The actual dimensions of the P300 are 88 x 55 x 9mm (HxWxD), while it weighs in at a waif like 81g. Strangely it doesn’t feel that light in your hand, or in fact in your pocket. That said, the P300 spent most of its time encased in the supplied leather wallet. The wallet does add some size and weight, but it does improve the aesthetics of the phone. More importantly though, the leather wallet is also an extended battery. With the P300 snugly secured in the battery wallet the battery life is truly superb – I managed to get almost 10 days on a single charge, including almost two hours of talk time.
When it comes to design, I can’t help but think that the P300 looks like a pocket calculator – an opinion that was shared by many people who saw it. But it’s the button layout that’s the real issue. The number pad only has three rows as opposed to the more traditional four (not counting soft keys and navigation buttons), but to make up for this Samsung has squeezed five buttons per row as opposed to the usual three. As a result the 0 button isn’t at the bottom where it should be, instead it’s to the right of the 9 button. This makes dialling numbers a little confusing at first, while writing text messages can be downright annoying if you’re using T9. Add to this the fact that the hash button is now next to the 7 button and the star button is next to the 4 button, and you’ll soon realise that using this phone intuitively is going to take some time. The OK button has also been moved – usually this is located at the centre of the four-way navigation pad, but now it’s next to the pad, again making things far less intuitive than they should be.
There’s a dedicated MP3 button that launches the media player, which is a little bizarre considering that there’s no memory card slot in the P300. There is a generous 80MB of internal memory, but that’s nowhere near enough to make the P300 a viable music playback device. Also, there’s no standard headphone jack, meaning that you can only use the supplied handsfree set, which doesn’t offer the best in audio quality. One way around this would have been to have a headphone jack on the microphone section of the handsfree set, but Samsung has missed this opportunity.
There’s a 1.3-megapixel camera built-in to the P300, which is again a little disappointing compared to the 2-megapixel camera seen in the D600. The results from the camera were variable, and definitely no match for my D600, even though that phone is almost a year old now. The P300 is also only Tri-band compared to the D600 which supports quad-band GSM.
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