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Review Sagem myX-7
This very model was originally planned to be released under another name, however the changes in Sagem’s plans made an affect on this phone, and so it was released under its very own name. There aren’t many differences from the predecessor, Sagem X6, in X7. It has practically the same size, and design. The new things are: Java and video recording support, as well as the new keyboard. The memory of the device was extended, accordingly to the new requirements, so from now on it is 4.3 Mb of memory for the user to operate with. Basically the review of Sagem X7 could have been ended right at this point, and the readers should have been redirected to the review of Sagem myX-6. But considering the fact, that Sagem’s models aren’t well-known on the market we shall tell you about the new Õ7 in details..
This phone’s destiny can be compared with such devices as Alcatel 735i/735, Sony Ericsson T610, T630. In these cases the changes weren’t significant, but the companies decided to release them with new names, or indexes. An interesting fact is that Sagem X7 supersedes in the Õ6, and that looks logical.
This model supports exchangeable covers; however they are very rare in Europe and almost unique in Russia. I don’t want to offend Sagem’s designers, but I had an impression, that they are able to work only with a ruler, since the phone’s shape is too blocky and firm. The size is almost the same as X6 had (110x46x22 mm, and the weight is 106 grams), case itself is rather large and thick. Sagem myX7 fits nicely into ones palm, however if you got used to use small handsets, you will find this one rather big. The phone’s weight, 106 grams, isn’t small at all; instead it feels rather noticeably and heavy.
It is interesting to know, that the mainframe isn’t so big, and by refusing the idea of exchangeable covers it was possible to reduce the phone’s size significantly. I am not sure why this hasn’t been made.
X6 was extremely popular in Europe, because the network operators were selling it with contract for 1 Euro. According to the fact, that myX-6 featured almost all modern features and had an attractive price it was a good choice. Mainly because of myX-6’s good sales, the company’s overall sales have increased. The only big shortcoming was the keyboard, it was inconvenient to say the least. The next modifications of X6 received special attention drawn to the keyboard’s ergonomics from the Sagem’s engineers. The absence of convenient keys looked especially strange, since there was a lot of place for them on the case. When you are looking at the new model your eyes will notice, that the arrangement of the “Call” and “End Call” buttons was switched. This was made since a lot of operators complained that the unusual keys placement lead the users into making mistakes.
During the development of myX-7 the designers tried to focus on the keyboard’s beauty, instead of ergonomics. The keyboard is very stylish, especially when the white illumination is turned on. The first unpleasant moment is that not all keys are illuminated equally. The font is very thin and sometimes it isn’t possible to see the letters. The second problem is that the soft keys are tiny, and you’re forced to use them quite often. We had found discrepancy while carrying out a parallel between man's hands and small keys. The keyboard is strongly drowned into the case, and the keys have a small course. On the whole there we’ve got an impression, that the keyboard is better than on Õ6, but is weaker than the ones used in most of modern mobiles. Let's just hope, that this problem will be somehow resolved by the time when the mass shipments begin.
A Li-Ion battery with 1050 mAh capacity is installed.. According to the manufacturer the phone is capable of working for about 310 hours in standby mode and up to 4 hours and 40 minutes in talk mode. In conditions of Moscow’s MTS network the device worked for 4 days with 40 minutes spent for talks, and 2 hours spent for the other functions (games, organizer, messages etc). The result is quite good, especially if we take the presence of big color screen into consideration. It occupies almost the half of the case, and has 128x160 pixel resolution (35x43 mm physically) and can display up to 12 text lines. An interesting fact is that you can change the font size by pressing the “#” button during the text input or viewing. The screen is fulfilled by TFT technology, it does not become completely pale when encountering the direct sunlight, and the information is still readable, though hardly. On the whole this parameter surpasses Sony Ericsson T610, T630 but concedes to Samsung’s and Motorola’s phones. But it loses not because of the screen’s quality, but due to poor realization of interface and wallpapers. Just look at one of the wallpapers (a rose drawn in white background) and you will see that this picture looks a lot better on other phones. And the interface makes the picture looks grainy, this doesn’t do any good as well. On the other hand, a big variety of icons and wallpapers make this phone look rather unique.
But at the same time if we compare this mobile phone with Motorola E365 it is clear, that the screen of Sagem X7 is better than the one used in Motorola E365.
