Samsung P310 has the same user interface as the other recent handsets of the Korean manufacturer such as Samsung D900. You can enter the main menu from stand-by by pressing the left context key. The right one is reserved for the phonebook; it is not user-configurable. Unfortunately, when the phone is on stand-by, the confirming button opens the WAP browser as usual. Each way of the navigation key but the up-way can be assigned a short-cut access to one of 20 items. The up-way only opens the “My menu”, where you can organize five other frequently applied functions.
Stand-by display – the calendar as a background
The stand-by display offers numerous customizing options. The top bar is reserved for standard icons like those indicating signal strength, battery state (for both batteries), active ringing mode etc. Beneath you will see a grey band with the actual date and a digital clock. The operator name can be situated just bellow the grey band, in the bottom or deactivated completely. Font size and color are user-configurable as well. The bottom line is reserved for descriptions of the functions assigned to the context keys. The month view of the calendar could be set to appear constantly on the stand-by display: quite practical indeed.
The main menu can be visualized as a matrix of nine icons or as a standard list of items, but saturation is poor in any case. The main menu is available in two color versions: a stylish black one where only selected icons are colorful and a generally more vivid white version. All other menu items consist of text fitted in pop-up windows in sub-menus. These windows are entered through a press on the horizontal way of the navigation key. The only significant inconvenience here is that the menu remembers the last visited item and offers it like a priority one when you enter the menu again. This means occasional returns in the menu. In general, however, the menu responds immediately. Shortcut keys are available too.
Main menu • another color scheme
When you move in the menu, pay attention and do not forget about the unusual functions of the confirming key and the left context keys. The first one selects items, while the second one saves them.
The menu in the form of a list – the sub-menu window opens up straight away
Samsung P310 features an integrated 2 megapixel camera. The maximum available image size is 1600 x 1200 pixels. Regrettably, we cannot evaluate the quality of Samsung P310’ images as the shooting mechanism of the camera in the tested model did not work. The display was still white. The camera is activated from the menu or through a longer press on the corresponding side key. The latter as well as the confirming button also work as a release key.
The camera view-finder • camera mode • camera’s context menu
The camera menu is very rich. For example, there are 6 size options, three image quality levels, white balance, exposure compensation, sensitivity settings, frames, color effects, mosaic images etc. A digital zoom and a LED are available too. The two main cons here are the lack of automatic focus and the impossibility to save pictures straight on a memory card. You have to move them from the internal memory onto the card manually. At the same time, in the file manager the address structures of the phone memory and the memory card are completely separated. Images can be sent out via Bluetooth, in an email or through a data cable, and even straight to a printer supporting PictBridge. The Samsung P310 camera also shoots audio-video records in MP4 format, whose maximum resolution is 352 x 288 pixels.
The main phone function in Samsung P310 is its multi-item phonebook with a capacity for 1000 names. Each entry could contain a first and a last name, 5 phone numbers, an email address, and a note. . Besides, there is an option for assigning a picture and a ringtone to every contact. Names can be organized in groups, which however cannot be used as filters for incoming calls. Each group can be assigned a picture and a ringtone. The content of the phone memory and the one of the SIM card are visualized simultaneously. Searching is done through gradual typing. The speaker sound is good, with enough volume capacity for loud environment. Samsung P310 also offers a loud speaker and a voice recorder (hidden deep down in the menu), which could also be used as an answer phone.
Searching the phonebook • a view at a contact • editing a contact
Samsung P310 does not have 3G support, but works in GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz bands. Ringing profiles are substituted by a silent mode activated through a longer press on the hash key.. On the other hand, in the menu you can choose, whether the phone should alert about incoming calls with a melody, with vibration and then a melody, or with vibration only. Samsung P310 rings in 64-voice polyphony or uses MP3 and AAC files. The phone has also an airplane mode.
A indefinite phonebook menu in the tester phone • a view at the call register
The phone offers all types of messages. Standard SMS are typed in five lines. There is a countdown of characters left from the weird number 1836 as well as an option for sub-message count (you could type up to 12 of these). The T9 dictionary facilitates typing by suggesting words without diacritics. Thanks to the EMS support short text messages could also contain small black & white images and animations; text can be formatted too. Anyway, considering the size of Samsung P310, there is no doubt that this phone is not meant for frequent SMS typists. Instead of torturing yourself with pressing those tiny keys you’d better simply call straight away.
Writing SMS • reading SMS • browsing the message register
The SMS memory offers space for 200 items. Received messages can not be alerted of by any sound though, which is a pity. You can choose out of 10 preset sounds, which are played every two minutes until the corresponding message is read. MMS can be assigned a different melody and thus easily recognized. Received messages appear in five lines. The phone also provides you the especially comfortable option to select 10 phone numbers from which the incoming messages are automatically deleted and you do not even come to realize that they have been received.
Any MMS can contain text, sounds, an image and a video, but cannot exceed 300 KB. At the same time each message can have several pages. Received MMS are stored in the same folder like SMS. The option to block all MMS coming from 10 preset numbers is available here too.
New message • creating MMS • writing a new email
The email client works with several accounts; it is compatible with POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP protocols. You can download either entire emails or just their headers – in preset intervals. The phone works with attachments of maximum 300 KB. Messages can be filtered by both author and subject.