Sure this is one of those $0 options available to Fido customers on certain plans but the phone itself actually has a lot going for it. In addition to being made from partially recycled plastic (the ‘feel good’ factor) it’s also equipped with a really super lame camera, the now standard mp3 player and an FM radio. This is a pretty basic phone by today’s Blackberry standards but for some of us it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
Ease of Use
To be honest you can pretty much skip the manual altogether on this one (and that’s always a huge selling point). Loading songs onto the included 512MB card is as easy as connecting a mini-USB cord to the phone and your PC, selecting “Yes” to the “Use as storage device” question that comes up, firing up Windows Media Player and then using the Sync feature (super-easy). There’s also the old-fashioned drag-and-drop method if you just wanna copy files over that way (the phone shows up in your ‘Computer’ subsection of the Start button menu after you enable it as a Storage Device). You will hafta go out and buy your own mini-USB cord to make this happen as one’s not included with the phone (no worries though - they’re real cheap and easy to find). Another thing to consider is upgrading the memory card from the included 512MB to the phone’s 2GB capacity (I grabbed a replacement for $7.99 at the Source).
Well the ‘pro’ list is obvious – it’s cheap, ‘green’ and plays mp3 files. So let’s look at the cons. The included earphones connect with a 2.5mm mini-jack (which means you can’t plug in your favourite headphones that you’ve got kicking around cuz they won’t fit – d’oh!). And let’s talk about the included earphones as well. To be honest – this writer kinda sorta hated ‘em at first. On a sonic level, they pretty much fall short in low-end response (very little bass). Also – in keeping with the very ‘no frills’ approach – this phone’s mp3 player lacks equalization options (so you’re stuck with that one sound and that’s it). This could be considered a good or bad thing depending on how much ‘thump’ you’re used to. The advantage to this ‘flat’ frequency response is lower ear fatigue during prolonged listening sessions (a big plus for this writer). It’s kind of a ‘glass-half-empty’ vs. ‘glass-half-full’ thing as it really takes awhile to get used to them but once you do it makes you listen to music in a different (and potentially less harmful) way.
The Bottom Line
If you’re anything like this writer and your phone requirements are fairly simple this is definitely a phone well worth considering. That said – if you demand high quality mp3 playback on the go and you listen to a lot of music in your travelling time you’d be better served employing a separate mp3 device anyway (just to save battery life). But if you are short on cash, don’t mind charging your phone everyday and want a wee taste of the good life this phone will serve you well until you can afford something better.