For the money this is a great phone. I've dropped it a few times but it just keeps on working. Unlike most of the phones around today it doesn't weigh or look the same as a council brick but also doesn't come with all the add ons of modern phones.
This is a great phone for the old fashioned user who just wants to phone and text. Applications like Google Maps and Facebook are available but they are slugglish and are often too much for the phone to handle, leading to the phone crashing.
The network provider 3 have good coverage but, unless you can find another 3 customer to use your free 3000 minutes with (which is unlikely), is expensive. Although there are ways around this like minimising phone calls and using your free texts.
If you need a phone for the simple things then this is the phone for you. Just don't push it too hard!
3 Mobile (formally Hutchinson) is a mobile phone network. Although many mobile phones can be unlocked to any network, 3 Mobile offer affordable phones from brands such as Nokia and LG. They offer PAYG (pay as you go) and Pay Monthly deals for different price ranges.
ZTE phones are available to 3 Mobile and other networks.. You can opt for phones with built in Android or more basic handsets. The prices range from £29.99 - £69.99. The ZTE F102 phone is still available but no longer on the 3 Mobile website. It has been replaced by a newer version named ZTE F107.
The F102 handset is classed as a budget model. It is a 3G phone meaning it is wirelessly connected to the internet for the use of world wide access, voice calls etc. Despite being so cheap, the handset offers numerous built in options. I will list them here and discuss further in my reviews. These are the main features :
*2.0MP camera and a video facility
*bluetooth - allows you to send pictures or videos to those nearby wirelessly
*Skype - calls to anyone with a Skype phone for free
*Messaging options - SMS, MMS and Email
And then we have all the standard features including alarm, calender, contacts etc which will be discussed based on what I use.
This is a slimline, lightweight handset. It is mainly available in Black. The front of the handset offers a large screen with the 3 symbol underneath. There is a large navigation button in the centre. This is surrounded by 6 buttons including options to select or opt out of options on the screen, a short cut button, a cancel and call/cancel call option.
Further down the handset, a curved number pad is present with 12 buttons including 1-9, a 0 and a hash and star option. The base of the phone has a slot for the USB cable, a microphone hole is down one side and a flip open section for an addition SD Memory card is at the other side. The back of the handset has the camera for easy photo taking. The back of the handset can be removed by a clip at the top of the handset and reveals a thin battery and a slot for the sim card.
The handset comes boxed with a user manual, a sim card, USB cable and computer set up disc. There is also a 3 pin wall charger. Once you have slotted the sim card and battery into place, it is recommended that you charge up the phone fully before use. The actual specifications are :
*Talktime - 5hours
*Standby - 150hours
*Weight - 80g
*Display - 2.2inches
*Resolution - 240x320 pixels
*Camera - 2.0 MP
*Music - MP3, ACC
*Memory - 128MB
*~*Availability and Price*~*
The ZTE F102 is available online from www.affordablemobiles.co.uk for £23.68 when bought with £10 airtime. Also available from amazon priced at £34.99.
Over the years, I have owned various mobile phones from Nokias to LGs. I have been on O2, Virgin and Vodafone etc and have my preferences. Whilst the best phone I have ever had was a Nokia 3210, they are no longer considered fashionable! I don't have a lot of spare money so an expensive phone is out of the question and I run up bills too easily so when I lost my mobile 18months ago, I went hunting for a new, budget handset, My first choice was 3 Mobile as my previous phone was 3 and served me well.
I opted for the ZTE F102 as my previous phone was a ZTE and it served me well until I lost it! At the time, I paid £29.99 plus the required £10.00 top up which I considered a good deal. The handset was very easy to set up and I didn't even need to look at the user manual as everything was so simple. I charged it up for a few hours and started fiddling about with my new toy! The handset is really lightweight but well built, the screen is a good size for me to see without straining my eyes. The numbers being so close together does take a while to get used to but they are firm but easy to press.
I also chose this phone as it covered everything that I needed from a phone. Of course I want it to make calls, send texts etc. I need it for waking me up in the morning, taking pictures of days out and ebay listings/review products. I also needed a phone which allowed me to access the internet to check emails when I am out and about. This fitted the bill perfectly. I haven't attempted to unlock my mobile as 3 is a good network. I get ample amount of coverage. My deal allows me to buy a £10 top up from the shop and phone 444 to be added. Once added, I have 150MB of internet, 300 texts and free 3 to 3 calls. My sister was on 3 but recently changed so I don't have anyone to call for free now!
