Product Type: Samsung mobile phones
Newest Review: ... 1.3 mega pixel camera and high volume loudspeaker for use in noisy environments. The phone also has an FM radio application and so... more
Robust phone but user unfriendly
Samsung GT B2100
Member Name: boatgirl
Samsung GT B2100
Advantages: Robust, good torch, good battery life
Disadvantages: Awkward operating system
I have had this phone as a work phone for about 18 months, It replaced a Nokia 5140 which I'd had for ages with no problems.
Build quality and practicality
On the face of it, this phone is ideal if you work outdoors or like to indulge in outdoor activities. It is shock resistant and splash proof and has a good, robust feel to it. The body is rubberised which stops it sliding off your car dashboard and it has a handy hoop at the top, to which you can attach a strap to avoid dropping it. If you do drop it, it will just bounce. The battery and cover will stay in place and unless it lands with excessive force, there will be no damage sustained. The phone is fitted with a bright LED torch which is easy to switch on by means of a dedicated switch on the side, and, I have to say, this is by far the best feature.
The headline features of this phone, aside from the durability and torch (mentioned above) are the bluetooth connectivity, 1.3 mega pixel camera and high volume loudspeaker for use in noisy environments. The phone also has an FM radio application and some basic games. These are not as good as they sound. The camera is extremely poor quality and difficult to access in a hurry, the 'high volume' speaker so you can hear it ringing is no louder than my other phone (HTC Tattoo see review) The supposed speaker phone application is such a hassle to switch on that I have given up trying and the radio will only work with the supplied headphones which have long since broken which means I can't use it. I have not used the bluetooth so I cannot comment on that. It also has an alarm clock which I sometimes use, this is functional but nothing special.
This is my main area of complaint. A number of the headline features would be great if the operating system were more user friendly. The menu system is just not logical like the old Nokia or a more modern android or iphone. To give an example, if you want to send a simple text message, here is the procedure: 1,unlock keypad, 2,press menu, 3,scroll to message symbol, 4, press select, 5,select create new message, 6,select message(or email), 7,press options, 8, select add recipient, 9,select phonebook/recent recipients etc, 10, tick box to select recipient 11,select options, 12,click add, 13, type message (the predictive text is appalling) 14,click options, 15,press send. It really shouldn't be necessary to have to go through 15 steps to send a text. This clunky, step by step procedure is reflected in all the applications and just drives me mad.
Charger and earphones
There is one single socket on the side of the phone which serves either the charger or the supplied earphones. This is a unique, samsung design of socket and therefore means that it is not USB or 3.5mm jack compatible. All very well but if you lose, forget or break the charger you've had it. Why they didn't fit it with a mini USB and 3.5mm jack socket I'll never know. It also means that you'd need to buy a special lead to transfer any of the poor quality photos you've taken to your PC.
I have to say, jet another area that underwhelms. Its a pretty small screen and the image quality is poor, the pixels are large enough to notice, it has that look of an old style tv when viewed up close.
To be fair, the battery life of this phone is good. It will easily last a week on standby and almost as long with light to medium use. I can't complain about this.
If you want a phone that won't break when dropped and has a good torch and battery life then this might be for you. If you want it for anything more than this, DON'T BOTHER. It is so awkward to use that you'll just give up. I wonder if whether they made it so robust in order that you can throw it across the room in a frustrated rage and it not break. Seriously, it's rubbish, if it weren't my company work phone, I'd have binned it long ago.
Summary: Robust, outdoor phone, awkward to use
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