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8 Reviews
  • far too many functions for novices like me!
  • Pricey with BT
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    8 Reviews
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      11.01.2002 03:53
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      • "far too many functions for novices like me!"

      I have recently purchased a new mobile phone (the Ericsson A2618s) , and was soon amazed how much mobile phone technology has moved on in the last year. If you are really up to date with mobile phone technology, then I suggest you skip this review, as I may be stating the obvious. However, if, like me, you are a complete novice to mobile phone technology, this review is for you! Anyway, last Christmas (year 2000) I was bought a Motorola Orange m3788e phone. They were on special offer in Argos for around £25 at the time. With pay-as-you-go cards, this was quite a cheap way for me to phone home if I was going to be late from work, as an emergency option, etc. Then I discovered text messaging – an even cheaper way (an addictive way) to communicate with my friends. My trusty m3788e was easy to operate and to my knowledge, you could only type in characters in upper case. If I missed a call, then the handy “voice mail” icon would light up and I could listen to the all too familiar ladies voice saying “You have 1 new message….” However, just before Christmas (in other words, on its first birthday!), my trusty m3788e decided to lose its “charge”. I would charge it up overnight, switch it on in the morning and by lunchtime the battery would be flat. I got fed up after about 2 weeks of this, so in the sales I decided to look for a new phone. Naturally, they no longer make the same model any longer (as is usually the case with modern technology). I still wanted a pay-as-you-go phone, as I only occasionally need to use it. I trawled the many mobile phone shops looking for a cheap deal and was amazed how much these phones had risen in price during the last year. I was also amazed to find out how incredibly unhelpful the sales advisors were to someone who just wanted a cheap phone. OK, if you sign some contract or other, the companies virtually give the handset away free, but I did not want to be tied to a contract. In the end, I gave up looking as in a funny sort of way, there was lots of choice, but not really what I was looking for. Last week, I had a spare half-hour so I popped into the “Orange” shop in King’s Lynn. The cheapest phone was the Ericsson A2618s, at £49.99. I concluded that I would have to pay this, to get sorted with a new phone, but was a bit unhappy about having to pay so much. The phone came with a £5 credit voucher to get me started, which makes the price £44.95 really, so that didn’t seem too bad. Then, I discovered that inside the box was a “hands-free” kit. Having never had one of these before, I could see where it might come in useful. (Why does the phone always ring when you’re in the loo, or in the bath? – a perfect solution!) Anyway, the sales advisor was very helpful and I had to wait a while for the phone to be registered, I also got yet another Top-Up card, for use in Tescos, etc. Following the lady’s advice, I charged the phone up for 16 hours and then had a play around with it! Initially, I was amazed by how completely different this phone was to my previous one. The graphics were outstanding! By pressing the arrow keys, this revealed a menu with little pictures at the top of each one, with lots more sub-menus within them. I was only used to a few functions on my old phone, so was really amazed. I followed the really useful and completely idiot-proof instruction manual (complete with Orange cover, in case I forget!) to enter all my phone numbers into the “Phone Book”. The handset has a “Yes” and “No” button which is a really simple and effective way to navigate your way around. Many of the choices had little “radio” buttons to selct and deselect the option you require. Then I discovered the hidden “toys!” I had no such luxuries on my faithful m3788e. The first “toy” I found was the melodies. I only had a choice of 3 tunes on my old phone, well, imagine my amazement when I discovered at least 12 different ring tones! We spent the rest of the evening playing “Name that Tune!” If I could read music, I apparently also have the luxury of making my own tunes up, by pressing the appropriate letter names. The second “toy” I found was the personalisation of the Welcome screen. Instead of saying “Orange”, mine now says, imaginiatively “Hello, Chris!” Stunning. The third and final “toy” was the Games!! Wow! A choice of 3 amazingly simple, yet completely addictive games. They are as follows: a) Tetris – minus the annoying theme tune, you have to turn the handset sideways, somewhat bizarrely, and slide the shapes into a tessellating pattern. b) E-maze – like Pac-Man, but the graphics are too small for my liking. c) Erix – by far the best game and one which I had previously unheard of. It’s like a cross between “Tron”, “Missile Attack”and “Breakout”. The devilishly simple game involves you taking control of a little blob, whilst two other little blobs bounce around the screen. You have to make 75% of the screen go black by filling in shapes with your little blob. If one of the bouncing blobs hit your line then you are dead and have to start again. I would be interested to know other dooyooer’s highest scores on “Erix!” I’m sure there are zillions of other functions available to me on this handset, 75% of which I will never use. It amazes me that technology has moved on so much, that in 2002, 21 years after the ZX81 was invented, that up and down the land people are playing a game on their mobile phones with simpler graphics than the ZX81! It was Victor Papanek in his book “Design for the Real World”, who said “designers need to design for our wants, not artificially created wants”. Although technology has without a doubt moved on a pace, did I really have to spend £49.99 on a design which all I need it to do is to make a phone call, not to chase bouncing blobs around a screen?