The screen supports displaying up to 65000 colors, the colors look lively, but it’s impossible to read anything unless the backlight being turned on. In the standby mode you can see screensaver with clock and the battery indicator, but the font is so microscopic, and the screen is so dark that it’s unreal to discern the information written.
When the backlight is switched on, the screen comes to life. Developers have provided two operating modes for backlight, the first one is when both the keyboard and the screen are highlighted, and the second one is when only the screen is. It’s clear that we need backlight for the screen only most of the time, so the second mode should save some battery power
Such screen options, as brightness and contrast level are not stipulated in this model. You can only choose one of the several preinstalled images for wallpaper or screensaver and adjust menu's color theme. There are some really nice preinstalled pictures located on the phone’s memory, so you don’t even need to transfer them from your PC, in case you don’t have one.
IrDA is located on the right side of the case, no volume control buttons or any soft-keys were found. Interface connector is located on the phone’s bottom.
The phone’s back cover features the first surprise. It has camera covered with shutter and small mirror located on it.
The latch that fixes the back cover is located on the phone’s bottom. Having shifted the latch, it is necessary to pull the panel towards and it is necessary to put some effort as well, otherwise the panel won't be taken off.
The main menu can be accessed by pressing the navigational key into any direction. The side on which you had pressed the navigational key will also decide what menu item will get highlighted. This feature slightly increases the navigation. The main menu supports shortcut number navigation; but it’s disabled in the sub-menus.
I almost forgot to mention that the main menu is presented with three rows of icons; three of them are placed in each row. This organization is a common solution for most modern phones. When you’re browsing through the icons, they don’t get highlighted, but covered by red edging instead. Moving from left to right allows browsing through all menus, scrolling goes down by 1 line.
The submenu is presented as lists; however each item occupies the whole screen. That’s because there is a big title and huge icon for each menu item. The pictures are not animated, they’re static. However the pictures look nice, they vary this phone. On the other hand, you can’t see the full list, and this creates certain difficulties. You are forced to scroll the whole menu in order to find the required item.
It’s traditionally possible to assign the soft-keys a list of basic functions, some sort of shortcuts to be precise. This expiates the menu’s congestion, thus it is possible to access the required features quickly.
By the way, you can quickly take advantage of the currency converter, just number suffices and reject the navigation key upwards or downwards. The direction shows, from what currency the convert will occur. You just need to setup the exchange rates initially. For the countries, in which the exchange rates are constant such converter will be convenient, if the rate skips like a wild mustang, it is necessary to use it in a standard manner by updating the rate.
Phone book. Entries from the phone’s memory and SIM-card are displayed at once. Search is present as well. It’s easy to understand weather this entry is stored in the phone’s memory or in the SIM-card since there are icons on the header. All actions related to the entries can be committed after highlighting the Phone book in the menu list, or by choosing one during the listing. The phone supports Groups, there are five of them being preinstalled and you can create new ones as well (the limit is 15). Each group can be awarded with an icon, custom ring tone and alarm type. The settings are nice and easy to get used to.
Each entry can feature a big amount of information: Name, Surname, and Notes (this isn’t a common thing for the modern phones). You are free to add three more phone numbers, Company’s name, e-mail, photo and the Group.
It’s important to follow the correct input of phone numbers, because if you insert a work or home phone in the cellular phone’s slot – you will be unable to send SMS. When you’re viewing an entry – the first number you have entered will be displayed, it will become the default one. You can see the rest of entries by pressing the “Call” button. On the whole the phone book is rather unusual, but it’s not hard to get used to it and feel comfortably.
Messages. In phone's memory you can create templates, their quantity which is necessary for you. Besides usual SMS-messages, and also standard EMS, in phone is stipulated MMS support. The function has been checked up in several networks at once and has showed it quite efficient. The opportunity to create the MMS-messages containing some pages (slides), concerns to pluses, similar realization can be met in devices from Sony Ericsson. For fast text input it is possible to use T9 dictionary.
Camera. The call of this item switches the phone in photo mode at once. The phone's screen represents itself as view-finder, at sharp movements the picture is smeared, it has not time to be updated. In the phone are stipulated three modes of shooting - usual, portrait, and also in conditions of weak light exposure or in rooms. The format of received images is JPEG, the resolution is 640õ480 pixels. The average size of picture makes about 50-60 KB. The second format of pictures is also stipulated, it is less (about 10 KB, 120õ160 pixels).
