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I've had the Sendo M550 since Christmas 2003, when it was new to the shelves, and it's lasted me until now, with no major problem. I wont list the basic features; vsit the Sendo site and there's a massive long list, but it is a very basic flip phone. There's no bluetooth, camera or MP3 player here!
The keypad is very easy to use and witha good layout for texting. The phone itself is very light, but it feels kind of flimsy, and the plastic silver finish is easily scratched.
I've found that my SIM card will slip sideways alot, rendering it invalid until you take out the battery and adjust it back again.
The screen is a good size, the actual colours are ok but seem a bit limited. Be prepared for a long loading time when you turn the phone on, though. You will notice that there's no aerial on this phone, which makes it alot mroe pocketsize.
I think that the Sendo is a good phone but it doesnt age well. In the past few months, my phone has stopped recognising basic words on predictive text, and the speakers crackle really badly (The sound quality isnt brilliant from the start, if you have the ringtones on any louder than half-way, they crackle.) and the battery life is getting shoerter and shorter.
Basically, the Sendo is an average, cheap phone. When I got it it cost a whole lot more, and it wasnt worth that, and to be honest i dont believe it's a good buy.
My ageing Sagem had lost the will to live and it was time for a replacement. I didn't use the phone all that much but a series of missed but important calls convinced me it was time to get a working mobile again and not rely on the Sagem that was on life-support (permanent charge).
I wanted to stay on the same PAYG deal too as that would cut down the hassle.
After 3 or 4 days of much research I had some contenders - a Sony V200 and a Sendo M550. Both looked good, had colour screens and weren't attepting to be handheld games consoles. I was interested in how responsive the phone was to user input, battery life and call quality.
When I did settle on the Sendo M550 as first choice it proved very hard to find but I spotted a last minute web-deal with Virgin and duly snapped it up. It appeared lat on a Friday on their website and was gone again by Saturday by which time I had already had mine.
And what a beauty it is - small and stylish, functionally spot on and the call quality is astounding - better by far when compared to all other mobiles I have tried and better than the home phone! The polyphonic tones are very cool too and that is despite my advancing years. For those that don't know it is a flip-phone with no protruding aerial. And despit no requirement for games those included are very good (looking at least) in my opinion.
Wife has a Nokia that cost more and is basic by comparison and apart from the Nokia name which some people seem to think is synonymous with quality is an average phone without anything to really recommend it.
I think I'll just go take another peek at the sleek M550...
The Sendo M550 is for people who want a small, very cool looking, simple to use, flip open, colour, £85-£100 mobile (pay as you go, depending on which company you chose). If you keep your old pay as you go number, you will get between £5 and £50 credit when you register the phone, depending on your call history (with Vodafone, don?t know about the others). THE PHONE: Near enough the size of a credit card, it fits in a pocket wonderfully. It?s got a cool sound when you open and close it (optional), a fairly good selection of polyphonic ring tones and good quality colour graphics. It?s got a clock, battery indicator and caller id on the front, ideal if you?re working and don?t want to have to open it. The vibrator alert is strong, the ring volume fairly high. It?s easy to text with, good sized buttons (some say difficult to use but I have had no problems). It?s a joy to use and look at! For £100, you can?t expect camera, bluetooth, movie clips or any of that fancy stuff. I prefer it without as it makes the layout so simple and attractive. The only real disadvantage I have found is that you can?t download new polyphonic ringtones. There are loads of web companies on line offering great polyphonic ringtones, and when you do a websearch they will appear in the results as if you can download their stuff, but BEWARE! Click the compatibility check option on these pages and you?ll see that the Sendo M550 is NOT COMPATIBLE. I tried to download one. I got a message confirming the download, but on trying to play it there was no sound, and worse than that I discovered that I couldn?t delete the message. Everytime I switched off and on the phone, the same message arrived again. I went to my vodafone shop and they spoke to Sendo but failing to find a solution, they had to give me a new again. We discovered that there is no option to reset the phone, a pity as this may well have solved the problem. CONCLUSION: I love it, perfect for my simple needs and
marvellous to look at and hold!
Who I hear you Say? Sendo is a new make of phone that are becoming more popular, i had never really heard of Sendo until i looked in the argos book and saw the M550 going for 80 quid. What more could you ask for? A cheap flip phone with colour screen, internet access, polythonic ringtones, cool games and a snazzy open and closing sound when you flip open the phone, what more could you ask for. With Sendo's name increasing in popularity but not yet very popular, the quality of the phone is superb and easily matches that of a nokia that costs about 120 to 150 pounds and only because of its name. A feature i also am quite surprised by is how small and stylish it looks, it really is the best phone i have bought in terms of value. The graphics of the phone resemble that of a computer and a large memory means that you can download loads of ringtones and store loads of messages. Also the speaker in the phone is like a hi-fi speaker and really does play quite loud and with good quality. The phone battery lasts for several days being continuously on and recharges while it is still on. I have hardly turned mine off since i bought it.Definately a thumbs up for this great must have accessory!
