You just couldn’t have missed the Samsung Corby. Dirty cheap phone with replaceable rear covers and more clones than features. That’s the one. Newsflash: the outbreak of cheap as chips touchscreen handsets continues now that we have the Lindy – fresh off Corby’s rib.

Here’s the deal. Samsung want to put a touchscreen in every pocket but the Lindy is also trying to give fast data and WLAN to the masses. It’s all Corby on the surface – to the extent that you will want to put some of Corby’s fashion jackets on the Lindy. They won’t fit but that’s not the point. The point is the Lindy is a plain and friendly touchscreen that puts a bargain price on all-round functionality.

Someone at Samsung must be in love with the Corby concept since the family is getting bigger by the day. The number of Corby sequels is beyond belief: the QWERTY packing CorbyPRO and CorbyTXT were followed by the Wi-Fi enabled, but still rumored S3650W and – finally – out came the M5650 Lindy. Not to mention the several handsets that don’t exactly follow the same design outline but have the same naming in certain regions – Samsung B3313 Corby Mate, Samsung CorbyPlus B3410 and Samsung C3510 Corby Pop.

Samsung M5650 Lindy

Samsung M5650 Lindy official photos

The Samsung Lindy however inherits all the traditions of the original – neat and friendly plasticky design, rich social integration, modern interface with the optional cartoonish graphics on top and the most important thing – a capacitive touchscreen with an affordable price. But like all the other new members of the family, the Lindy tries to break out of the clone syndrome by offering its own special powers. Wi-Fi connectivity, 3.5 mm audio jack and dedicated music keys put it well above the basic Corby.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/EDGE, UMTS 900/2100, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • 2.8″ capacitive TFT touchscreen of QVGA resolution, 256K colors
  • 50 MB onboard storage, microSD card slot (up to 8GB)
  • 3 megapixel camera with smile detection, QVGA video @ 15fps
  • Secondary video-call camera
  • Dedicated music controls on the front panel
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB v.2.0
  • microUSB slot
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • DNSe and SRS sound effect
  • Excellent audio reproduction
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Find Music recognition service
  • TouchWiz and Cartoon UI
  • Office document viewer
  • Smart unlock
  • Social networking integration with direct file uploads
  • Quite reasonably priced for a full touch Wi-Fi enabled phone (around 160 euro)

Main disadvantages

  • No accelerometer for screen auto rotation
  • No on-screen QWERTY keyboard
  • No smart dialing
  • microSD slot under the battery cover
  • Music controls only work on the homescreen

The Corby need not feel threatened: the intended markets are poles apart. The new features raise the M5650 above the rank and file and straight into the mid-range, while the Corby is very much an entry-level kiddie phone. Wi-Fi is welcome, but this is not the only upgrade that the Lindy offers over the Corby. It loves music and has dedicated media controls right up front, DNSe and SRS surround enhancements and the 3.5 mm audio jack of course. We nearly forgot the fast network data speeds. And then all of a sudden, the Lindy costs the same as the S3650 Corby did at launch.

Samsung M5650 Lindy
Samsung M5650 Lindy
Samsung M5650 Lindy
Samsung M5650 Lindy

Samsung M5650 live shots

So, we have to admit that Samsung have flooded the market with similar handsets. There’s the Star, Star Wi-Fi, Star TV, the Corby bunch, the Diva and the Marvel. The Lindy looks set to lead in both features and design, but it’s not like we haven’t seen all this before. Will it succeed to stand out among so many siblings? And more importantly, can it stand up to the competition? The journey begins with design and ergonomics.

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