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Mobile phones have become fashion icons, there’s no doubt about that. No longer is your phone simply a communication tool, now it’s as important as the suit on your back or the watch on your wrist. After all, there’s no point strapping the latest Tag Heuer to your arm and then pulling out a three year old, brick like mobile – that’s definitely not creating the right image now is it.
Mobile phone manufacturers have made the most of this somewhat sad social evolution, by creating smaller, sleeker and more stylish phones that appeal to our vanity. Can you remember the very first Motorola StarTac? It cost £1,400 and it wasn’t even that small. But despite the exorbitant price, fashion victims rushed out in droves to purchase the StarTac, behaviour that we saw repeated last year with Nokia’s 8800.
But even if you can’t afford to spend silly money on a phone, manufacturers still want you to use their particular hardware, and will do their best to make their particular handset look more sleek and stylish than the competition. Motorola tried this with the PEBL and now Samsung is trying to make waves with its new SGH-P300.
There’s no denying that the P300 is very slim and light, but I’m not sure I agree with Samsung’s website which states “At only 9mm, it is as thin as a credit card”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any credit cards that are 9mm thick – if I did I’d have a hell of a time fitting my wallet in my pocket. Perhaps what Samsung meant was that the P300 is the same height and width as a credit card – exactly the same in fact.
The P300 definitely feels well made – the front fascia and rear battery panel are brushed steel, while the plastics employed feel equally robust. It has the “cold to the touch” quality feel, that no doubt helped sales of the Nokia 8800 as well. But unlike Nokia’s steel encased fashion icon, and Samsungs own superb D600, the P300 isn’t comfortable to hold. You see, quoting the same dimensions as a credit card may sound good on paper, and may even have been good in practice when the Motorola StarTac was around, but by today’s standards the width of a credit card is actually quite large for a mobile phone. Also, the angular design of the phone means that it’s hard to hold it against your head for an extended period of time.