Samsung SGH-E760

We're all for the relentless march of technology here at Pocket Gamer; after all, not only would life be far duller without computers, phones and the internet, we'd also be stuck reviewing the latest spinning tops or 'stick-and-hoop' mark 5!

But sometimes there are downsides, too. Such as the continual shrinking of the aforementioned inventions. We stumbled across our very first mobile phone the other day, a Motorola something-or-other from the late 1990s that weighed about a kilo and was as pocket-friendly as a can of deodorant. And as heavy and bulky as it was, we loved one thing about it – the size of the buttons.

Yep, as daft as it sounds, we liked the chunky controls. Admittedly the phone was so low-tech that all you could do was call somebody on it, but all the same, it was easy to use. Which is more than can be said for some of today's compact handsets, with buttons so teeny-tiny you need fingernail extensions just to hit the right one.

Samsung have obviously given considerable though to this 'little' problem and come up with an innovative solution: a phone that you can control with motion alone. By holding down the E760's motion-recognition button you can launch programs, interact with them and even play games, just by moving your hand.

And although it sounds like a gimmick, it really does work. While you're limited in regards to what programs you can open with it (right now it's just the MP3 player, camera and DJ-style Beatbox mixing toy), it does make for an easy and efficient shortcut and points to a rosier future for folk with sausage-like fingers.

To be fair though the regular keypad here shouldn't pose too many challenges. Like all recent Samsung phones we've seen, the E760 is well built and feels durable, the buttons are firm to the press and accurate and only the countersunk directional pad stands out as an annoying anomaly for the mobile gamer.

Yet here again the motion-recognition has a part to play, with 2 pre-installed games designed specifically to show off the feature. One, Screamer, is a Winter Olympics-style bobsled game, in which you tilt the phone from side to side to turn and to and away from you to speed up or slow down. Viewed from behind the sled, the pseudo-3D graphics convey a decent sense of speed and presents an enjoyable challenge.

The other is Pharaoh's Treasure, a 2D style maze game where you play an explorer searching for treasure in a pyramid, tilting the E760 in the direction you want to go.

Both games are entertaining, though they don't really make as much of the motion-recognition technology as they could and, as the feature currently doesn't work with existing games that you download, we're left to imagine just how much fun Slyder could have been with a sliding controller.

Motion-control aside, there's a decent selection of games available for the E760, which are brought to life by the bright colourful screen and impressively punchy speakers, whilst 96Mb of onboard memory ensures you're unlikely to run out of space!

The directional pad remains something of an Achilles heel though, intruding on your enjoyment in action games especially, but arguably its biggest problem comes from the competition. The E760 is in the same price bracket as current Pocket Gamer favourite, the Sony Ericsson W550i, and whilst Samsung's phone may compete on a day-to-day basis, its game playing credentials aren't yet in the same league.

Increased gaming support for the motion sensor feature could yet boost the E760's score (as would a joypad transplant) but right now if you want the best mobile gaming experience there are many better (albeit more finger-taxing) options to chose from.

Samsung SGH-E760

A great phone that's far from quixotic, the E760 is unfortunate to find itself priced against Sony's W550i