The phone can be topped up by debit card but you need to register it for this service. I don't bother with registering my cheaper phones but some may wish to. Calling up the customer services number on 333 or 444 is free from the phone and you can connect to speak to someone should you need help or just to top up your phone. I have never had issues with this. So lets discuss the uses of this handset and my thoughts on each.
When you turn on the phone, you are greeted with the 3 mobile symbol. The main screen will show your choosen wall paper image which in my case, is my beautiful son. You also have the coverage indicated in the corner and also the battery options. I have my screen set to show the day and time. The screen locks by holding the hash key in and hitting the lock keys symbol button on the screen. The big button in the middle once pressed, reveals 9 menu options in grid format. It is very easy to navigate between each options and the main button allows me to move down the extra options under each section.
This section offers 7 options - bluetooth, alarm, calender, stopwatch, worldtime, calculator and currency convertor. Each is simple to use and navigate. I rarely use my bluetooth unless transferring pictures from my phone to my fiances. It is quick and hasslefree and I am confident no strangers can get access to my phone as I chose a code in this section. I am prompted to input it whenever anyone tries to gain access.
I use the alarm almost every day. You can set up to 5 alarms and there are different tunes. I usually set one or two to ensure I wake up and if I hit snooze, I can snooze for an extra 5-10mins. The alarm keeps going til you turn it off at regular intervals! The calculator does basic sums and is good if I'm trying to add up my bills etc. I rarely use the other options but they are handy.
The internet section is used daily by myself. The options here include Home, new link, bookmark, history, saved page, settings and version. Depending on how good my signal is, will depend on how quickly the internet loads. The large screen allows me to see a good amount of uncluttered and clear information each time. The phone has pre loaded sites including facebook, ebay etc for quick navigation. Not all sites are supported and although I can access dooyoo or ciao, it takes around 20mins and really not worth the time!
I mainly use it for hotmail and I can get in an out of my different accounts with ease. Ebay is free on the mobile but quite slow and the Ebay mobile doesn't offer many search options etc. Facebook mobile is really easy to use and I can directly upload my photos from my phone to facebook in under a minute which is fantastic. The internet although limited suits me fine. The home page is all about 3 mobile and you can access this for free. You can find out what you can download to your handset from here and watch short video clips but I don't pay much attention to this.
*~*Games and Apps*~*
Any games you download will be here but there is limited choice for this handset. I have a bingo game downloaded from 3 mobile and once tried downloading a cheap game for it not to work. It takes ages to install anything. MSN Messenger is in here and is free. I can opt to sign in and do other things whilst it will keep me signed in. It informs me if I have a message but this is rarely used.
Here you can save all your numbers. You have the option of saving them on the sim card or handset and I choose both. You can save them under sections including friends, family etc and they come up in an alphabetical list. From here I can edit, call or text the specific person. I only have around 20 or so friends and family but you can save many numbers depending on how popular you are!
Probably the most used section by myself. Texts and MMS picture messages go into the same folder. You also have sent, drafts and outbox folders and also settings. 1000 text messages in total over all folders can be kept in the handset at anyone time. I usually have around 100 in total and experience no slowing of the phone. I can delete them individually or all at the same time which is ideal.
I rarely sent MMS messages but find them easy to put together without alterations. Sending a text from this handset takes me no time at all as the buttons are easy to press and I rarely make a mistake. I have the option of the predefined which I ofter use but also standard letters in both cases and numbers. A section with all the different symbols can be accessed making my texts easier to write. My texts are normally only short and well within the limit of around 160 characters. If I go over this, it will prompt me that I am sending more than 1 full message. Messages which aren't able to send go into my drafts.
Here I can see my missed calls, made calls etc and durations. I rarely access this through the main menu as there is a shortcut on the handset. Making a call is easy and I can connect to others quickly. Depending on my signal, the call is hassle free with both parties hearing what is being said perfectly. I can hang up easy pressing the relevant button. If my phone is switched off, my calls go to voicemail but I don't bother with this as it costs. I do get a text though telling me I have a voicemail.
