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I came across the Samsung Ivy La Fleur on the Tesco Mobile site and decided it was love at first sight. Not for me, but for my mum as she needed to upgrade her phone. I know she likes to keep things basic, not being too hot with technology, and this mobile mixes simplicity with looks well at a bargain price.
Samsung is a brand I trust and respect, and having own their products in the past, I felt confident that this would at least be of reasonable quality and effective. The first thing that drew me to it was the design, which stood out from the crowd without effort. The E2350 is predominantly black on the outside with a stylish, almost oriental style flower design on the bottom right of the 'cover'. For a budget range flip phone, this is actually quite thin considering and not too heavy, and it's rather smooth yet rectangular rather than rounded. This gives it a smart appearance, offset by the feminine flower pattern. Opening it up reveals a red keypad; the whole of the inside, even around the screen, is red in colour, which is vivid and eye-catching. Because it's on the inside, it matches the red flower on the outside well without making the phone seem plastic fantastic, and instead makes it seem colour co-ordinated and
Considering the price of the phone, it's actually not bad in terms of features, including:
TFT colour display
Facebook etc apps pre-installed
Built in FM Radio
Expandable memory slot, with an internal memory of 10mb
Stand by : Up to 530hrs
Talk time : Up to 1.5hrs
The keypad is easy to use with buttons being neat and adequate for hands that aren't used to smaller keys or touchscreens. The buttons push easily and make texting that little bit easier. The flip aspect of the phone is smooth in motion, with the build quality seeming good; it may be plastic, but it doesn't feel too tacky. It feels smooth and stylish without seeming too delicate either. It's definitely not a bulky, hefty phone, but it's got some degree of sturdiness to it.
Navigating through the phone is relatively easy, or at least it must be fairly straightforward because even my mother can use it! It takes a little while to get used to the layout and options, but it is quite ergonomic and makes sense without having to sift through lots of instructions to do something that should be self-explanatory (such as getting in to the main menu). I wouldn't say this is the easiest phone on the market to use, but it didn't take my mum too long to get to grips with. I found it very easy to use, even though the texting and such wasn't quite to my liking. I think that's just because I've become more used to touchscreens and faster phones on the whole, especially when typing/texting as I go at a reasonable speed. Once adjusted to the features and overall layout though, it's quite user-friendly.
The camera is pretty standard but still adequate for the odd photo here and there. Providing, that is, you're taking it in decent light as there's no flash. It's basic and definitely not a standby for when your digicam batteries run out, but for the type of phone you still get photos that are reasonable enough in quality to see what you've taken.
One of the downsides is the lack of USB included with the phone, which isn't particularly helpful if you want to connect to your PC. It does, however, have Bluetooth, which is better than nothing. As for other connectability, it comes with internet capabilities (WAP, not wifi) and a few pre-installed apps, such as Facebook. The internet works okay, but not particularly quickly, not that I had really expected lightening speeds. It's not really something my mum has ever used, however, that was just when I had a play around with it.
In terms of customisation, there's the ability to download ringtones or choose from a range of pre-installed ones. The range is average, but good enough to get you started, and the same goes for wallpapers. In terms of the screen and the sound, both are also average. With regards to the former, it's not particularly big so internet browsing isn't going to be very easy (especially as it's not a touchphone or smartphone), but it's good enough to see icons clearly, send texts without problem and view photos. Again, it's just above average in my opinion if you think of a 'budget' phone. It surpasses some of the £10 phones you get that come almost pixelated with colour that fades or is non-existent, however, so you do get the sense that this is a pretty, interesting and useful little phone with more features that you may expect.
What I love about this phone is the design, which is one of the main reasons I chose this one. It's beautiful and looks very swish for the price, definitely falling in to the range of a girly, yet smart, phone. I don't think it really has too tacky an edge, because it's predominantly black with red detailing on the front and red inside, so it gets away with actually being very stylish. If it wasn't for me having a smartphone and not liking the idea of going back to a standard mobile, I wouldn't say no to this one for its looks. The downside for me, other than its simplicity, would also be its speed as it does take longer than I'm used to now, having used more capable phones, to text/change menus etc.
The Ivy Fleur is rather simplistic, but it's beautifully designed, has a range of features for the price and is user-friendly, so it's one I'd recommend if it's just above the basics that you're looking for.
Selling on Tesco Mobile for £39.99