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Review GSM phone Philips 362
The company of Philips is well known to young people by its solutions, and really its models stand out for their design, bright and garish appearance. At the same time the company looses to several Korean and some European manufacturers in the quality of the screens. They often leave much to desire. The Philips 362 shows the rapt attention was given to the display quality and an attempt to create a balanced solution both for young men and middle-aged ones. This device is a regular search of good price/quality ratio and mostly successful, though unordinary for the company. The phone design is the maximum strict resembling the Nokia 6020 in some way, however it's not as evident on the photos. Small size in the spirit of the latest low-end solutions, many colour solutions that stress the Philips's company style (blue, silvery, red and other colours). The phone looks strict and suits not only a young man. It lies well in a hand and may be carried as you like (100x45x18 mm, 83 grams).
The screen here is STN which supposes not very outstanding characteristics, especially when speaking about a Philips phone. But here everything is really different. The screen is really bright, well-read, the colours are saturated. By characteristics the display is one of the best Philips products of today. The resolution of 128x160 pixels is usual for middle-class devices, in the sun the screen is readable and fades not much. It holds up to 6 text and two service lines.
The keypad is made of plastic in the body color; the keys are prominent and well-positioned. It is comfortable to work with as well as with a 5D joystick causing no complains. The backlighting is blue seen well not in all the conditions. An IrDA gap is on the right-side surface, here it's fully functional.
A VGA-camera objective, a mirror and a flash are seen on the back of the phone. Like in other models that is a light source the flash is not impact. When in the standby mode the phone serves as a lamp also.
There is an accumulator under the back panel that cause no backlash. The model has a Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 720 mAh. According to the manufacturer, the device is able to work up to 420 hours in standby mode and to 4 hours in talk mode. It provides about 15% more battery life. In the condition of Moscow MTS network, the handset worked for 3 days with 45 minutes of talking and up to 10 minutes of using the camera and 10 minutes of gaming a day. Full charging takes an hour and 40 minutes.
One can assign both a digital and an analog clock (moreover, for two time zones) to the screen in standby mode. The menu is possible by pressing the navi button; the main menu, as well as most submenus, is represented as animated icons located in a square matrix (3x3). Functions, the lowest menu level, are represented traditionally as vertical lists. The menu lacks a quick navigation using number sequences.
The menu structure is normal for those who used have a Philips phone, yet the majority view the location of many items is not so evident. Unfortunately the company has not properly focused their attention on the menu ergonomics and one has to make extra efforts to get to a necessary menu item. For instance, in order to read your messages from the folder on the phone you should make at least 6 presses (enter the menu, select Messages, again Messages - they mean SMS, move to the line Read Messages, and come to the list at last). Most functions have a similar access and of course this is not very handy. A partial remedy consists in making shortcuts of the 8 number keys. A voice-activated control can also assist in accessing menu items (up to 30) as well as calling names of the phone book. It is typical of Philips to use many things that substitute for the traditional menu navigation.
The phone has 5.5 MB of memory used for storing graphics, photos, melodies and applications on board.
Phonebook. A name in the phone book may have 5 phone numbers with various icons, an e-mail address, and a small text note. A melody or a photo can be assigned to any name. The phone lacks caller groups. There is a first letter search in the name list; a full search by a word or several letters is possible by pressing the # key. Some names may be correlated with voice marks. In the total list you can scroll the name's numbers and icons opposite the name change. Viewing all the data is possible only from the menu.
With a call a photo is not shown full-screen and occupies just the upper part. It is good in case you assign a landscape to a caller; if this is a portrait, the correct display is not always probable.
Messages. While viewing the message list, any selected message is automatically displayed as a creeping line, and any opened message is also automatically scrolled in the full-screen. This is quite interesting and intriguing. There are 10 templates in English and everything tends to be traditional. One of many icons or a simple melody can be sent by message (EMS). The images for EMS are of great interest, drawn jesting and very multifarious.
The device supports a function of saving massages to the SMS archive and automaticly placing written messages to the folder of saved messages.
The mail client supports ordinary mailboxes (up to 2) and works with both POP3 and SMTP. There is an option of adjusting mail receiving using the GPRS connection. In general, this is very nice, but no attachments (except JPEG files) and no Russian coding (except ISO) are maintained. Moreover, messages of more than 10 Kb can not be received.
Settings. Here everything is very simple: one can tune the security level (standard set), apply one of 5 display themes changing window appearance, determine the backlighting time (up to a minute), adjust the screensaver etc.
There are also all call settings, a vibracall, and a mixed mode. The equalizer setting is the most curious thing since it runs while talking and there are five of them. They have appeared thanks to the ARM codec. The problem is that the operator should support the function, I failed in trying to adjust the settings and heard the difference and the loudspeaker sound remained the same.
There are profiles in the phone and all of them have their parameter point rigidly fixed and can be changed merely in the Personal profile. This adds no flexibility to the phone settings and the model proves to have the only profile.