This is probably the largest section of the phone with 5 sub categories. Here you can set you picture, greeting etc. Another section allows you to select your language, time, reset defaults and change your short cut keys. Your profile settings are in another section allowing you to change your phone to quiet, silent etc. There are also various security sections.
This section isn't used much by myself. The time is already set but if I go abroad, I find on switching my phone back on, it sets the local time for me. I sometimes change my picture which is very easy to do and if I am in a situation where I want my phone on silent, I can navigate down to the this option. This allows it to still be on vibrate so I know if I am needed.
Camera, video, media, voice recorder, playlist, slideshow and streaming are our options here. I take alot of pictures and normally access the camera through the shortcut on my handset. It isn't a superb camera and in dim conditions, it doesn't take great pictures. I don't own a digital camera so this needs to do me for taking photos when out and about. In decent lighting, the camera works well.
Unfortuantely I hate the fact that it makes a clicking noise when I take a photo, I wish I could turn this off but cannot find an option for this. I can hold steady for a picture and have the option to zoom in and out. Once a picture has been taken, I am asked to save it. I have given options to change the resolution before I take a photo, also how high quality I want, the level of brightness, the contrast and effects etc. The pictures are ok and I couldn't expect better for such a cheap handset.
The video facility clearly tapes whatever I aim at with little shaking. Videos can only be taken for 16seconds which is disappointing and the same options ie contrast etc apply. I rarely use this as by the time I access it, whatever my son was doing has stopped as he sees me going to video him! I rarely use the other options in this section but they are easy to use.
This is where all my photos and videos are stored. They are sorted into predefined folders but I can easily create folders of my own by hitting the menu whilst in the folder section. I currently have over 500 pictures stored from trips we have been on, christmas time, shows we have been to etc. I can access them all but they sometimes take a second or two to load up. Each photo can be viewed in different sizes and I can access the menu to confirm when it was taken etc.
I don't have any videos stored. The audio options offers various preloaded ringtones. The ring tones are of a good, playable quality and there is quite a few tacky sounding ones! My fiance sent me over 2 ringtones one of which is the 24 tune which I use as my text message tone. I use one called ringtone tune which isn't too offensive but I do try to answer it quickly! I really must download tunes! I have no issues with the memory as the phone seems to hold everything well and I have no need for a further memory card.
*~*Software and Accessories*~*
The disc that came in the box needed to be uploaded into my laptop. This was done on my old laptop but I have since lost it and am struggling to find it to upload onto my newer laptop. Once it was uploaded, 3 PC suite would run and always be there on my laptop. This was a multimedia suite which once I connected my phone with the uSB cable, allowed me to view my numbers, texts etc and also upload pictures. This was easy to do one it all loaded up and allowed me to store my pictures on my laptop. I must try and find the disc as I need to upload everything through facebook just now!
If I am using my phone alot for internet or bingo games, my battery runs down quicker. For standard everyday texting, calling and checking the time, the battery on a full charge, can last for several days without cutting out. The screen although bright and noticeable, can be set to time out and lock after a certain time. This does save my battery a good amount. I am happy with the battery life.
*~*Conclusion and Recommendation*~*
This phone has served me well. There are minor scrapes on it from being thrown into my bag but everything else is working fine. The only issue I have is the back of the phone is difficult to prise open should I need to but this is minor. This is a basic phone which carries alot of features which suit my needs. I can imagine it being ideal for someone looking for a cheap, easy to use phone or a teenager starting out using phones for the first time. Of course it isn't the fanciest phone out there with all the latest features but for the price, it is well worth it. I love my little phone and highly recommend it to you all.
I bought this phone after losing my uninsured I-Phone and while admittedly it is far from filling the void, it is an effective phone for its price. The majority of internet sites are accessible very quickly (though some do not load due to 'insufficient memory') while videos from sites such as YouTube also load and view very well. The camera is very good and the sound is of high quality for its videos.
The only slight disadvantage to the phone is the size of its keypad, which often means a) I find it takes a long time to text and b) I often find myself sending half complete texts by accidentally hitting the send button too early.