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        16.09.2001 05:02
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        Purchasing this mobile I dont regret but I had a setback after I bought it as the messages wouldn't send. I was thinking of changing it but I'm glad I didn't as I just changed some factory numbers and its working. Its my first mobile and I was unsure of how to set it all up but the phone came with a large manual and you can set it up online. Online it is so simple you just follow instructions and fill in any details necessary and you receive an update on your phone. It comes in a text message format so you just read it then delete it then its updated. I was anxious to use my phone but I had to charge it up for 16 hours which seemed to last ages. I was attracted to the phone by its stylish look, it has a great black and gold cover and not the flowery cover shown on the picture so it looks great. It is not the smallest phone on the market but it isnt big either. Its quite light and it does look good and has a good shape. I took into consideration its service, how easy it is to navigate and obviously the games. If I've got nothing else to do I will play on the games. TETRIS, PACMAN and ERIX. You all know tetris and pacman but erix is a game where you have to fill in a percentage of the screen by filling boxes. You are called a pen and you draw a line wherever you travel but there are moving obstacles you have to dodge. If the obstacles hit youre line you lose 1 out of 3 lives if you join your line you make a box which will fill an area. Achieve a certain amount of area percentage and you will advance to the next level. Everything you need to know is all under a large menu, there are essential things under the menu which come in handy. PROFILES- whith profiles you can configure your ring volume and tone for different situations. You can select a quiet ring tone for a meeting so you save yourself from those embarrassing moments. HOUSE- if your in your house your phone might be upstairs so you have a loud ring tone so you can hear it. There a re others for in the car, outside and for hands free. I was a little dissapointed with the ring tones as there wheren't much choice to choose from and its not as if you can download them off the internet, there doesn't seem to be any way of downloading tones off the internet for the eriksson phone. Dont worry though as there is a composer so if you want to spend your time making youre own tone then you can do. I can't create my own tones though but luckily I like one of the tones already on the phone. You can also make shortcuts to save time looking through the menu. You can program it to load up one of youre games by holding down one of the keys. This can come in handy if you ring someone regularly and you dont want to look for ages down the number list which holds up to 99 numbers. I do love this phone even whith the early scare, and I can if I want change the phone cover. As I always like a different look to my phone. Overall its a great phone which I strongly recommend as it is a solid phone.

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          11.09.2001 02:28
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          Yes at last after all this time, 2 years, I have a mobile phone and I couldnt of chose a better one. My first thought was it isnt small enough its not light enough but it did look very sexy and it has style. When you have a good close look you really appreciate its stunning looks and design. I have a black and gold cover for my phone and it looks a lot better than the pic given with the flower on it. --------------------------------------------- Apart from just looking stunning you can embark on its great games and a ring tone composer which can keep you contained for a few hours. The games include PACMAN :- called E-maze and its just like pacman apart from when you gobble the corner balls (or whatever you like to call them) you get bonus points instead of running after the gosts to eat them. If you do you will lose a life out of 3. TETRIS :- You all know what tetris is but for those who dont its a classic game of puzzle solving where different shapes fall from the top of the screen and you have to slot them into gaps to create a line. Once the line is full with no gaps it will vanish creating more room to manuever your shapes to vanish another line. If you cross the top border you will lose the game. ERIX :- This game is so addictive, I find myself playing it for hours before I realise its way gone midnight. There are balls which travel accross the screen which you have to dodge to create blocks. You are called a pen which has an active trail which travels behind it but when it gets hit by one of the balls you lose a life. you have to fill a percentage of the screen depending on what level you are on. --------------------------------------------- I know when most prople buy a phone they are concerned with what ring tones it has, well you wont be delighted whith what this phone offers. There is one tone which I like which is a popeye tone which I think is done well but there are only about ten others you can chose from and they aint brilliant. There is an oppertunity to create your own ring town whith a composer utility where you can create your own tone to suit your phone. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm that rymed. --------------------------------------------- There is also something impotant which comes in handy called profiles. If you are in a different situation where you dont want to embarress yourself whith a loud ring tone you can change your profile. Different profiles include meeting, in car, outside, port h-free and home. you can select a volume for each profile and a ring tone for each profile so you can have a quite ring when your in a meeting or none at all, a loud tone for home incase your phones upstairs and an average tone volume for an outside situation. You can select a profile from the menu. --------------------------------------------- You can send text messages with this phone but you cant send picture messages which is a bummer but its not the end of the world. Everything on the phone is easy to navigate and find so there will be no problems finding what you want. Everything is under a menu and you only use 3 or 4 buttons to find yourself around. --------------------------------------------- There are such things called shortcuts where you can edit ways to pop up whatever you want which would normally take a couple of minutes to find on the menu just by holding down a number. Great if you want to select a game quickly rather than looking down a menu to find it to play it. --------------------------------------------- This must be the best phone I could of bought, it was easy to set up and it costs about £40. Pretty cheap compared to most phones on the market, well worth buying if you want a stylish cheap phone which has everything you need. Definatly recommended!!!!!!.

