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Review GSM phone Hyundai GX-218C

Hyundai GX218C. Live pictures

Standard kit:

  • Handset
  • Charger
  • Handsfree headset
  • Manual

Hyundai is known to the Russian customer for its two previous models and, by the way, GX-209C is rather interesting in its class. The increase of the model line happened due to a new clamshell that differs from 209 in design, the presence of outer colour screen and insignificant changes in the menu. In fact this device is supposed to be a renewal of the 209 model that is not a very expensive low-end clamshell without an integrated camera.

The device has a rectangular shape that distinguishes it from a mass of the clamshells but due to the silvery body colour it is not bright. The dimensions are standard for this class (81x42x20.5 mm) and the same may be told about the weight (75 grams). It is comfortable to hold the phone in the hand.

There is a connector for a handsfree headset on the top side of the phone and it is covered with a rubber curtain. A strap hole is also here. There is a coupled volume level adjustment button on the left side. It also helps to activate an outer display in the standby mode. There is an interface connector on the bottom side and it is similar to the ones in the previous models.

The outer screen has the resolution of 96x48 pixels and shows one text and one service line. It displays up to 256 colours, TFT. Considering the fact that its dimensions are not large and the only information shown is time (analog or digital clock) and icons, it is not correct to say that the small number of colours is critical. In a sunny day information is hardly visible because the dimensions are too small.

It is easy to open the clamshell with one hand and then you will see a keypad. Keys are made of plastic, have medium size and the distance between them is not bad. But at the same time it is not always comfortable to work with the keypad due to the fact the keys are placed deeply in the phone. The comfort of the keypad is average or even worse (in my opinion). There is a blue backlighting and the characters on the keys are seen not in all lighting condition. A navi button is shaped like a rhomb though it is four positional.

Having opened the phone you will see a big inner screen, 65K, TFT. Its quality is not bad, the picture is vivid and bright. The device has one of the best displays in its class and may be compared with the phones by Samsung. The resolution is 128x160 pixels (28x36 mm) and the display shows up to 7 text lines and 3 service ones. Font-size is not very large, it is elegant. One will like it but one may say it should be larger. And in some kind it is up to a person, especially considering the fact that the font-size in menu is larger. I'll note that in the pictures in this review the screen looks much worse than it is in the reality. In many points it is due to the fact that there were catchlights on the screen during the shooting and they lead to a fault during a digital processing of the photos.

In the sun the screen fades and information may hardly be read, it is characteristic for colour screens in general.

The device is equipped with a Li-Pol battery, 760 mAh. And it is used as a back cover of the phone at the same time. Accordig to the manufacturer the battery may work about 145 hours in the standby mode and up to 3 hours in the talk mode. We tested the device in Moscow and it worked in average for 3 days in case of 30 minutes of talk time and up to 15 minutes of using other functions. The full charging time is about 1.5 hours.


The main menu may be called by pressing the left soft-key. The menu is unordinary, it differs from the previous model. There is an always lightened icon of the current menu item in the center. It is possible to move in two directions along the menu and the menu is cyclic itself. All the submenus look like lists. There is a possibility of quick navigation using shorcut number navigation.

The device is based on Ericsson platform and as a result menu functions are similar to other phones, for example, Bird v09.

Phone book. There is a possibility to save up to 500 names in the internal memory, and it means up to 4 numbers, e-mail address, a memo for a name. There is a search along the phone book, numbers from both the internal memory and SIM-card are represented in the list. There are users' groups but we found no practical application for them except a possibility to send group SMS. In Russian the length of the Name field is 8 characters and in English it is 16.

Messages. There are 10 templates in the internal memory, they are in Russian. Text input may be implemented both in Russian and in English (there is T9 for Russian language also). There is no a support for EMS like other capabilities. It is possible to keep up to 25 messages in the internal memory.

There is an integrated POP3/SMTP client that works without any troubles.

Call lists. There is a standard call log of 10 last outgoing, incoming and missed calls. A line is scrolled for a chosen entry showing date and time.

Settings. There are profiles that help to change all the settings quickly in the phone. The only shortcoming is that to change a profile one has to appeal to the menu. The thing that also should be stressed considering the settings is a possibility to choose what will be displayed on the screen in the standby mode (the name of the network, date, time and a variation of these parameters). There are various colour schemes of the screen. And traditionally it is offered to choose between analog and digital clock.

The remained battery charge is shown in the Screen menu item and that is unusual for the phone of this class.

You may compose up to 5 own melodies entering the notes from a keypad.

Soound. All the settings connected with calls and sound alerts for different events are here. The polyphony is rather loud and typical for Asian phones. The vibrating alert works simultaneously with a melody or after it.

Organizer. A calendar shows only one month, tasks may have sound alert and there is a quick switch to a date. In general the possibilities of the organizer are ascetic.

D - Day is an analog of the calendar different in the fact that it is possible to choose a melody for a signal.

An alarm clock alert may be once or recurrent (everyday or only during week-days). Any of the preset melodies may be chosen as a signal. It is possible to set several alarm clocks at the same time.

There is a timer, world time and a stopwatch with intermediate results.

A dictaphone allows to make several record with a total duration of up to 1 minute. It works during a conversation also and it is enough to press a special button and confirm recording.

There are three games in the phone, they are Hexa, Majak, StarDiver. In the first game you collect different figures, the principle is similar to the Tetris. The second one is a kind of a patience using dominoes, it is a good game for logic and it is possible to spend much time playing it. The third game is a classic arcade where it is necessary to delete the enemy's space ships.

WAP. There is a wap-browser version 1.2.1 in the phone and in fact there is nothing more to say about it. The phone supports GPRS batch communications class 8.


As for the quality of the connection the device is average and strange noises may be heard during a conversation but they are not critical. The sound quality is not ideal and it is the main disadvantage of the device. The polyphonic alert is loud (40-tones) and wheezes in a loud speaker may be heard when the volume level is maximum. But that maximum level is not necessary in the majority of the cases because the call signal is loud enough. The vibrating alert is average in power.

The model leaves a strange impression, on the one hand it is rather good low-end solution and on the other, there is a number of drawbacks. For instance, switching the font-size (pressing a * character) is impossible in the browser, moving along the main menu is beautiful but slow. Considering the fact that the main difference from 209 model is the outer screen, it is worth to think how much you need it. The design is a strong point in 209 model and it is much weaker and more ordinary in the renewed version.

The price of 180-200 USD is a bit high for the device (but again the outer colour screen costs some money) and the device is worth buying when the price will be 150 USD. Anyway before buying the phone you should try to call and get sure the quality is up to you.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Mitina (maria.mitina@mobile-review.com)

Published — 20 September 2004

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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