Samsung often wows us with its mobile screens, as it did with the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Wave. Predictably, the Tocco Icon doesn’t pull-off such a feat. It uses a TFT LCD display with a 240×400 pixel display. This gives it a dpi pixel density rating of 143, which is on-par with 2.8in 240×320 rivals like the original HTC Wildfire.
A close-up shot of the Tocco Icon’s 143dpi screen
It’s not enough to make text look super-sharp, but you’ll struggle to find a touchscreen phone with a higher pixel density at this price. The level of brightness on offer isn’t quite enough to make the screen pop when used outside in bright sunlight, but for all other uses it’ll more than suffice. Angled viewing sets off significant colour shift, but there’s thankfully minimal contrast shift, which we find more distracting than the relatively innocuous colour shifting.
It won’t affect most people’s use of the Samsung Tocco Icon anyway, because it’s not geared towards applications that might expose it, like movie-watching. Higher up the price ladder Samsung produces phones that lead their respective classes on video playback, like the Galaxy S2 and Wave II, but this phone only offers the basic codec compatibilities of MP4, H.263 and H.264. If you have a library of DivX movies you want to watch on-the-go, you’d have to transcode them. Oh, and buy a memory card because the 30MB of internal memory really won’t go far.
There’s a 3.2-megapixel sensor on the glossy black. Once again, its housing is more attractive than the most phone cameras at this price, but performance doesn’t raise above the disappointing norm.
There’s no flash and no autofocus. The latter means you have no control over your subject, making it impossible to keep close-up objects in focus. There are eleven scene modes available to let you compensate for low-light conditions a tad, but once night time hits, the limited usefulness of the Tocco Icon’s snapper ebbs away altogether. In optimum conditions, pictures may look reasonable to an untrained eye – but zoom in to pixel-level and you’ll see that the sensor isn’t great at picking up fine detail. As with any low-end, fixed-focus phone camera, keep your expectations low.
The fixed focus makes close-up shots impossible
The Samsung Tocco Icon has set itself a difficult task. It’s a feature phone with some smartphone-like features, but pushes close to the price boundary of the cheapest Android devices. On a pure surface, it’s one of the most convincing smartphone imitators yet, with a pretty attractive design and interface. However, the capacitive screen is disappointingly inaccurate in use and its apps and games potential is woeful even by the standards of feature phones.
The Samsung Tocco Icon looks better than many of its price rivals, but in spite of pumping Wi-Fi into this latest model, the Tocco series is in danger of becoming irrelevant. Its price is perilously close to that of perfectly good low-end smartphones, and when the capacitive touchscreen isn’t much fun to use in operation here, we suggest you seriously consider one of those models. Unless the Tocco’s shiny black ‘n’ silver look already has you transfixed.