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When my last mobile phone gave up the ghost, I was on a mission to find a cheap and functional replacement. I'm on Pay as You Go, partly because no one would be stupid enough to give me a contract with my credit rating but also to help me keep tabs on my mobile spending. Since I'm too tight to pay out for a landline, it's my only form of communication with friends and family so it was essential that the mobile I bought was more than just a pretty face.
So into TJ Hughes I wandered. It's the discount department store that sells all manner of things including a half decent selection of PAYG mobiles at rock bottom prices. At the time, I couldn't afford much more so I eyed up the phones and settled on my new communications device of choice, the Samsung C120. It set me back somewhere around £15, give or take a pound or two.
The phone itself is small, without being so ridiculous as to look like you're talking into a matchbox. It's black and quite aesthetically pleasing with curved edges, a decent sized screen and buttons that are where you would expect and do what you expect. This may sound a strange thing to comment on but I've seen the achingly hip phones my friends carry around and whilst I'm not a technophobe, you have to wonder how they use these to make phone calls and send text messages on a regular basis.
If you're used to Nokia mobiles, then the menu can take a little getting used to. That said, it's still easy to navigate and most things are where you'd expect them to be. Bits like message delivery reports always take me an hour to find when I decide I need to switch them on and off (I'd never make a good private detective!) but the everyday essentials are easy to locate and use.
Features are limited. For me this isn't a problem and for £15, what do you expect? There's no camera but I have a digital camera for taking pictures. There's no FM radio function but I have a radio for when I want to listen. It doesn't have the latest polyphonic ringtones but the thought of trying to locate it in my handbag whilst the Crazy Frog is blaring out is something that fills me with dread.
On the plus side, it makes and receives phone calls and does the same for text messages. There's predictive text which I have now trained to recognize swearing and my favourite turns of phrase. It has a selection of chirpy ringtones to catch my attention without embarrassing me and there's a colour screen which isn't particularly exciting but probably deserves a mention. It has a useful calendar function and you can set up to three alarms which fortunately is the minimum required to get me out of bed in the morning.
The battery life seems good and I can often go for three days without charging the phone. I always leave mine switched on 24-7 just in case I miss something exciting which I never do but it's good to know that the battery can stand the test of time. As for sound quality, I've never had a problem but everyone who calls me complains it sounds echoey at their end. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the phone in general or just mine but since the quality of calls is fine at my end, I can't really complain!
I've had this phone for about 6 months now. It's been on the market for a while so it isn't an all singing and all dancing gadget but it does a job and if I were to lose it or break it I certainly wouldn't be mortified. That said, it's coped with being dropped on various occasions and only has the slightest of scratches where my kitty decided to try and chew it so it's pretty sturdy. I can call and text my friends and if I want to take a photo, I'll grab my digital camera which does a far better job than any mobile I've come across. Of course when I win the lottery, I might upgrade to an Iphone, just so I can keep up with reading and rating reviews whilst I'm on the move! But for now, my C120 does exactly what it says on the tin and I can't say fairer than that.