Samsung A300 Review – Flip Phones Go Mainstream

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Samsung A300 Review: Released in 2001, the Samsung A300 was a major step forward in mobile phone history. The flip phone had already gained some popularity against Nokia’s candybar-type handsets. The Motorola saw the V66 released, which was a continuation on its already solid line of phones. This saw the fashion trend also continue as that phone featured a removal front bezel cover which could be swapped for different colours.

The A300 went one step further and replaced this part with a new screen. This was thus far more useful than any cover, as this screen could show information without having to open the phone. From a user perspective this made the phone much more useful and a distinct advantage. Another trend was the size of the phone: the Samsung A300 was just 77 grams. Bulky and heavy phones were fast becoming things of the past.

It is interesting to note that the A300 was not the start of a new family of phones. A Samsung A100 and Samsung A200 existed in 2000 and were similar flip phones. The A200 even features a similar external screen to the A300. But it was the A300 which really caught the imagination. More importantly this was the phone that phone networks purchased in bulk, and thus this became a very popular handset.

Full specifications here.

This was an extremely popular phone and demand was high. The dual-screen design also was here to stay and featured in many subsequent Samsung handsets. The A300’s direct successor was the Samsung A800, which was released in 2002. A Samsung A400 also was released. This was quite similar to the Samsung A300 but came without the front screen. It also tried to appeal more to the younger market by coming in a variety of colours instead of silver.

 

Samsung A300 Review Pros:

  • The key selling point of the phone was the external screen. Unlike some of the earlier phones which restricted this to a line of text, the A300 had a large circular display which allowed the display of more information such as the time and battery life.
  • The size of the phone was also extremely small, and it weighed just 77 grams: one of the lighter phones on the market.
  • The design of the phone was high quality in a silver metallic finish. This contrasted against the Nokia phones which generally were bright colours.
  • The use of the flip allowed a larger internal screen and also a roomier keypad.

Samsung A300 Review Cons:

  • The cost of the phone was high relative to others and offered few extra features.
  • Customisability of the phone was limited, and the housing was extremely difficult to change.
  • The operating system was less intuitive than Nokia’s and also was less feature-rich, for example lacking a radio.
  • The phone shipped with two batteries (extended and slimline) but could not match the longer standby times of Nokia phones.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

Certainly this is a classic phone and any handset in good condition is likely to achieve a good price. Going forward it is hard not to see this trend continuing.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

Samsung A300 Disassembly

If you would like to see how to take apart the Samsung A300 for repair purposes, a link is here.

Samsung A300 Video Review

Here is a Samsung A300 review showcasing some of the phone’s features:

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