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          03.08.2001 05:57
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          • "Pricey with BT"

          At first, I found this phone great, like many of the other reviews, but have found some big faults. It is very easily damaged - in 3 months of having it, I've cracked the screen and the ariel snapped off, which are costly to repair out of warranty. I had the ariel quoted as £30, and the screen £15. Lucky it was taken in under warranty. The functions are good, but it is a bulky handset and i'm not too impressed with it anymore! They were novel to begin with, like compose your own ringtone, but now it's just naff. The tetris is still good, and the other games! WAP doesn't work with it on BTCellnet, which is disappointing since I bought it as a WAP phone. BT Cellnet is annoying, because vouchers come in £10 minimum, and so do swipe top-ups.

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          19.04.2001 03:45
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          I warn you, this opinion is going to be passionate. It’s going to contain feelings, which you might think are unnatural between a man and his mobile. Well, if society can't handle it, I’ll move to Japan. This phone is the mutt’s nuts, the pooch’s pebbles, the dog’s boll...you get the picture. What did you say? Get to the point Noggsy? Ok, ok, you’re so impatient! I bought the phone for £39.99 from the Mobile Phone Store (part of the BTCellnet group of shops) because my Nana asked me to help her look for a pre-pay mobile and that looked to be about the best. Whilst showing her how to use it (no easy task) I realised that although this phone was suitable for someone unused to mobile technology, it also had loads of features which I wanted on my own phone. I searched for ages in St Helens (where I live), but none of the shops there had any left, so I was forced to go back to Warrington to get one for myself. While we’re on this topic, I think I‘ll mention something I found out whilst looking around. Apparently, the cost of pre-pay phones is going up at the end of this month (April), so manufacturers are holding back stocks. With that in mind, if you are about to change phones, do it now (finish reading this first of course), or risk paying more than you need to. Also, many of the shops I went to had no pre-pay phones at all, so it might be worth spending some time on the other phone, ringing round, before you go. Ok Noggsy, but what makes this phone so good? <sighs> Where do I start? The handset itself is 140g and measures 131 by 51 by 25mm (it says here), which to me, feels about right. I don’t want a phone that I can lose under a plectrum in my pocket. Saying that, it’s not a big clunky thing, just the right size in fact. The screen is a good size for texting, with space for four lines of text at one time (compared to two on my old m obile). One thing that I really like about this phone, is how customisable (what a word!) it is. Aside from the now standard greeting message, you can upload pictures and tunes from a PC. You can also add any function of the phone to a shortcuts menu, so it need only take two button presses to get you started on another game of Tetris. Plus, you can do the interchangable, press-on cover thingy's (sounds like a sanitary towel). Like with most things, the extra bells and whistles don’t always make the phone particularly more functional, but for the price, it’s nice to get things to play with. Speaking of price…I was on BTCellnet’s U tariff, which was costing me a fortune. The BTCellnet Pay and Go tariff is highly competitive and is as follows: 25p/m peak, 10p/m off-peak, 2p/m weekends – to landlines. 10p/m weekdays, 2p/m weekends – to Cellnet mobiles. 50p/m all times – other mobiles. 10p – text message (although it’s half-price for a couple of months). 