Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Small and compact, External Screen, User Interface
- Ringtones not loud enough, Poor internal display, Small buttons, Poor camera
If you are looking for a basic handset than this will serve your needs. Just don't think about using the camera.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
We've taken a look at a few Sagem handsets over the past few months. Most of them are designed and targeted at users who don't want a heap of multimedia features, but would like a handset purely for phone calls and messages. The Sagem myC5-2v continues down this path, but offers a couple of extra features that weren't seen in previous models. Unfortunately, they haven't been designed very well nor do they offer any sort of quality about them, so perhaps they should have been left out altogether.
Form Factor and Design
The myC5-2v is another small and compact flip phone from Sagem; our review unit was finished in bright pink, which any self-respecting male will surely steer well clear of. The handset feels relatively well built and the design is sleek, without looking that striking. In good news, the antenna is an internal one rather than the external ones that protrude from the top of the handset. The myC5-2v also features an external screen; a must have these days for flip phones.
The myC5-2v is actually quite plain, both on the outside and inside. The only button accessible when the handset is flipped closed is the volume key, located on the left hand side of the unit. That's it. The rest of the controls and buttons are hidden beneath the flip, but even then, only a 5-way navigation pad, two selection buttons and Answer/End call keys are present. This really is a pretty basic handset, evidenced by these simple controls.
The internal display is fairly poor. With just 65k colour, it isn't ideal for photos or video despite both of these being accessible with the myC5-2v's camera. We realise this is a fairly budget handset, but at close to $200 RRP, we expected better things in terms of the display. It isn't crisp or clear, is fairly small when you consider the space that could have been utilised on the handset and generally looks as though it belongs in a phone that was released a few years ago rather than at the present time. Very disappointing.
Thankfully, the external screen is a much better proposition. Despite being monochrome, it displays everything you need, including battery life, reception indicator, time and date. The white backlight also works a treat and isn't too bright to distract people around you if, for example, you were messaging whilst at the cinema.
Controls and User Interface
The myC5-2v keypad is fairly well designed, although we didn't understand the odd cut off of keys on the keypad. Sagem is trying to be stylish with the keys angled on the inside, meaning the first and third rows are actually wider than the middle row of keys. Also, the keys could have been raised a little higher to avoid your fingers hitting the spacer between rows, but this is really us just being picky, as we usually are.
The 5-way navigational pad is a little small and those with large fingers may have a little trouble accurately pressing the keys. In fact, the rest of the controls are on the small side as well; strange when you consider the multitude of space around this area that could have seen larger buttons. We'll never know why mobile manufacturers are so keen on wasting such valuable space. It really is puzzling.
The myC5-2v menu is a simple grid system, and the icons are clearly labeled. Just as well too, as the pictures are not clear due to the poor quality screen, so labeling was a necessity. Opening a menu item brings up a simple list format, which can be selected using the OK button and scrolled using the navigational pad. For most part the menu was pretty simple and easy to use; the larger icons in some sub menus such as messages are a nice touch.
The myC5-2v is equipped with a VGA camera with 4x digital zoom. The camera lens is located on the rear of the phone in a pretty poor position; depending on how you hold the phone you may find that your most comfortable position blocks the lens. In any case, the camera is so poor that we feel you won't be using it much anyway; it's only real purpose serves as a photo to display as a background and even then, the screen quality downgrades this option to a mere useable status.
The camera has a few settings, including taking shots in 640 x 480 resolution or mobile format (for MMS messages), a 5, 10 or 15 second self-timer and High or MMS quality. We didn't expect a megapixel camera on a phone this cheap, but in saying this, the VGA one present is barely useable in itself. There is video as well, but the less said the better.
Other features and battery life
The myC5-2v also includes support for Java applications, PIM functions such as Calculator, Alarm, Timer, To Do List and Currency Converter and USB connectivity (a USB cable is supplied in the sales package). Standard SMS and MMS messaging is available (both with T9 predictive text input) as are polyphonic ring tones. Unfortunately, the ring tones aren't loud enough at their highest volume and this seems a problem with most Sagem handsets.
Battery life is rated up to 240 hours of standby mode and up to 3 hours of talk time. During testing we found ourselves charging the handset once every two or three days. This isn't bad in any sense, but in such a basic handset we would have preferred these figures to be a little higher. On average the myC5-2v takes almost one and a half hours to fully recharge.
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