Apart from this it is a highly efficient and effective phone and has all the basic functions you'd expect from a phone in its price range (including Skype). All in all, good value and I would happily recommend it to friends and family.
Fantastic value for money, obviously marketed for 3g connection but has several good aspects apart from this obvious task. Can support an 8gb card, and for multimedia use it's a mixed bag. Video works OK, and will display at FULL screen upscaled (unlike some of the INQ varients which only display the native resolution) at the lower res', but in 'zoom' view the screen shows a lot of polarisation, so image looks a little odd uless you have the correct viewing angle. However, the screen is bright, and sharp with good colour contrast for a screen of this type. The audio is poor, either with supplied headphones or a better set (far too quiet!). The hanset has a very good browser, and also works very well with Opera should you wish to install. Java is supported, and works fine provided you do not wish to run a game needing 3d support, their is none. The best function for me is the Skype that works excellently. Camera is 2.0 Mp and very good, images are sharp and well defined for such a low end phone. This handset also is very compact and trendy in design, the keypad is very positive in response and feels more like a Nokia, overall I would recommend this phone, it has it's limitations true, but it's a bargain!
Is the ZTE F102 a good phone? Decide for yourself with this simple low-down:
Mobile phone network 3 ( Three ), is a good network to be on. For only a top-up of a tenna, I get three hundred free text's, 150 free minutes to call 3 mobiles and 150 mb of internet usage.
These 'free bees' all have time limits, but they last around 3 months, which is quite a good deal I think! Once this time limit is up, you can then just put a tenna on your phone and you get all the free bees again! Whey Hey!
Free E-bay is also included on this phone, however it is only useful for checking sales or making bids.
The phonealso features apps for using Skype and MSN Messenger, at no extra cost or internet usage.
The phone itself is lightweight, and ergonomic. However the screen was hard to see in direct sunlight at first due to glare. This can be changed in the settings however by increasing the brightness. This makes it alot easier to see.
The keypad is easy to use. Takes a while to get used to the T9 on this phone, but it becomes more fluent in the end. The internet browser on this phone also uses a different typing method to when texting, which is also quite confusing at first.
Overall a great phone for the price of under 30 pounds !
Bought this from Ebay to use as a my msn/skype phone when I am on the go. And that too because my w850 doesn't support MSN Messenger or Skype.
Anyway the box came with the phone, charger, data cable and a sim from 3. Phone takes an awful long to switch on and off. The screen isn't too big and the phone keys are very fidgety in the sense that its easy to press the wrong key.
Call quality isn't good at all and the ringtone at maximum volume is barely audible. Phone doesn't come with other applications such as Facebook or Twitter but I didn't expect it to have these either. Browsing the internet is decent enough and using MSN Messenger is the only saving grace of this phone. Skype doesn't sign in half the times even when you have credit - 3 boast that you can use skype without topping up. Only MSN works without any topup and this is the only thing I like about the phone. But I suppose the credit should go to 3 not ZTE.
Anyway the battery life is absolutely horrendous even when on standby mode. Without even using the phone the battery gets depleted and I need to recharge within a day or two. When using the phone heavily, expect having to recharge within a couple of hours.
I can't recommend this phone as MSN Messenger is the only plus point, everything else is bad.
I use this cheap, low cost phone solely for skype usage as I have many contacts on the network and it helps to be in touch with them. I originally bought this phone as I was struggling to find a compatible skype application for my own, and I was willing to pay for the internet usage. You can imagine my joy of course when I found that the use of Skype and MSN Live Messenger is completely free and can be used before even topping up with this handset, meaning that if you build a large network of skype contacts it can be completely free to keep in touch with them - no problem!
Aside from the excellent inclusion of free Skype to Skype calls and MSN Live Messenger the phone is pretty standard. It works well however the buttons are quite small, they are impossible to use if you have long nails, thick fingers, fat thumbs... in fact, unless you have pencil fingers you will struggle with the buttons on occasion.
I would like to mention the phones battery life, it is extremely frustrating. Sometimes the phone can last a week in standby without running low, however on other occasions a charge lasts little more than a day on stand-by. I have absolutely no idea why the timing changes even though the phone is doing exactly the same thing - but it's just something you will need to get used to when using this phone.
