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      11.10.2005 16:55
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      3 Comments

      Advantages

      • Reliability

      Disadvantages

      If you want a camera phone on a budget, get it!

      I was bored of my NEC e313. I wanted a phone with some of the more modern features, such as bluetooth.This was because I loved the idea of being able to share my pictures and videos for free.

      So I turned to my local Carphone Warehouse. After browsing through stupidly expensive phones, I came across a large yet somewhat attractive phone called the a835. I was drawn by the two-tone silver and dark grey shell, and the huge screen, and the fact that it had bluetooth, and infrared, and was only £29.99 - including fifteen pounds worth of credit.

      Ten minutes later and I am at home, charging it up. Yeah, I know, it is meant to have a "Good long charge overnight" but who ever does that before they play about for a bit first? The first thing I noticed was that although it is about half a centimetre smaller than the 313, it is also considerably heavier. It is also slightly thicker. The next thing I noticed was the biggest speaker I have ever seen on any kind of mobile phone. It takes up about a quarter of the rear of the phone, and is incredibly loud. Next thing I noticed was that all of the wires, and even the software needed to link the phone up to a PC was all in the box with it. As I loved being able to upload photos from my 313 I was a bit gutted at the prospect of buying a new cable for a new phone... but here it was. Bearing in mind that for the 313 I had to buy a cable for a tenner, and download some woftware from the internet, I thought this was one of the best features of the phone.

      After taking it out of its box and FINALLY putting the sim card onto its little hole (I never said the phone was easy to use... more on that later) and putting it all together, I started to check out the features. The screen quality and resolution is very very good, and as such photo and video quality is good too. I was slightly dissapointed when I tried to take a video inside and the quality was terrible, though - the lighing has to beperfect else you have a strange flickering effect (think an untuned television). I also loved the sound quality too. The ringtones that come as standard are generally very good, and as the wires for the PC are all included, it is easy to download your own ringtones for free.

      After checking the sounds and free photos (No free videos though) I went to link it up onto the PC. After installiong the software, which was easy enough, I linked up the phone through the free wire. Another good feature on this is the fact that you can plug your charger into the same wire, so it is still poible to charge the phone while uploading photos and the like. After uploading all the photos, videos, and ringtones from my old phone, I also chucked in a few MP3s for good measure.

      Don't get me wrong - the free software is very good, and being able to transfer photos is great, but it is SO SLOW! It takes about 10 minutes to put a decent MP3 onto the phone, which for me is about twice the time it takes to download it! Photos take about ten seconds, depending on the size, and videos it is totally varied. This is one of a few problems with the phone.

      The first thing about this phone which made me openly say "Wow" was the fact that you can set MP3s as your ringtone. Now, when someone rings me, it plays Everytime, by Britney Spears, and when someone texts me it plays the whole of Angel by Shaggy (See my favorite songs review).This means that if your phone rings in class, for example, you can just say it is your MP3 player or, if youre a rich git, your PDA.

      Anyways, enough of that, lets go onto the good and the bad.

      GOOD
      -High quality everything (except video)
      The phone has got a high quality speaker and screen, and in the right light takes decent photos and videos.

      -Apparantly unlimited video
      Ah, I was wrong.Not unlimited, the video can record for up to three minutes. However, this is still good, and better than most phones. If only the quality was better...

      -MP3 Ringtones
      Wow. Just wow.

      -Comes with free software
      Which on most phones costs almost as much as the phone itself.

      -Has better battery life than most 3 phones
      While some of the 3 mobiles have a battery life of less than a day, this phone can last about 2 or 3 days witout charging. Also, the battery only takes a matter of hours to charge fully.

      -Massive memory
      This has even more memory than my MP3 player! This means there is plenty of room for songs, videos, and pictures. Also, with the software that comes free with the phone, there are ways to cut or rip certain parts of video or songs that you want, perfect for if you dont want a three minute text tone.

      -Loud speaker
      The speaker quality is brilliant. The whole phone vibrates from the noise when you are listening to music. I like to have music playing while I am riding my bike, and it is safer to have the phone on in your pocket as opposed to an MP3 player in your ears.

      BAD
      -Heavy
      It is a large and heavy phone. But once your friends get over the "Compensating for something" jokes, then that does not matter.

      -Hard to use
      The joystick takes a while to get used to. I still have trouble navigating menus, and it is a bit of a nightmare when trying to view pictures close up as panning takes a long time.
      Putting the sim card in is a mission on its own. I am one of the (admittedly stupid) people who likes to try set something up without instructions, but without the instructions this is very hard to do. There is a kind of door thing the swings open - when it wants to. Took a while to do. But it isnt a huge thing, just adds to the difficulty to use

      -It takes AGES to write a comma!
      You have to press the 1 button about 10 times before you can write a comma! Why!? Even the squiggly ~ mark appears before it, and I have never even thought about using that! I use commas a lot in texts usually, but now I setlle for three dots, ie. ...

      -Dark screen
      The screen is dark. It is a fact. Even with the backlight, it is hard to see in the sun. When the backlight goes out, it is invisible no matter where you are.

      Now, if you do not want to pay hundreds of pounds for the most modern phone, but still want all the features of one, go for this phone. I love being able to send photos from my PC to people using bluetooth. Also, it is cheap. 30 quid, for a video and bluetooth and infrared phone, AND 15 quid credit? And that isn even mentioning the usually explensive software and cable to share files with your PC. Get in.

      LINKS
      www.winMX.com - A very good file sharer. What I use to download MP3s and the like.

      www.google.com - Ok, you already know what it is.... but it has a very good image search so you can put pics on your phone easily.

      http://www.midishrine.com/index.php?id=1643 - Sonic ringtones! Yay!

      http://www.imtoo.com/mpeg-encoder.html - A fantastic little piece of software which can convert mpgs or avis etc. into MP4 or 3gp files, ie. files that can be played on your mobile. Sorted!

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