- Design, User Interface, Solid List of features
- Small and low quality display, Charger connector in odd location, Keypad may not suit all, Poor quality camera
Offering nothing overly outstanding, the my400v is still a solid entry level handset that looks the part and performs quite well in the process.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sagem has long been known for cut price, budget handsets and while there isn't anything terribly wrong with them, they haven't usually been anything to write home about. However with the my400v, Sagem has stepped up its list of features, which are packaged in a sleek, sexy and attractive design and thankfully, the results are quite impressive.
Design and display
Aesthetically, the my400v is pleasing to the eye and its brushed chrome finish certainly puts previous Sagem handsets to shame. The unit is quite thin as well, which seems to be an increasing fad in newer handsets. It seems a bit more thought has gone into the design of this handset; the keypad and controls for example look excellent and blend in well with the rest of the unit. Overall, the my400v really looks the part, although we feel Sagem could have done without the white plastic finish around the edges; it's ugly and detracts from the rest of the handset.
Unfortunately the positives with the design haven't extended over into the display. Despite there being excessive unused amounts of space above, below and around the screen, it is extremely small in size for a candy bar handset. Why Sagem couldn't have increased the display size whilst at the same time lifting the average specifications is beyond us. The screen isn't terrible and believe us, we've seen much worse, but we just can't comprehend some facets of it. On a phone with a camera, a 65K screen it just isn't good enough.
Perhaps the designers got carried away with making the phone look good and forgot simple convenience. The connector for both the AC Charger and USB cable is located on the top right hand side of the my400v; very annoying and certainly misplaced. There is plenty of room at the bottom of the handset, so we don't know why Sagem has chosen to put it here.
Controls and User Interface
Sagem has kept things simple in this department, which just happens to be excellent news. There is a 5-way navigational pad surrounded by two selection buttons and Answer and End Call keys. That's it. In fact, the only other button is a dedicated camera key, which is located on the left hand side of the unit. The controls themselves are pretty well designed, although they are a little flat for our liking. It does come down to personal choice, but we feel controls on mobile phone handsets are much better suited for everyday use if they are slightly raised above the level of the phones body. This makes it more comfortable for prolonged periods of use and the buttons become easier to press.
The keypad looks unique, if a little uncoordinated. The keys are separated by waving chrome lines, which does look quite attractive, but the keys themselves are curved in conjunction with these spacer lines. This creates a feeling of bumps when you are text messaging or dialing numbers; again, not a huge problem but some may not feel comfortable with this system.
The my400v menu utilises a 3 x 3 grid system, with animated icons corresponding to the selection. The handset is exclusive to the Vodafone network, so the menu is the same design as other such handsets. Selecting a menu items brings up further selections in a simple list format, and while this sounds fine, we would have liked to have been able to adjust the font size in order to fit more options on one screen.
The my400v includes a VGA camera with 4x zoom. No doubt you already know what we are going to say here - camera quality is dismal. Totally expected from a VGA camera, and at this price point, we can't really complain. The camera has a fair, if not outstanding list of features including Sepia, Negative and Grey Scale, Multiple exposure settings and a nearly unusable video recording function. Also available is a self-timer and the ability to take photos in MMS mode for easy sending.
Overall the camera is standard for a VGA number; the quality isn't good enough to print and its only real use comes as wallpaper for the handset or for sending photos as MMS messages to friends or family. Don't plan to use it for anything else.
The my400v also includes Java games, WAP 2.0, polyphonic ring tones, USB connectivity with a supplied USB cable (included in the sales package) and support for SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input for both. Thankfully, there is also a hands-free speakerphone, which is vital on all handsets - no matter what price range and features they offer.
Overall, the my400v is a solid, entry level phone with a few good features, but offers nothing overly outstanding.
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