Fewer and fewer phones suffer by offering style over substance these days, because it's just so easy to pack advanced functionality into affordable devices. The Tocco Icon is part of Samsung's series of budget touchscreen phones, originally targeted at those who wanted a superficially iPhone-like experience without the high cost. However, they also left out some of the modern touchscreen phone's best bits. What's changed since the original Tocco's arrival in 2008? Not much apparently, if the Tocco Icon is anything to go by.
The Samsung Tocco Icon continues the trend set by previous Tocco handsets. It's fairly affordable, uses feature phone (as opposed to smartphone) software and looks pretty good for a budget device. Its shiny bits are all for show though. The glossy back and chrome and metallic sides are all plastic. No part of the phone's exterior is made of metal, so if you're looking for something that feels snazzy, as well as looking somewhat dapper, this isn't it.
Build quality is decent though. The back is a full-length battery cover that clips into the main body, which looks slick enough. And while the mix of chromed and non-chromed side elements could do with some simplifying for style's sake, the Tocco Icon is better looking than most bottom-rung smartphones. Part of this is down to the skinny screen. At 240x400 pixels it's longer than the 240x320 pixel screens of the cheapest Androids, and hence appears more elegant. A little more slim and svelte like the HTC Legend than dumpy (if cute) Samsung Galaxy Europa.
On-body connectivity is standard entry-level fare. There are microUSB and 3.5mmm headphone inputs on the top - the USB in particular classed-up a notch with a plastic sliding cover. Volume controls sit on the right edge while the microSD slot lives on the left edge.
At 12.4mm thick, the Samsung Tocco Icon isn't remarkably thin by current standards, but this device relies as much on impressions as actualities. Like the Tocco Lite before it, the Icon knows how to fool passing bystanders into thinking it might be more expensive than it is.
It's not all surface-level sheen though. The Tocco Icon improves on 2009's Lite model with Wi-Fi and a capacitive, rather than resistive, touchscreen. Is this enough to earn the Icon a place along 2011's phone catwalk though?