Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300We told you about the Ultra Music back in December. Well at CES, we got personally acquainted with it when I mentioned the word "iPhone" to a Samsung rep, who swiftly brought us to the phone to check it out. iPhone it ain't, but sweeter than Chocolate it is. And then there's the second screen.

The 9.4 mm-thick candybar's double LCD design is pretty revolutionary: There's one on the "phone" side, and a larger one on the "music" side, which supports MP3, WMA and AAC. You switch between the two screens with a button on the side of the phone. (On the other side is the SIM card slot, which is behind a rubber top just like the microSD one, so it can be swapped out fairly effortlessly.)

What's nice is that music is easily accessible: just pop in a microSD card (or use the 400 MB of internal memory), navigate to the music icon (the multimedia menu reminds me of a PSP, so it only takes a second) and hit play. Displaying the album art is a nice touch, making it feel more like a real music player. The entry pad on the multimedia side is very much like the Chocolate's, with no tactile feedback, but it felt fairly responsive. It also, as you can see, gets smudgy after only a second of manipulation, but cleans up with a quick swipe of your sleeve.

On the phone side, conversely, you do get tactile feedback. This side also features my biggest gripe with the phone — the screen on it is abysmally tiny, and it's annoying. While, for instance, you can switch to the larger screen to read text messages, you enter contacts and dial using the smaller one. However, it's not an insurmountable obstacle in cozying up to the phone, as the menus were well laid out and looked great on the both of the screens, which are sharper and more contrasty than the photos indicate.

I think that the dual screen solution is an interesting way to combine a phone and a music player, as it feels like they soldered one to the back of the other. For the most part, it's well executed, though it has potential to be better. Overall, I like the phone quite a bit, and will be looking forward to its second quarter debut in the US. While the rep wouldn't name the carrier (or price tag), he did admit that it will be CDMA here, so you can follow that to its logical conclusion.

Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300

Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300

Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300

Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300

Phone Grope and Gallery: Samsung Ultra Music SGH-F300