Product Type: other mobile phones
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A Reliable, Budget Mobile
3 ZTE F102
Member Name: angelboouk
3 ZTE F102
Advantages: slimline, battery, pictures good, signal etc
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 It has been replaced by a newer version named ZTE F107.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.
Summary: my mobile
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