Product Type: Samsung mobile phones
Newest Review: ... the camera is surprisingly good, and I often bluetooth my photos onto my laptop and the quality is not too bad. You also automatically ha... more
Cheap and largely cheerful entry level phone
Member Name: melinda3536
Advantages: Good range of features
Disadvantages: Poor quality camera, confusing menus at times
I came by this phone for rather a convoluted reason. My Aunt, who's not very technologically minded, has two identical Nokia phones, one of which will text my Orange phone, and one which will not. The one that refuses to co-operate is her main phone, so, as she told me that she was on T-Mobile, I thought I'd see if there was a reasonably cheap but reliable phone available on their Pay-As-You-Go page. Having picked out a couple of likely candidates, I whittled them down to this one after reading through the Revoo ratings. This phone, after one successful attempt, then turned out to be no better for her awkward phone than my old one. Hmph. Then, and only then, did I discover that she thought that Tesco Mobile and T-Mobile were one and the same. She's on Tesco......
No matter. My eldest daughter IS on T-Mob, so we now enjoy cheaper calls and texts to each other!
So to the phone. I'm used to a clam-shell, so as this is a slide phone it's taken a bit of getting used to, especially as the weight is at the top and the keypad is at the bottom. Balancing it can be tricky at times. The main thing that was a problem straight away though was the very vulnerable screen, which was scratched within the first few hours. A sock was purchased forthwith, which is an extra fiddle to deal with. A benefit of the slide feature though, as with a clam, is that the keypad is covered and locked when the phone is closed, so no embarrassing unintentional phone calls!
Features-wise, for a cheap phone (it cost me around £30) this has quite a lot going for it. There is a built-in FM radio, it has Bluetooth, and a slot for a micro-SD card - with this it can double up as an mp3 player, as it has a music-player function and comes with in-ear phones supplied. Your mp3 files can also be used as ringtones.
The mobile web feature works pretty well, although it's a bit slow to load, and pages eventually display well. The only site that I use so far is Facebook, and that's pretty efficient, although this has sprung another problem in that the secure log-in pop-up box can't be clicked. I've tried every button on the phone, and I cannot figure out how to activate the 'ok' button in this pop-up. I've been cancelling this and using the non-secure log-in, which is not advised, so I'm only using it sparingly.
In terms of functionality, it is a bit more complicated than it should be in my opinion. I'll start with the phonebook. It's not just an easily accessible list. At any one time, only three entries are visible, with the highlighted one displaying a photo if you've set one, the name, and phone number below it. The top half of the screen is occupied by the 'Phonebook' and 'Contacts' headings, and below them a search box. You can also toggle to a 'Groups' setting. I suppose that the search box does away with any need for a fully displayed contact list, but personally I like to see them! It's a very busy display and lacks clarity. There is a host of options that you can go through connected to the phone book, including 'Settings', and thereby hangs another tale..
There are settings all over the place. There is a whole Settings icon with a sub-list in the pretty 12-item menu page, and there are Settings options on many of the applications and functions themselves, but to take an example, I wanted to switch off predictive text. My immediate thought was to go to Message in the Application Settings section. Well you'd think that'd be the place to go, but no, nothing there. I hunted around for a while with no success, then when I was struggling with a text message, I happened to look at the Options there and lo and behold, after scrolling down the screen, nearly at the bottom of the list were the magic words 'switch off predictive text'. This has cropped up with other things too. It's irritating that there are basic functions squirreled away.
The reason for the struggling with a text was that it was completely different to my other phone. This may be common practice with phones now, but it was the first time I'd come across it. Instead of allowing me to type out an unknown word, up pops a box with alternatives, and if I'm not quick enough through the menu to the 'add word' option, it'll enter the wrong one. After getting very wound up over trying to enter the simplest words, and either failing or spending an age adding words that it didn't recognise to the dictionary, I gave up and have been using type-by-letter ever since. When I have more time (and patience) I'll have another go, and may eventually get enough of my own preferred words in that it'll start to put them at the top of the options....
The camera is a 0.3MP VGA, with the option of small or smaller. It has several different modes including panoramic, which reduces the visible image so much that it's virtually unviewable, but fun to try once. The ordinary shots are ok for an emergency memento, as long as the lighting's fairly bright, otherwise forget it. It does however have a white balance feature, which I haven't yet tried out, which may help a bit. There is also a camcorder, which is frankly useless at this resolution, but would probably be a fun novelty to someone a lot younger than me!
One of the more useful functions is the Organiser section, which contains the calendar, a 100 character memo pad, a tasks section, a world clock, calculator, and a convertor (sic) which covers currencies, length (from mm to inches (both English and American) to nautical miles),weight, volume, area and temperature.
There are heaps of other functions to explore, in fact it's fairly mindboggling after having a very limited, basic phone for a long time. The battery life is pretty good, the storage is excellent if you add a memory card, you can use up to an 8GB microSD card, I've got a 2GB and have hardly dented it yet. My next task is to store a collection of mp3s in it to see how it does as an mp3 player. As long as you select the smaller size of photo it'll send picture messages (I've tried with the maximum size but they went astray).
To sum up, it is actually a very good entry level phone - it works well, it has many of the features that are desirable in a mobile, the main exception probably being a more decent camera. I think that if I was using it more regularly that I would probably find ways around my niggles, and the dictionary would almost certainly become more useful in time when using predictive text. My youngest daughter has yet to be given her first mobile, and actually I would consider getting her one like this if they're still available in a year or so, as she enjoys playing with the slide feature of it, and has also successfully made a phone call with it already. We shall see... :-))
Summary: It's ok really, just a bit frustrating sometimes!
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