As usual, a standard part of the retail package is a simple, but especially elegant leather case, which protects the phone pretty successfully. When the phone is placed in the case, a click notifies that end position has been reached. Extraction is facilitated by a side-button. Samsung P310 holds firmly inside the case. If you want to work with the phone, all you need to do is open out the front half of the case and base it on the edge of your palm, so that it does not close unwillingly. When calls are made, it is also necessary that you hold the front half of the case with your fingers; otherwise it will touch your chin or lips and disturb you.
What’s most attractive about the case, however, is the 800 mAh Li-Ion battery built in its firm back side. The latter is connected to the phone through three contacts hidden in the slot of the case and charges the device in case of emergency (indicated by a second battery state indicator on the display). As the device we were testing was a pre-production version, we did not manage to find out, which battery first provides it with energy.
Shooting with the phone inside the case is possible thanks to a special opening for the camera lens and the LED on the back. When in the case, the phone’s weight doubles due to the second built-in battery.
Samsung P310’s keypad is quite unusual due to the uncommon form factor of the phone. Its numeric part consists of 6 dual keys – a solution notably different from any standard key distribution method. All you need to get used to it is practice. Each dual key substitutes 2 common keys, of which one is selected by a press on the left, the other one – by a press on the right. The keys are located quite close one to another, which leads to frequent mistakes in typing. Touch orientation or press reaction are not perfect, either.
The functional part of the keypad is dominated by a large round four-way control key, which – again untraditionally – lacks a confirming center. The latter lies right next on the left. Around the control key you will also find two standard keys for call dialing and call termination and a correcting key. Two context keys made of touch sensors are located beneath the display; both are sensitive enough and easy to control. All in all, the functional part of the keypad could hardly be characterized as particularly user-friendly or comfortable.
All keys feature a low uplift; backlighting is white but rather uneven. In the menu you can set up whether the keypad should be illuminated all day around or in the evening only.
Typing requires special efforts due to the unusual design of the phone. The creation of a longer text, for example, became a painful process for most of us. The phone is extremely small and the keys reach the very edge of its body. This often leads to uncomfortable handhold and unnatural thumb folding.
As expected, a stylish phone comes with a high-quality display. Samsung P310 is equipped with a brilliant QVGA display supporting 262K colors. Its resolution is 320 x 240 pixels. Perhaps it is not necessary, but let us underline that we are talking about an active TFT display with highly fine picture and beautiful color visualization. Its horizontal orientation is quite extraordinary, but also inevitable due to the small size of the phone.
The intensity of the display backlighting as well as its active time could be controlled from the menu. As soon as you close the case, however, the phone recognizes this action, the display goes out and the keypad backlighting switches off immediately. To check missed events it is necessary to bring the phone to life by pressing a random key.