Samsung F480 Review: The F480, nicknamed ‘Tocco’ was a meaningful handset release in Samsung’s history. Coming out in 2008, it was not the first touchscreen phone by Samsung. But it was one of the first ones that featured the multi-touch system that provided a superior experience. These were most prominent on Apple handsets. The previous handset it replaced was the Samsung F700 which featured a resistive touch. This could not be trusted entirely, so a slide out QWERTY keyboard was present in the phone. That is now rendered not required in the F480 and as such this is a much slimmer and lighter model.
The phone competes across several different boundaries. The phone could be seen as similar to an iPhone, but costing a lot less in price. And from a fashion point of view, the phone was also competitive with phones such as the LG Prada which were popular. These phones eschewed maximising the screen size and focused on build quality. We can see that is evident here.
The F480 is not slouch, although arguably not a top-end phone. The Samsung Omnia i900 was more powerful and packed in more features at the expense of a resistive touchscreen. Still, we have a lot here to keep people happy. Small size, front-facing video camera, 5 megapixel camera with flash, and microSD slot were welcome. The new TouchWiz UI from Samsung was also much easier to use with this touchscreen.
The F480 was a very successful phone. Clearly 2008 was Apple’s year and claimed the number one spot. But in terms of total sales the Tocco was not far behind and at the time was the leading iPhone alternative in the market.
After this the phone families diverged. The Omnia continued to take the high ground, which proved to be the inspiration behind the famous Galaxy series. The Tocco series became more of a budget brand. The Samsung S5230 was released the next year and was known as the Tocco Lite. This was quite a similar phone in specification. It had a larger screen but was resistive in type, and the premium build quality was traded in for mass market.
Samsung F480 Review: Pros
For those interested in aesthetics, this was a excellent and compact phone despite packing in 2.8 inches of screen. Rather uniquely, the phone’s battery cover also integrated a flip case which protected the front of the phone when not in use.
The phone camera also had some upgrades. The 5MP was now accompanied by many extra features such as face detection.
The TouchWiz UI also now was much easier to use with the screen. Widgets were much easier to manipulate and could be dragged with ease.
Memory was also an advantage on this phone. 228MB of internal storage was large, and the phone could accept microSD cards. This was a major advantage over Apple.
Samsung F480 Review: Cons
The display was perhaps compromised a little by size. Resolution was also not particularly top-end, and models such as the Nokia 5800 would easily supercede it.
There was no built-in auto-rotate, not that this would have much effect due to the relative squareness of the screen. This made it more unsuitable for video consumption.
A major omission to the proceedings was the lack of Wi-Fi, which many other more premium phones had added.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects
This was a well regarded phone. In the second-hand markets it is not exactly rare. Additionally many are in poorer order due to the front flip cover wearing away with usage. However going forward this may prove to be collectable.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.