The Samsung Preston Icon touchscreen mobile phone is not so much the replacement for the very successful Samsung F480, rather it is to sit alongside the earlier model. Like the F480 the Preston Icon uses a propietary Samsung operating system, utilising a normal home ‘menu screen’ and a widget-populated side screen – you toggle between the two with a flick of your finger. The interface was reviewed favourable on the F480, and the Preston Icon’s interface pretty closely follows that of its predecessor.
The new phone shares the slim body, compact design, usability and build quality of the F480, along with replicating what was a glaring omission, the lack of a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
IF you’d like to personalise your phone with additional widgets you can do so via a website. At the time of writing there are 26 widgets available, with more expected to be added not only between now and the launch, but also on a continuing basis. What it will not have is the sheer size, scope and ease of access and addition of Apple’s App Store.
A new feature to this phone is Smart Unlock. Using a grid of on-screen ‘dots’, you’re able to not only set up a shape that you trace with your finger to unlock the phone, but you can set up multiple shapes, to not only unlock the phone but to take you to pre-designated ‘place’ in the phone’s features/menu. For example, trace the shape of the letter C, the phone could unlock and take you straight to your contacts list. The Smart Unlock feature lets you set up to 26 of these shortcuts, using the shapes of each letter of the alphabet.
Samsung are still in discussion with Australian carriers, so it’s too early to know not only the price and the particular carrier, but which of the range of colours will go on sale. Samsung did admit at the press launch that the Preston Icon did possess a Next G chipset, so it’s likely that Telstra will be one of the carriers that will stock the phone.
The Preston Icon will be available in August 2009.
Update: 21 August 2009
Still no pricing details, but the Preston Icon will hit the shelves at Crazy John’s, Telstra and Virgin, in September 2009.
Network: HSDPA 7.2 Mbps (900/2100MHz) or (850/2100MHz). EDGE/GPRS Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900MHz).