Multimedia.This menu holds several functions to be reviewed in order.
Picture Album. It is a list of numerous images preinstalled in the phone and they are predominantly pictures of animals and children. All the pictures are saved as JPEG files which the device maintains. You can view the present image and select an image to make it a screensaver in standby mode. An image, or a series of them, may be easily turned into a screensaver. The two latter tasks are to be accomplished in the settings menu. Here you can also view the icons used to create EMS.
Sound Album. There are both melodies and dictaphone recordings here and the latter may be used as a ring tone or a reminder.
Memory counter. This shows the available/used memory; this function is handy too as you can view the percentage of memory among various applications. Moreover, you can select an application and see the number of entries and their capacity. Such detailed representation will certainly please those who like to be aware of what they have and where they have it on the phone. The total memory capacity equals 5376 Kb.
Business. Here is an alarm clock. It may be set once, recurrent or only week-day. The calculator is very plain as well as a currency converter. A function responsible for switching the device and turning it off on time is at your disposal.
Dictaphone. A various number (20 at most) can be stored on the phone memory; the dictaphone runs both in standby mode and while on a talk (either side). The record length depends on the spare memory capacity, yet must not exceed 9 minutes. When recording is on, the time left is displayed unlike other models by the company.
World time is plain and customary.
Organizer. You can view the calendar weekly or monthly. In the former case there is an event icon opposite the day; in the latter case the days that have any events are marked. There are events of three types: meeting, leisure, and business. Each entry has a determined on and off date and events may repeat (day, week, month, and year). There are event alerts. On activating, an event requests confirmation, and this can be irritating. There is an option of deleting all old messages at once. The whole the organizer is satisfactory at best. The memory of the phone book and the organizer is dynamically allocated. I have a surprise for you: 1000 entries of the phone book are possible provided that the organizer has no entry at all. The total number of entries in both the phone book and organizer is restricted to 1000.
Games. Besides Bricks the standard game, the device supports four Java games (MIDP 2.0). The model fundamentally has the Java MIDP 2.0 support so that the user can download new applications, but unfortunately I have not managed to find a single one. There is one more drawback as you have to adjust the browser for application downloading separately, for there is no way to transmit the wap-browser's settings. This is of course a complication since few users are likely to grasp the settings. An automatic adjustment of Java uploading is impossible even though the wap works alright.
In addition to the Java games and Bricks, you can see the item Games in the menu. It holds games based on In-Fusio and there are two: Wall Breaker and Shadow Fighter. The fact that the phone has many games is a very nice, although the ability to access them (from different menu items) does not please at all. It is obvious that the manufacturer separates them based on the different technologies, the platform they are based on. Still such division will not always be clear and handy for the consumer.
Call list. It is the total call list, i.e. it includes missed, received and dialled numbers and call date and time can be shown if needed. The list may contain 30 entries and is invoked by pressing up on the joystick. The numbers of the list can be used the same way as those of the phone book (messages, view details etc.). Calls of the same number do not combine and go one by one; most users regard this realisation as not handy.
Operator Services. This menu provides an access to the wap-browser. It has few particular features and if GPRS (4+2) is supplied, everything goes alright.
Camera. The device is equipped with a VGA-camera (similar to the Philips 855). The resolutions supported are 640x480, 320x240, 128x160. Three compression levels are available for JPEG files, and the picture quality is also of three levels (low, medium, high). You can set a frame just while shooting or later in a graphical editor. It also allows adding plain pictures from a set, alter some parts of the image. Young users of this model will surely like the function.
The user can use various effects for photos (Grey, Sepia, Digital, Embossed, Negative, Edge, Edge2).
There is also night-mode in it the picture is not always good, you can see certain grain/noise. You should take pictures in automatic mode, the quality is mostly better. Traditionally you can find timer for self-shooting, here it works even if the phone is closed.
Nothing special can be said about the camera, since that is a typical middle-class, the picture quality is poor on the screen. In all the rest owners of this headset will be satisfied, thus nothing perfect should be expected from the model.
The manufacturer claims 32-tones polyphony; however preset midi files sound not so well, noises and wheezes appear at the max sound volume. Middle-level volume causes no such problems, but resembles 16-tones polyphony then (well realized 16 but not 32). The lack of mp3 support decreases the youth's interest to the model. The general sound volume is average, and the phone is sometimes not heard in the street. The power of a vibracall is average.
The speech quality is good in the loudspeaker, no strange noises during a conversation. Pleasant design of the phone may be referred to pluses, as well as good ergonomics and the functional balance. The model is a typical representative of middle-class phones standing out for its good screen. With the price of 150 USD the rival models are Siemens C65, Motorola C650, however, having worse screens, but comparable in general functionality. The lower price of the models mentioned above makes them more interesting. However the newness of the Philips 362, unordinary design for its class can make the model demanded.
Published 6 July 2005
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