On the bottom part of the phone you will see the system connector; on the top edge is to be found the dark glass of the infrared port. The left side of the Samsung i300 features silver volume buttons, a start-key for the built-in music player, a button, which opens the voice application and a plug-in connector for the earphones. The opposite side of the phone is no poorer. Here, you can start the camera, lock the keypad or switch off the phone application of the device, thus using it as a pocket computer only. I should not forget to mention the TransFlash memory card slot. Samsung deserves a compliment for the brilliant elaboration of the covers of all connectors.
The backside of the phone is dominated by the camera lens, accompanied by a flash LED and a convex glass, which facilitates self-portraits making. If you pay a bit more attention, you will also notice the slots of the built-in stereo speakers, situated on both sides of the phone, just above the battery.
The original accumulator delivered with the phone has 1000 mAh capacity. It creates an integral unit together with the cover shell. As for the battery life, it is neither bad, nor exceptional. If you play a lot with the phone and especially if you use the built-in hard disk, you will need to charge it approximately every other day. Another accumulator of higher capacity is also available. It holds twice longer and is meant to help you make it through a longer weekend, for example. Its only drawback is its bigger size. When inserted in the phone, it makes it look quite bulky.
The synchronizing cradle is able to charge both the phone and the battery. Its design is quite robust and it holds firmly on the table. It has an output not only for the charging adapter, but also for the USB cable, which can be consequently plugged into the PC.
When a PalmOne PDA with a built-in hard disk first hit the market at the beginning of this year, the public was overwhelmed. A hard disk installed in a mobile phone, however, is incredible!
Samsung i300 is able to store a huge amount of data thanks to the Cornice 0.8" hard disk with 3 GB capacity (2871 MB formatted to be exact). It is even smaller than the famous CF Type II hard disks, whose size is comparable with a CompactFlash card. What disappointed me was its transfer speed. When I connected the phone to my PC as a standard hard disk, I made several tests that revealed a lot of interesting details. First of all I found out that the phone works with the slow USB 1.1 interface. What's worse, not even with the new hard disk is it able to make full use of the speed of the old USB standard. The average speed, with which the phone opened and downloaded big files, was 0.72 MB/s.
The control system in Samsung i300 is basically identical to those in other phones with the same OS. The only exception here is its unusual navigation component, i.e. the steering wheel. Even though the navigation mode in a smartphone with Windows Mobile OS differs a little bit from the one in common mobile phones, it is easy to learn. What I cannot get used to is that in certain situations the phone does not let me make a step back in the menu by only using the key designated for this very function, and I have to press another functional key.
The main menu consists of a long list with applications, sorted into several sections, each of which has 9 items. Unfortunately, the phone does not allow for reordering the menu according to one's will. It only lets you remember the shortcuts for various applications. Yet, if you install a certain program and it makes its way to the center of the menu, you will simply have to start memorizing short keys once again, from the very beginning. The shortcut keys alone work well. To open a preset application, just press and hold the appropriate number key. The phone memorizes up to 99 different application shortcuts. If you need to use a two-position shortcut, press the first number key and then press and hold the second one. Within the phone you will find approximately 50 MB of free storage memory. Samsung i300 also has 39 MB of RAM reserved for running programs.
The Samsung i300 smartphone is quite fast, it does not make you wait at all. Running applications do not close down; instead, the system minimizes them automatically in the background if it needs more working memory. If you need to close down an application manually, use the Task Manager.