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I would like to stress before I begin that this is really a phone intended for those in business: it has a lot of features designed with business use in mind. I won’t pretend that I use them all, but I will try to explain them as much as I can. This is a long op, so if you just want to know how good the phone is, skip to the last couple of paragraphs!
I recently upgraded from my previous Nokia 3210 to this phone, and I have to say I’m very pleased indeed. It’s the next step up from my last model, clearly, and a lot has been improved on. There has been a great deal of thought devoted to producing this model, and it shows. I’ll try to summarise the phone as best I can. (As some of you will know, I tend to do films and books on the whole, so reviewing phones is new to me – bear with me!)
§ Looks § It’s slim, lightweight, about the size of a Twix, and generally quite conservatively coloured, usually grey or black or similar darker colours. Some people might not like the fact that you cannot change the fascias to crazy, funky designs; but I’m not at all bothered.
The screen is large and very high-resolution. The buttons are distinctive and easy to press, unlike on smaller phones. The only problem I had is that I was so used to the button and menu system on my old phone that I was pressing the wrong buttons to begin with; but you do get used to it very quickly.
§ Features § The usual suspects are all here: phone book, messages, various phone settings, dial tones, games, calculator, etc. In addition, there are more advanced (to me, anyway!) features, such as infrared, voice-dialing, WAP and a calendar.
Here’s what’s good.
Battery Life: Very good – up to a week or so stand-by, and about 2.5 hrs talk time. It’s a Lithium battery, which means you can charge it for half-hour bursts and it won’t ruin the battery’s performance. Fully charging it takes about 90 minutes.
Phone Book: in addition to your SIM memory, the phone itself has memory enough for 500 numbers. Very good. Also, you can group your phone book into friends, family, business, etc. Voice dialing is available on ten numbers; it does work fairly well, as long as you speak normally to it. It’s a show-off feature really, but very useful indeed in the car.
Messages: Again, the phone’s big memory means you can have up to 150 texts; you can also file them in different folders. There’s also an option to send the same message to multiple numbers: very useful if organising a night out with everyone! Predictive text is there too, if you like that feature.
Settings are all pretty standard (same as most Nokia models)
Dial Tones: NO COMPOSER! Bit of a pain if you like that kind of thing. Otherwise, there are 35 stock ring tones, all of varying degrees of awfulness. The good news is that the memory can hold up to five received tones, so you can get them sent to you. The phone has a vibrate setting, which is invaluable.
Games: I never got into the whole games thing, but for the game lover you have Snake II (which can be two-player through infrared link – quite cool!); Opposite (like reversi on the PC); and Pairs II (like the original Pairs, but with pretty pictures).
Infrared: as well as two-player Snake for all you big kids out there, this is handy for data transfer to computers. The phone comes with a CD with programs to sort this out. I don’t use it, but I’m sure if you’re a very busy person it could be very useful. The IR linkup means you can use the phone as a 28K modem, to check email on the move with a laptop.
Calendar: The most useful thing on the phone. Turns it into a mini organiser, and I love it. You can set reminders for meetings, to call friends (the number flashes up as well as the name), anything that’s going on in your life. Very, very useful.
WAP: I have to say I don’t see the point, but I’m probably just being small-minded. The only real use I can see is for traffic reports (which most phone networks have a number for anyway) or checking email. Nevertheless, WAP is on the phone if you’re into that sort of thing.
There are many, many other little perks to the phone that you discover the more you use it; but listing and describing them all would bore you silly. Suffice to say that the phone is packed with (mostly) useful, rather than gimmicky, features.
I’m afraid I’ve been rather long-winded, but I’ve tried to do the phone’s many advantages justice. I am very pleased with it, and would rate it as one of the best on the market for practicality and usefulness. Sure, it’s not the most stylish or sexy handset you’ll ever see, but if you’re not too fashion-conscious and want a clever, useful little phone, you could do far worse.
UPDATE: FAULT 11.10.01 Just a quick note. Yesterday Orange replaced my phone for me free of charge as it was faulty. Apparently this is a fault that has occurred a few times in this model: the keypad would crash completely and render the phone useless until it was reset by taking the battery off. Also, signal would be lost, inexplicably and completely, from the phone, both during calls and in standby. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED EITHER OF THESE FAULTS IT WOULD BE WORTH YOUR WHILE REPORTING THEM; MY NEW PHONE WORKS FINE. Don't forget to write down the numbers saved in your phone's memory before it gets replaced: otherwise you'll only have your SIM numbers. Hope this nugget of info helps someone...