Stylish, Cheap and Fun - Advantages: Cheap phone- I got mine for £80 on Virgin Mobile and got free £15 credit aswell!, Colour screen, cool games, funky ringtones, nice features, So tiny and looks stylish - Disadvantages: The front cover scratches easily, No choice of text message sound, Slow at opening text messages
A keenly priced stylish clamshell phone with colour screen and polyphonic ringtones. >> About this opinion I won't give an exhaustive list of features, as these are comprehensively described at Sendo's website from where you can also download the manual in pdf format for even more details. Certain comments such as battery life will be fleshed out later once I've used the phone more; this review is more of a first impression. I'll also be drawing comparisons with my previous phone, the Sony J7, to highlight the differences in features and annoyances. My review for that phone can also be found on this site. >> Why did I buy this phone? As for my previous phone, I'm not big on features. I don't like gimmicky ringtones and I'm not bothered about games, GPRS or even colour screens. What I do look for is size; the smaller the better. This is *the* selling point of the Sendo M550. It's a little bit wider than the widest point on the J7, though about an inch shorter and a similar thickness. Contrary to what I tell my my girlfriend, the extra inch in your pocket is noticeable. It appears to be thinner than some Samsung clamshell phones and has the further advantage by having an internal aerial. I've always been put off by external aerials, so this was another major factor in me taking a second look at this phone in The Link. >> The exterior This phone looks very stylish with a dark blue lid and chrome effect surround. It doesn't appear to have removable fascias. The bottom half is a silver colour, though less shiny than the chrome effect. It feels comfortable in the hand with its curved edges, though slightly slippery as there are no grooves or rubber. I guess Marketing would use the word 'sleek' rather than 'slippery'. There is only one external connection located on the top of the phone that doubles up as the charger and hands-free socket. I guess this means you ca
n't use both at the same time, which is a drawback for people who spend a lot of time in cars. The manufacturer's markings are on the front and back and unusually for Virgin phones, its logo is not anywhere on the body of the phone. >> The screen Actually there are two. A colour one on the inside and an inverse-video black and white one on the outside. The one on the outside shows the time, battery, signal and, when receiving calls, the name or number of the caller. There is an option to display just the time and date. When not illuminated by the blue-white backlight, the details on the external screen can be difficult to read. The colour screen is the main navigation screen. Although it is clear and bright enough, it has a very narrow field of view, especially vertically. This hasn't caused me a problem in normal use, but users of latest phones or digital cameras will notice that it is not leading edge. It dims automatically after a few seconds of inactivity, and the threshold is configurable. The screen at about an inch square is roughly the same as my J7, though it does appear to have a higher resolution. >> The keypad The keys are small, though this is to be expected given that the phone is a small clamshell. The whole keyboard has a low profile that is almost flush with the body making it harder to use than the J7. All the keys are hard and responsive. They are opaque, save for the digits which allow light through when the keypad is illuminated. This doesn't work as well as the J7 which does the opposite; the digits are printed and the whole key is illuminated around it. To compound the problem the green keypad illumination is not very bright or even across the whole keypad. >> Test messaging Thumbs up to Sendo for providing a one-key shortcut to creating text messages. It has T9 predictive text, though I don't think you can add words to its dictionary. This was an undocumented feature on
the J7 that I think I will miss. When reading text messages, the time and date of receipt is not displayed. To see it, you have to navigate to a menu option to display the message details. My J7 also stored sent messages - I can't find a menu option for this on the M550. The small size and poor illumination of the keypad has slowed me down a little bit, but let's see how I get on with a bit more practice. I've not tried the EMS or chat features on this phone. >> The contacts list One feature I'll miss from my J7 is the contact list. It allows you to store several numbers for one person with an icon indicating a mobile, home, office, fax even email. No such fancy stuff here. One name, one number, which means multiple entries if you like to store home and mobile numbers for the same contact. You can move through the contact list by typing the starting letters of the contact but you can't scroll through easily, as holding the up and down keys has no effect; you must repeatedly press to move through the list. The M550 does feature speed dial. The call history is not split into different menus for incoming, outgoing and missed calls like on the J7. They all appear in the same list in reverse chronological order with icons next to them to indicate which type of call it was and I think I prefer it this way. >> Using the phone Calls can be answered automatically by flipping the phone open and you can see the caller's name or number on the external screen before deciding whether to take the call. When opened, the external screen displays the Virgin logo and there's no obvious way of turning this off or customising it. Call quality seems good though I need to spend more time using it to give a proper judgement. Similarly, I'm not able to judge battery performance just yet. There was something my J7 couldn't do and that was vibrate and ring at the time. The Sendo M550 can do this and the vibrate works wel
l. Additionally, there is an option to have the phone vibrate and then ring. These are handy features to have. Polyphonic ringtones are not my bag and I'm not likely to be downloading any, but the quality of the sound is far superior to my J7 and with decent volume. Some of the ringtones do push the speaker to its limit, occasionaly rasping slighlty at high volumes and sounding slightly tinny on some. One annoyance is that it is not possible to assign a custom sound to an event like receiving a text. It's either the default or nothing at all. And I don't like the default. >> Conclusion You have to be impressed with what Sendo have achieved - great looks on a small clamshell phone with an internal aerial and at a price way, way under similar style phones like the Samsung ones. Of course there are trade offs - it is low on features and the screen has a narrow angle of view, but at 90 pounds you can't really complain. The corners are cut in the right places. Except the basic contact list. If you need any features like Infra-red, Bluetooth, the latest WAP browser or PC connectivity this won't cut it. If your needs are the same as mine, this phone is a treat - I didn't think I'd be able to get a small and stylish phone on pay-as-you-go for less than 200 pounds let alone 90 and as an added bonus they're made by a British company. Price: Bought from The Link for 90 pounds including 5 pounds airtime and SIM on Virgin Mobile. Useful sites: www.sendo.co.uk Opinion History: 23/9/2003 First version