Overall I advise you buy it as a second phone that you can keep with you at all time in order to remain in touch on Skype and MSN, it is completely free to use these services and it means you don't have to be attached to a computer, it makes bus and train journeys a hell of a lot less boring too!
The ZTE F102 phone on 3 mobile is a low cost, easy-to-operate phone with features you would expect of a much more expensive mobile.
The F102 is a thin and light phone with a sleek, glossy appearance. The screen is large enough for most operations, including internet use. It is bright and has a very good resolution, brilliant for viewing photographs or placing custom images as your background. The interface is incredibly basic, with the menu sporting fairly low resolution images and basic text menus, but for a phone of this price these functional menus are more than adequate. To the rear is a 2 megapixel camera and an embossed 3 mobile logo, a nice minimalist style.
The buttons can be a bit difficult to use, as they are rather close together and are quite narrow, but after a bit of experience it becomes easy to text at a regular speed. The normal buttons to accept/reject calls are to be found as expected to the left and right of the phone. Nestled on the left is a unique and very useful 'switcher' button, which enables the user to operate multiple applications at once. For example, if you are surfing the internet when you receive a message, you can use this button to switch between the two without having to close any windows, a very useful and time-saving feature which is a welcome addition to a budget phone.
In addition to the much-touted free Skype-to-Skype calls, users of this phone can benefit greatly from the free internet allowance given after each top-up. For such a low-price phone, its internet performance really is impressive. With a list of selected bookmarks pre-loaded onto the phone and accessible from the home page, as well as the ability to allocate (limited) bookmarks, the phone suits surfing brilliantly, and is very simple to use. To my shock, even Youtube videos could be seamlessly streamed on this cheap device, a brilliant feat for the F102. Likewise, Windows Live Messenger performs perfectly on the phone, offering users another means of contacting friends for free (as no data charges apply to it).
The phone can also be used as an mp3 player, with headphones included in the box. The speaker (for playing music and speaking on speaker-phone) is adequate and does the job just fine, just don't expect it to match the music quality of other more expensive phones such as those of Sony Ericcsson. Likewise, the 2 megapixel camera is more than adequate and feels like a dedicated feature rather than a tagged on afterthought. Although there is no flash, picture quality is more than satisfactory.
For those who want to take more photos or use their phone as a dedicated mp3 player, there is an expandable MicroSD slot which offers an extension to the rather limited onboard memory. More impressively, the bundled CD software used to connect the mobile to a PC is both easy to use and very useful. Using the '3 PC Suite', you can transfer photos to and from the mobile, as well as music and videos. Most impressively of all, you can use the phone as a mobile internet dongle, allowing you to surf the internet on a laptop using the 3G connection in the phone. It connects quickly, works seamlessly and is an excellent feature I was shocked to find on a budget phone. This will, for some people, be enough reason to purchase this mobile.
The F102 is incredibly good value for money, with many features you would expect of a more expensive phone. It is a no-frills device, with a basic interface and plastic casing, but considering how good this phone is to use on the internet and that it can even be used as a dongle this is highly recommended for people seeking for a low-price phone with a wealth of features.
I was going mad, I hate spending money and not really getting anything out of it and my mobile was costing a fortune to run, I won't get a contract phone because I don't want a huge bill at the end of every month.I received a free 3 sim with £10 credit on it from a freebie site,I thought maybe I could save myself some money.
I went into town to look for PAYG deals, there are a good few mobile phone shops including phones 4 U, car phone warehouse and the Orange store, but there was a new one I hadn't seen before , the 3 store.I'd never have contemplated getting a 3 phone ,mainly because I am a bit of a technophobe, Blimey it took me three years to work out how to get music on my mp3 player !
...anyway I decided to have a nosey and see what they had on offer.
There was a wide array of phones to choose from, most of them on contracts,and for quite a reasonable amount, but, I had my mind set on a PAYG so I asked the assistant to recommend one.Certainly she said and directed me to the side where there five phones ranging in price from £19.99 to £99.99 . ..I picked the £29.99 phone.Its called a ZTE F102 .I asked exactly what do I get for my money, it seems like such a small amount surely there's a catch somewhere.
The Makers Claim ..this is taken from the 3 website.