10p – to access your voicemail. UPDATED:- There are no service charges on this tariff and calls are billed by the second (although there is a 2p minimum charge per call). Those rates seem to me to be the best around for someone who wants control over how much they spend, but it still gives you the opportunity to use the thing without feeling guilty. NB – The phone comes with £5 credit pre-loaded. Other reasons to buy this phone… *It’s got three games :o) - Tetris, a form of Pacman called Maze and one I have never seen before called Erix, which is completely addictive. Now games may not be an influencing factor in your choice of phone, but consider this, what if you’re stuck on a platform waiting for a train and you’ve finished your book/the paint’s dry? You can organise a Tetris competition with all your fellow waite rs and bring a little sunshine into people’s lives. Also useful for when your 6-year-old nephew is bugging the c**p out of you, cos he won’t let you play on his Gameboy – “Now you play this one and let Uncle Noggsy play SuperMario”. *Superb signal cover. I’ve used BTCellnet in the Highlands of Scotland and this phone has got even better reception than my old one, due to the improved aerial I think. *The menus are comprehensive and intuitive. *Voice-dialling. There isn’t a superlative to tell you how good this feature is, for a couple of reasons: a) All my technophobe Nana has to do to call someone, is press a key and say a name, which is sooo much simpler than trying to explain about searching a phone-book etc. b) It works along with the button on the hands-free kit, so you don’t even have to look at your phone, never mind fumble about looking for a number. There are spaces for 10 voice-dial numbers in the memory, which seems plenty enough to me. *The hands-free kit. As well as the aforementioned voice-dial feature, this kit allows you to answer a call, either by simply saying “answer” (or “busy” to refuse a call), or by pressing the handy button. The button also allows you to refuse or end a call, which means that you can just plug it in at the start of a car journey and not touch the phone again. The only drawbacks as far as I can see, are the cost (£14.99 from the Vodaphone shop) and the fact that you can’t plug the hands-free kit in at the same time as the charger (but then, only someone who had just bought the phone and was writing an opinion for dooyoo would want to). *The manual is easy to use, indexed and only contains English. I can’t stand those comprehensive-looking manuals that only contain 3 pages of instructions which I can read, but allow the manual to be read by 17 different nationalities. *Every item in the menus has a scrolling help text, which appears after about 5 seconds to explain what that particular menu/item does. This is particularly useful for someone not familiar with this kind of technology (although it’s helped me out several times as well) and it can turned off. *Mute function, which allows you to mute the phone in the middle of a conversation. This is great; my house phone doesn’t even do this! *An e-mail based text system which has an inbox, outbox, ability to save/delete/forward messages etc. This format feels a lot more comfortable to me, as well as being very intuitive to use. There are loads of additional characters on each key as well, so you have chance for some variety in your texts. TIP: By holding down a character key whilst composing a text message, a number will be displayed. This is useful to know, because numbers are at the end of a list of up to 10 characters, so it saves wear and tear on your poor thumb. Noggsy, what isn’t good about this phone? Well, although all of the above features work on the BTCellnet network, reading through the manual, it’s obvious that there are some other complicated features (like conferencing and multiple lines), which don’t. The only one I was particularly bothered about was access to WAP functions, but then at the moment, WAP doesn’t really appear to be that good anyway. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll realise that I think highly of this phone. Please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me if you've got any feedback :o) Oh, and if it does learn to cook, I’ll invite you all to the stag do.

