Product Type: Samsung mobile phones
Newest Review: ... easy to hold in your pocket plus it doesn't really have any weight to it. Secondly its an easy going phone meaning there is no need to... more
It's just a phone
Samsung GT E1080
Member Name: grahamt
Samsung GT E1080
Advantages: Cheap ; does the basics
Disadvantages: Very basic and doesn't do all of the basic things either
Changing mobile phone service providers is not difficult but it certainly isn't as easy as it should be, especially if you want to keep your phone and your phone number, which is what I wanted to do. However, when your existing service provider screws up, it does tend to make things overly complicated.
I've been with Tesco Mobile on a PAYG deal for a couple of years, with which I got, as part of the deal, a Nokia 5230, which I've reviewed here. It's a fairly basic smartphone, with a touch screen and no keyboard but it does most of what I want. The only thing I could do with that it doesn't have is Wi-fi. However, I can live without it and intended to use the old phone with my new service provider. All I would need would be an unlocking code from Tesco Mobile so I could put a different SIM in it.
As the phone was over 12 months old I was entitled to unlock the phone free-of-charge. I contacted Tesco Mobile and asked for the code. They told me it would take up to 28 days! As it turned out, I received an email from them within a week. Only problem: the code didn't work. I was back on to Tesco Mobile who gave me a heart-rending tale about how difficult it was to get Nokia phone unlock codes to work! Right!
In the end they offered to replace the phone with an unlocked one. It wouldn't cost me anything; I'd just have to return the phone to them in packaging that they would send me, together with proof of purchase. That would mean that I would be without a phone for however long it took them to get a replacement phone out to me. So, I needed a cheap, temporary replacement.
I remembered that the local Tesco hyperstore used to sell really cheap mobile handsets that operated off of normal rechargeable batteries, for around £7, so I headed out that way. They didn't have them any more but they did have a couple of very cheap, very basic handsets, one from Samsung and one from Nokia, for under £15. As I wanted an already unlocked one it would have to be the Samsung which, at £14, was the cheaper anyway. I would have preferred the Nokia as I have an in-car charger for the newer Nokias but Tesco don't sell those unlocked. So, the Samsung GT-E1080i it would have to be. Getting one of these on a contract would have been much cheaper but, of course, service providers subsidise the cost of handsets on contracts.
The Samsung is a dual band GSM phone and so will accept most SIM cards. The notable omission is "3", which operates on a different frequency from other providers. So, if you have a "3" SIM card, this is not the phone 4u.
The handset is quite compact and is in the standard format of a small colour screen at the top and a normal phone keyboard at the bottom. Thicker than the most modern super-slim smartphones, it's still won't leave much of a bulge in your pocket. There is only one other external connector and that is on the right, beneath a slide cover, where a socket performs the dual functions of charger point and headset connector, However, no headset is provided, only a mains charger.
From this you will gather that there are no other external connections. The phone doesn't come with Bluetooth either. Consequently there is no way of uploading or downloading any info, such as an address book, nor connecting anything like a wireless hands-free kit for car use.
Between the phone keyboard and the screen are the standard Call/Disconnect buttons, the latter of which also switches off the phone when held. Above these are the selector buttons for whatever options appear in the bottom left and right corners of the screen. Between all of these is the navigation key with an "OK" button at its centre. And that's it.
The Star and Hash keys have a couple of other symbols as well: Star has a padlock as well, which indicates that holding this button down re-activates the keypad when it has gone to sleep, which, by default, it does automatically, after a few seconds; Hash has a Mute symbol and an arrow. Holding down this button silences the phone in "idle" mode; when texting, this button changes the predictive text mode and between predictive and non-predictive text.
The home screen displays the standard info regarding signal strength, battery charge and service provider. The bottom corner options are Menu and Contacts. Selecting Menu gives you access to nine functions: Call log; Phonebook; Calendar; Game (just one); Messages; Memo; Applications; Alarms; and Settings. All of these do pretty much what you would expect. The Calendar, unexpectedly, provides no ability to set reminders on specific dates though. Only the Alarm function sets alarms and this only enables daily and weekly alarms, not alarms on specific dates.
Applications includes: Calculator; Convertor; Timer; Stopwatch; and, usefully, Torch light. This latter, on my proper phone, I can only enable with a downloaded app! Indeed, the Nokia 5230 doesn't even come with a built-in stopwatch function!
Surprisingly, amongst the various profiles there is an Offline mode, which switches off the phone's communications. I can only see you using this on a plane if you want to play the one and only game that comes with the phone.
The Contacts phone book is very limited and really only provides the ability to store phone numbers. So, if you normally have a lot of info about your contacts, such as their address or birthday, this phone will be less than useful for you.
So, what's the phone like to use? Well, very straight-forward. It does all the things you would expect of a bog-standard phone reasonably well and it is quite easy to use. If all you need is something simple, especially, as I did, as a temporary replacement until your normal phone is available again, then this will do the job nicely. If you have a relative who is getting on in years and doesn't need any of the advanced functions that seem to come with almost all mobiles these days, this will do for them as well.
For any other purpose though, this phone has far too many limitations. It does what it says on the tin, but nothing else.
Summary: A cheap phone that will serve as a temporary or emergancy replacement
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