Helio Mysto Review

The Helio Mysto (Samsung A523) is a mid-range slider phone that sports good looks, as well as numerous features. It joins the Helio line, between the Ocean and Fin, and is for the consumer that is looking for a phone with a slim and stylish design, without the need for a QWERTY keypad, but still wants access to a wide variety of user-friendly applications. The addition of the touch-sensitive keys also sets it apart from most others.

Included in the retail box is the Mysto phone, 880mAh battery with cover, wall charger, stereo earbuds, USB data cable, quick start guide, and user manual on CD.


The Mysto is a slider style phone with a similar design to the Helio Heat and LG Chocolate for Verizon. It is constructed out of blue sapphire plastic throughout, but unfortunately has an overall cheap and flimsy feel to it, which is most noticeable when removing the battery cover. The size of the Mysto is quite pleasing, since it is slimmer than the average phone and weighs two ounces less than the Helio Ocean, which makes it is less noticeable while in your pants pocket. The sliding mechanism works well and has a fluid movement to it, despite being able to hear the plastic parts moving against each other.

You can compare the Helio Mysto to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

Just like most slider phones, the Mysto only has one display, which is a 2.2” QVGA 240x320 pixel 262K color TFT. It is truly one of the best features of the device, with images having excellent detail, color accuracy, and contrast. Despite having 5 levels of brightness control available to the user, it can still be challenging to view while in direct sunlight.

Located directly below the display are four touch-sensitive buttons and the circular d-pad, which is used for menu navigation. We found the d-pad a little smaller than we would have liked, which can cause problems when going through menus fast. Surrounding the d-pad are the touch-sensitive left and right soft keys, back button, and send button. These are capacitive keys, which are activated by conducting a small amount of electricity through your fingertip, and respond with a haptic vibration feedback. The only problem that we encountered was that the back button is shaped like a sideways “U” and doesn’t provide adequate metal contact with your finger, which in turn makes it less sensitive than the larger send button.

Located on the left side is the volume toggle and charging/data port, on the right is the power/end and camera buttons, while the 2MP camera and flash is on the back.

Sliding the Mysto open reveals the white backlit numeric keypad with a faux stainless facing. Dialing numbers and text messaging can be quite challenging at times, due to the overall cramped design of the keypad, and the poor tactile feedback that is given when pressing the keys. We also discovered that occasionally when we intended to press the 7 or 9 key, that in fact we pressed the * and # key, which caused us to have to delete the mistake and redial. It is unfortunate that the keypad was poorly designed on the Mysto. It is not a major issue for dialing simple numbers, but is almost unusable for heavy text messaging. For those users, the Ocean would be easier to use, thanks to its full QWERTY keypad.



1. Darren Dawes unregistered

Have been trying to get a refund check for my returned device for 5 months. Four calls to their "service" center in the Philippines resulted in "we will send the check" two times (they didn't) and then they told me that they had to charge it back to my credit card. I gave them a virgin debit card, that has never been used for any other transaction, before or since. 2 weeks later, someone in Russia used it to empty my bank account. Nice. Calling back, no one could connect me with someone in the US. I finally found the number for Helio's corporate offices (310 445 7000--save it, you will need it) and spoke to "internal customer service". This person has assured me that I will have a check in 7 to 10 days (I'll believe it when I see it) and said that he could not do anything about the people in the foreign offices giving out personal info. He also stated that they had no internal security that could assist. Given that these guys will have your social security number too, I would NOT sign up with Helio even if they give you the service for $5 a month. This might be hard to believe, but I think their service is WORSE than what you've read on these pages. I believe that they, or their agents, or both, are actively engaged in fraud. Biggest mistake I've made in recent memory! No matter how poorly your current company is treating you, it's not worth having your identity and savings stolen.

2. unregistered

Wow, surprising how it is not mentioned that this phone is an exact twin of the GSM Samsung U600.

3. Bailey unregistered

Yes,but the U600 has 3.2Mp camera.

4. unregistered

I had a helio ocean for a good year. its a great phone to have in tell it brake on you.i called helio to see if i can get it fixed.they said no cuz my warrenty has exspired 2 weeks ago. i still one more year on the contract with them. the only way they will fix my phone is if i singed a anouther 2 year contract with them.i think that is some bullshit because there contract last longer then cell phone do. i am telling every to NOT BUY A HELIO PHONE TRUST ME ON THIS. p.s. thats my story

5. Vitamins4022 unregistered

I had helio for 2 weeks before I cancelled. It took helio 6 months to refund my money for the phone and service! Over $500 including the cost of the phone and the deposit took 6 months to get returned to my checking account!
  • Display 2.2" 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 0.106GB
  • Battery 880 mAh(3.50h talk time)

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