Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Sagem VS2 (Vodafone Simply)
- Simple and very easy to use, good call quality, convenient indicator icons on standby screen, large and clear display
- Slightly expensive for what it is, quite large and bulky, slow interface at times
For those who don't require the extras that many of us crave, the VS2 is a worthy and viable option.
Price$ 245.00 (AUD)
Many mobile phones these days ship with a bewildering variety of included extras that are often confusing, useless or add significantly to the retail price. Manufacturer Sagem has come up with a very basic mobile phone that is intended for those who don't require all the bells and whistles of current handsets. Billed as "the phone with common sense as a feature", the Sagem VS2 is marketed at non-technical users who are only interested in making phone calls and sending and receiving messages, and can only be used on Vodafone network (running on the Vodafone Simply platform)
The VS2 is quite large, somewhat bulky and simply designed, coming in a basic rectangular shape, with slight curves rounding out a sleek matt black finish. The VS2's keypad was somewhat uncomfortable, as the keys required a fairly stern press to activate. The glossy finish wasn't particularly to our liking as we found grip was hard to come by and fingerprints hard to keep away.
The VS2 houses three selection buttons above the large display screen - Home, Contacts and Log. That pretty much rounds up the phone's feature set and unlike normal handsets there is no dedicated menu interface.
The Home key can be pressed at any time to take you back to the main Standby screen. This screen displays convenient and easy to read information, including the time, battery indicator, signal strength and your mobile telephone number, for those of us who are easily forgetful. The VS2's settings, such as ring tone, time and date and security settings can be adjusted by pressing the left menu key, while the right menu key brings up the Tips menu - a handy phone tour for those who aren't familiar with the VS2's functions.
The Contacts menu opens the phone book and we liked the Top 3 Contacts option, which displays the three most often contacted numbers at the start of the phone book. For those who regularly dial certain numbers, this takes away the time of scrolling down the contact list to access these numbers. The Log key brings up a list of your most recently dialed and received numbers, as well as an option to write a new text message and access your voicemail. We really liked the fact that the Log button flashes blue when you receive a new message or a missed call as these are sometimes easily missed.
Within each menu, you can access relevant current screen tips such as what each button does and how to use certain functions by pressing the right selection key whenever "Tips" is displayed. This is extremely welcoming for those who struggle to keep up with current technology and it is predominantly useful for those times where you may not have access to the included users guide.
The VS2 supports standard SMS messaging but as expected, there is no support for e-mail or MMS. Surprisingly though, the VS2 includes WAP support which is accessible via the settings menu from the standby screen. For messaging, predictive text input (T9) is available and we really appreciated the handy information box at the bottom of the message screen, which has a small picture of keypad keys and what function they correspond to. For example the Star key (*) changes the text input mode so the information box shows the Star key with the text "Mode" above it. This is useful for those who haven't had much experience with text messaging before and aren't aware of its functions and settings.
The other aspect of the VS2 we valued was the keypad lock, which steers away from the traditional multiple key pressing function. Instead, the VS2 has a small slider switch on its left hand side, which when activated immediately locks the phones keypad. To unlock it, users simply have to slide the switch up.
What counts against the unit is its size and somewhat slow interface. It's quite large and bulky and we would have preferred something a little easier to slide into our pocket. We also experienced some delays in the interface when switching from menu to menu and typing messages. In addition, we feel that the three selection buttons which form the core of the VS2's functionality are a little too far away from the keypad and should be moved within closer reach, perhaps just beneath the screen. Battery life on the unit is adequate, rated at 300 hours standby time and just over 4 hours talk time.
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