The navigational key’s movement upwards works as digital zoom, in my opinion, this function is unnecessary, since the built-in editor has an opportunity of increasing separate image's areas, this can be done on your PC as well. At application of digital zoom the quality of initial photo worsens, it is not necessary to use this function, if only as the small field-glass.
Adjustments of the camera locate in the separate menu (Settings), here you can adjust the timer and also specify whether it's necessary to request you, in what resolution to save received photos or to do it automatically.
Video. This model allows recording short video clips with sound. There are two sizes, the usual one and a custom one made for MMS needs. Subjectively talking the clips can be shown at 6-7 frames per second speed, the picture quality looks nice. But we’re talking about the maximum quality, there is also LP (long play) mode, the quality gets decreased, but you have the ability to record more video. The quality remains on a good level even in indoors with bad quality conditions. The video recording is overall nicely done and stands on one level with such model as Siemens ST60. Unfortunately, I was unable to transfer the clip to PC, that’s why I will show you the pictures of how the video looks on the phone’s screen.
Multimedia. This menu there are folders with all your photos, pictures, sounds. Unfortunately, the navigation between photos is complicated, there is no preliminary viewing as small sketches, only the names of files. It is necessary to scroll over photos one by one, the same at choice of photo for name in phonebook, it is inconvenient.
The chosen photo can be edited in the editor, the set of effects is extremely rich, here is increase of picture's area, change of brightness, contrast, transformation of picture into negative or grey scale, degradation, etc., etc. By the opportunities the editor comes nearer to simple computer graphic editors, it is not typical for phone. It is possible to adjust the chosen picture or photo literally in one movement as the screensaver or wall-paper.
All received through WAP or IR-port melodies and pictures are located in the corresponding folders right now.
WAP. In phone is installed WAP-browser of version 1.2.1, as a whole there is nothing unusual.
Games. This phone comes with two preinstalled Java games (new ones can be uploaded as well). The first one is a good old game called Siberian Strike, it’s an arcade; however you’ll get fond of it. The second game is arcade as well, but here you have to collect items and you are playing a bear.
Organizer. It is possible enter various events in the organizer, to adjust alert type for them, to adjust date and time. The viewing of calendar is possible, both for a month, and for a week with time grid, and for one day.
There is a separate to do list, here you can allocate all your business by preinstalled categories, it happens conveniently.
The calculator is usual; the currency converter is also standard. Both draw attention by graphic appearance.
The alarm clock is unitary, it is adjustable for certain time, there are no repetitions.
The countdown timer can be adjusted on the certain quantity of minutes, sometimes it happens useful.
Settings. In this menu there are plenty of options related to phone, right here are adjustments of the camera, the screen, besides, adjustments of ring tones and alert types. In this phone it is possible to adjust not simply mixed alert type (vibration and melody simultaneously), but to specify, that first works only the vibration alert and then the melody. There is 5 different tones for camera for choice, accompanying shooting process. It is possible to choose any melody from standard set for accompaniment of events from organizer and other phone's functions, so flexible approach pleases.
The standard kit includes the software picture and ring tone upload from your PC to your phone (by cable, IR-port). Adjustments are not difficult, everything works. Some melodies and screensavers can be found at this web-site http://www.planetsagem.com/. There you will be greeted by an extremely pleasant French melody; the resource is made with a good taste.
The network quality is fine. The vibrating alert’s power can be rated as average, this can be explained due to the big phone’s size. The polyphonic ring tones sound nicely, there aren’t any significant changes since X6 was released. The same thing can be said about the other phone’s features as well. The Java and video recording support come together with a nicely done loudspeaker. The phone will be released by the end of February, and it’s price will be 10 Euro more than the price for X6. In my opinion this phone is an interesting thing to look at considering maximum amount of features, increased memory size. It’s tartgeted for the same segment as Siemens ST60, but has lower price. You should look for this phone in case you are a Sagem fan, you don’t care about the phone’s size and you are interested in the phone’s features. This phone has everything besides Bluetooth for you to play with. The phone’s size can be considered as the only significant disadvantage, but you will have to deal with it, since it won’t be changed.
Published 21 February 2004
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