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            10.02.2001 20:30
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            Are you your own person? Do you have your own ideas and tastes? And do you want a mobile phone that?s not just another faceless Nokia, but that provides a good looking, high tech alternative? If your answer to these questions is yes, then the Ericsson A2618 may be the answer for you. Launched in September last year the A2618 is aimed at the mid range of the mobile market, providing a small, stylish and powerful phone at an affordable price, even on pay as you go packages. I bought my Ericsson on the Orange Pay As You Go package, from the link about a month ago. Since then I have been using the phone and have come to the opinion it is a brilliant. The set-up process was pretty fiddly, firstly the battery had to be pushed into place with a worrying amount of force(and a loud crack, eek!) then the actual registration was annoying (this was an orange problem though). Once the phone was ready though, the battery was already fully charged which was nice as it meant I could get right on with using the phone. The features of the phone are all reached by a nicely navigable menu, which appears along the top of the screen with little pictures of the menu options. I prefer this to the Nokia menu (sorry for the continued comparisons, but it should help if you have to make a choice) which only shows the options one at a time, which can lead to endless searching through. The menu can be slightly slow though, especially when the batteries are low. I will go through the menu sections one by one If you want to skip this bit, as it will take a while to cover everything just skip to the next line _____________________________________________ 1 Phone book The phonebook stores 100 names on the phone and a further 90 on the sim card. The numbers can be searched by name or by position, also unknown numbers that call or text are made available for easy entry into the phonebook. The phone also provides ten voice dial ling labels that allow you to call numbers by saying the name, this is a bit gimmicky but seems to work well. Also ten email addresses can be saved. 2 Messages Here are two of the few flaws of the phone, the inbox of messages is slow to navigate, especially when you have a large number of messages, however this is annoying rather than life threatening. The other problem is that the phone does not comprehensive text (damn Nokia : 1), this makes text messages a bit fiddly to write, however as templates can be saved of most message types, the process can be speeded up a lot. 3 Call Info This just keeps track of call timers and also gives a text message sent counter. This is all pretty self explanatory. 4 Settings Here you set up the phone, and personalise it to your styles. You have the usual awful ring tones, or you can type in your own which can be found for free of the internet. You also have the option to alter the date and time, lighting and display options, and profiles of ring volumes or change networks. 5 Extras This is a nice little collection of other uses for your phone, there?s an alarm clock, stopwatch, calculator, WAP services ( I can?t tell you how good these are, as they aren?t implemented on the orange network yet) and finally the games. Rather than that overused and pretty boring snake, or one of it?s clones, the choice is Tetris (brilliant!!), a version of Pacman and a bizarre game called Erix which involves drawing lines and avoiding bouncing balls (don?t ask). These really help pass the time, if you don?t mind being a bit anti-social. 6 Ongoing call These are features to use while making a call, such as divert and second line functions. I don?t really use these much so I can?t explain much about them. 7 Shortcuts As you can probably see, there are a lot of options, to avoid having to scroll through them all, you can set the most commonly used on one list which are much quicker to get to. The phone itself is quite small (131mm (155 inc. aerial) x 51mm x 35mm) it has a smooth sleek S-shape a fits nicely into your hand. The aerial is slightly annoying as it does stick out a bit, but it?s not a major worry, and it does give you something to fish the phone out of your pocket with, as well as meaning you get more reliable coverage. The phone has changeable front a back covers which mean you can alter it even more to your own style, although the Ericsson covers are expensive at £15 for one set. The battery life is very impressive, I have had the phone switched on for five days solidly, just left on standby. However this does drop to nine hours of talk-time, also if you play the games or move around the menus a lot. ____________________________________________ I have found the A2618 really easy to use, and have not found it wanting in any areas. The only flaws are the lack of comprehensive texting and the aerial, both of which are just minor inconveniences. I would thoroughly recommend this phone to anyone looking for a good alternative to the Nokia 3210, or just a nice mobile in the sub 50 pound price range. PS sorry about the long opinion but I felt I had to cover all the details to do this phone justice and to make this an informative opinion Richard

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              04.02.2001 23:07

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              i have to say that when i decided to buy a new phone i wanted the nokia 7210, after all, it is the phone off the matrix, however, there was one drawback, namely it is 150 quid, which i simply don't have. So i went around town looki for the bargain phones and voila, there in the orange shop, i found this tidy little number, i have to say, the idea of tetris over snake appealed to me cos everyone has snake on their phone, it's nice to be different. There are 2 other games but i haven't played em yet so i can't comment on those. You can compose your own ringtones, which is good because the ringers that come with all phones are pants. So what else can i say, all in all it's a good replacement for my old phone, which just so happened to get ran over by a truck when it fell out of my pocket as i ran across the road.

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              14.11.2000 22:09
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              This new funky fone is the one for me! Not only is it stylish, but it has new games, maze and tetris, as well as exceptional functions, making the phone easy to use. I saw this phone advertised on the internet and instantly knew it was a great but. You only get it on contract, on BT Cellent i think but i'm not to sure when it comes out. It appears to be the perfect. It has a fax and internet service on it too and you don't usually get a goregous phone with that facility as well! If you ask me, before long its going to be more popular that the nokia. To test it out, go to www.ericsson.com and you can look a the diferent covers, try out the games and check out the facts! It definetly worth a look!

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