The Phone is a Slimline 3G handset. 2 mega pixel camera. BluetoothTM. Support free calls with built-in SkypeTM and Messenger.
The ZTE 102 is all about affordability. You can make free Skype-to-Skype calls and chat for free with Windows Live Messenger. And it's easy to flick between applications with the switcher key.
It comes with a 2 mega pixel camera and has an impressive battery life - so you can use all the 3G features for longer.Comes with 3 Suite CD to download to your computer for easy transfer of files.
I was a bit weary of purchasing without first getting some much needed information so I asked my questions ,Q: It says free Skype to Skype calls but how do I download Skype onto the phone? A: Its already added to the phones applications, the same goes for the windows messenger.Q: how much does it cost ? A: Its absolutely free.Q: Are you certain I'm sure I heard somewhere that they were going to start charging for Skype? A: We would not sell this phone in the 3 shop on the 3 network if it wasn't free, we have no information that Skype will start charging.
The Phone details
Silver or Black in colour, its a very basic looking phone but with a few added extras, you have the screen which in my opinion is just the right size,below the screen there are three buttons,on the left hand side, a small button with two screens etched onto it ,it functions as a quick start to your open applications.Then you have a larger central button, which you use to navigate through your applications and phone settings, I've got quite long fingernails and have to be careful making sure that I am directing it to the right application or phone number , so the button could be a bit bigger .....or I need to cut my nails .
The right hand side button you use for cancelling.you have your usual call red and green receiver answer and end signs.
Then there are two smaller buttons , which if you didn't look hard for you wouldn't even notice them.These are the gateway to a wonderland.On the right hand side it takes you to your favourite pages these include , Welcome ,Yahoo,Skype,Google, Messenger,Bebo,Facebook , Youtube ,Myspace,Twitter. BBC,Sky,Travel guides ,Wikipedia, e-bay ,3 on demand,3 music store and the my 3 site, just navigate to the application you want click on it and away you go.simple , even for a technophobe like me.It even helps you to set up a new account for Skype giving you step by step instructions.
The smaller button on the right hand side takes you to a place called Planet 3 which in turn takes you to My3, this tells you everything that is new what's hot and whats not on the three network, it also gives you a direct link to 3 where you can check your balance and Internet allowance , or top up all for free.
The My3 site lets you manage your account either from your mobile phone or over the Internet, If you register a credit or debit card you can top up from as little as £5.00 but be warned if you add this it can take up to a week before your initial card can be used.As I found out after registering my details.
Phone specs ...taken from 3 site *
Talk Time:300 Minutes
Video Call Time: Minutes
Phone Memory:128 MB
Card Max. Size: GB
Size / Weight:
Windows Live Messenger:Yes
WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY
A £5.00 top up gives you 25 free texts and free 3 to 3 calls for 90 days
£10 top up via the My3 site doubles your texts to a whopping 600,and it keeps going up the more you top up , if you decide to top up by £25.00 you receive unlimited free texts.
You also get a mobile Internet allowance 150 MB for each top up.150 MB gives you enough to check your facebook page 100 times a day or Tweet 1,600 times everyday for 90 days, if you use your allowance they will let you know, then you have the option of topping up your credit again or buying an Internet add on. The add ons start at just £5.00.
Ease of Use
Well I am really happy with all of the functions on this phone.I have to say that personally this is the first piece of technology I own that doesn't scare me.It's so simple to use, I have even managed to transfer my mp3 files onto my mobile with the usb lead and 3 suite provided, so it really can't be bad.The Skype to skype calling is a brilliant feature,being able to talk for as long as you want calls no longer costing a penny ...I must be dreaming .
The Msn messenger is also free and doesn't eat into your Internet allowance at all. The built in camera is great, its resolution is brilliant considering how cheap this phone is. and it has a video camera as well which you can either use to make video calls or just videos to upload onto your social networking site.( That's what I did ) so simple all you have to do is use the usb lead and transfer the files from your phone to your computer.I'm sure there's another way to do it !, but hey give me a chance I'm just getting used to this technology .
I would highly recommend this phone to anyone who wants the technology ,but isn't willing or able to pay the price of a smart phone.Basically I can sum it up in seven small words.If I can do it Anyone can .
This review is also on Ciao under my username tara91***