Samsung Tocco camera

Samsung Tocco camera

8 Megapixel digital camera

The built-in 8.0 Megapixel digital camera enables you to take high resolution pictures with the Samsung Tocco. I am curious to find out how the Tocco camera application works in practice, since I had such a positive experience with that of the Samsung Pixon when it comes to speed and user-friendliness. Startup of the camera happens through the menu or the shortcut on the right side. The application starts up reasonably fast, although it requires pressing the shortcut for awhile.

Photographing with the Samsung S8300

Photographing with the Samsung S8300

Shooting macro pictures

During picture-taking, the entire screen serves as a viewfinder, apart from two bars on the side to adjust the following settings: activate and deactivate flash, switch to camcorder, check captured pictures and go to settings menu. The capture mode is found in the settings menu. If this mode is changed, for example to macro mode; you have to confirm this choice. If the last picture is taken in macro mode, the application will remain in this mode and remember it even when it is reopened. However, this also causes a picture to be taken in macro accidently. Unfortunately, you will not be warned by an icon, it's only when you view the picture on the screen after capturing it, or even more disappointing, at home on the computer screen.

 

Samsung camera settings

Samsung camera settings

Adjust ISO values on the Samsung UltraTouch

Furthermore; the settings menu contains the resolution, effects, white balance, ISO values and the quality. You can adjust ISO sensitivities up to ISO 1600. However; high ISO values do generate noise quickly. I would suggest only using high ISO values if you insist on taking a picture in dimly lit circumstances. There is a dual LED flash available in cases like this. The flash is pretty good. It is bright but does not cause overexposed pictures, as we come across frequently, when shooting in the dark. Even if you shoot your hand in pitch-dark, it is captured fine.

Samsung S8300 photo quality

Samsung S8300 photo quality

Samsung Tocco picture quality

The quality of the pictures is very good indeed. One thing I've noticed is that subjects captured from a distance more than 10 meters turn out less sharp, however, this may also be caused by the inaccuracy of focusing. Lastly, the Smileshot function is less accurate on the Samsung Tocco, whereas I loved the function on the Samsung Pixon. The Pixon recognizes a mouth, frames it and waits for a full smile before taking the picture. The Tocco on the other hand, did frame it at times, but proved to capture just as easily when there wasn’t a smile in sight. Frustrating; after all you did not just activate the Smileshot function for fun; it was for a purpose!

 
 
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