Samsung S7350 Ultra s review: Sliding into place
Samsung S7350 Ultra s 360-degree spin
Measuring 109 x 50.3 x 12.6 mm, the Samsung S7350 is pretty slim and quite compact for a slider. It's easily pocketable and handles extra comfortably.
The weight of 110 g is somewhat of a different story as it doesn't exactly make the featherweight category. It does however give the phone a nice and solid feel which some users are sure to appreciate.
Design and construction
The S7350 Ultra s freshens up the classical Samsung slider styling with the metallic frame around the display that appears on the company's recent models. Overall, the S7350 Ultra s is a neat and unobtrusive handset, which won't conquer your heart straight away but sure deserves praise for the friendly handling.
The front panel is mostly taken by the 2.6" 16M-color WQVGA display. Unlike its Ultra b sibling, the Samsung S7350 Ultra s has a TFT screen and not AMOLED. This means that the contrast offered by the S7350 is not as impressive. But the extra size and pixels make the 2.6" S7350 Ultra s unit a better choice than the smaller screen on its bar-shaped counterpart.
Sunlight legibility though is yet again far from convincing, making the phone a little uncomfortable to work with on a bright sunny day.
The display is surrounded by a brushed metal frame, which resembles the same design element in Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH. You can easily see that these two have one and the same design background.
There are two elements of interest above the display - the video-call camera on the left and the earpiece in the middle.
At the other end of the screen is the D-pad, surrounded by the four essential controls. The two soft keys are on top, the Call and End keys below them.
The keys are all large enough and pretty comfortable and the D-pad also has an ample and tactile confirming center. The sides are somewhat thin but projecting enough so you can count on precise and comfortable direction presses.
The left side of the handset features the volume rocker at about middle height and the lanyard eyelet, which is placed right below it. To attach the actual neck or wrist strap you need to get the battery cover off.
The camera key and the microUSB port are on the right side of Samsung S7350 Ultra s. The standard port and the small plastic lid that keeps dirt and dust away earn a point for the S7350.
The top of the handset is perfectly plain while the bottom features only the microphone pinhole.
Sliding the Ultra s open reveals a standard 12-key alphanumeric keypad. It had to pay the price for the thin silhouette, remaining utterly flat, without any distinct borders between keys. If you aren't looking at it you are almost guaranteed to make some typos as keys on the different rows are barely distinguishable by finger touch only.
On the positive side, the keys produce nice solid clicks so you never have to worry about pressing a button too many times. The numpad is also just firm enough so you don't have to use much force, or fear accidental presses. Each separate key is generously sized so - all in all - the keypad is only a tad short of excellent.
The back side of Samsung S7350 Ultra s looks perfectly plain with no functional elements exposed while the phone is closed. Much like with the display brushed metal frame, the back is another place where the design similarities with Samsung S8300 are quite obvious.
Once you slide it open, the 5 megapixel camera lens emerges, along with the self-portrait mirror and the LED flash. The imaging package grants the Ultra s a spot near the top of the cameraphone ladder (mostly because of the sweet sounding D1 video recording). The performance of the camera will of course be discussed in detail later on in this review.
Under the cover lies an 880 mAh Li-Ion battery. It is said to last 350 hours of stand-by or 6 hours and 30 mins in 2G mode. In a UMTS network those numbers are respectively 400 hours and 4 hours and 6 mins. In reality the battery performed fairly well - we had to recharge the S7350 about once every three days or so without making a full time job of fiddling with the handset. So we guess it won't be much of a performer when used as your only handset.
The Samsung S7350 is very comfortable to handle and feels nice and secure in hand. As good a grip it offers though, some extra metallic elements on the back might have given it a more exclusive and sturdy feel. We just cannot overlook the "too plastic" impression it makes.
Considering though that more metal would have probably increased both price and weight, the handset might be just fine the way it is.