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Review GSM phone Voxtel V100
The Voxtel V100 is made in the clamshell form-factor and has two screens. Notwithstanding its prodigious dimensions of 88х46.8х22mm and weight of 93g (for instance, those of Motorola V600 being 88х47х23mm and 95g), the device is a feminine one to a great extent. There will be some potential male consumers even though the quantity of them is the least. A mirror surface covering the greater part of the upper panel adds some feminity to the handset.
The phone body is trapezium shaped and the edges are smoothed a little. The V100 with the prominent design stands out against the background of other devices, however it is the mirror of the front panel that attracts attention a great deal. An external aerial is rather small in size and mars up not at all. The handset is supplied in two colour variants - red and blue. They both look very interesting. The quality of the plastic and assembling is quite good. The handset fits in a hand and does not seem to be cumbersome. It could be opened with one hand and hollows on the ends contribute to an easy opening.
The left side surface has a softkey and a volume key. There is a headset connector shielded with a rubber shutter fixed to the body on the right side surface and the bottom traditionally has an interface connector.
The mirror hiding the external screen occupies the greater part of the upper cover. The STN screen has the resolution of 96x96 pixels (18x18 mm) and shows 65K colours. It is well seen indoors, yet outdoors the unruffled surface makes one have to hold it at an angle in the bright sunlight to see information on the screen. The front is quick to smudge and hence it needs rubbing up. The similar idea of a screen concealed beneath a mirror should be observed on the Philips 639.
The external screen shows a clock, signal strength, battery charge and other service icons. An image assigned as wallpaper for the main screen is repeated on the external one and certainly scaled.
Moreover the external screen has its small menu brought up by pressing and holding the softkey of the left side surface. There are mere three items: camera, contrast and Bow Wow (arcanoid game). Travel in the menu is done with the side keys.
With an incoming call a caller's photo (in case it is assigned to a contact in the phone book) is not shown on the external screen. It is just the caller's name or number to be shown in small print at the top of the screen.
There is another feature that the information doubles on the external screen while the phone is opened, thus a person next to you could see the number you are dialing or the subscriber calling you. It is a good thing the screen orientation does not change as with Voxtel V300.
There is an indicator (of several colours) above the screen and it activates with an incoming call or message.
Having opened the handset, you see a large TFT screen of the resolution of 176х192 pixels ( 35x38 mm) showing 260K colours. It is modest in the image quality and does not catch up with s creens by Samsung and Sharp, it is quite good for the class though.
Due to its large dimensions, the handset possesses a very convenient keypad. A navigation button is a big and handy one with an OK key inserted. There are two softkeys, a camera key and a cancel next to that. Despite the fact they adjoin each other closely, they are very handy, for the large size has its beneficial effect.
The number keys are average-sized and placed tight, although mistypes rarely occur. The keypad backlight is bright blue and although the right row is lit a little worse, characters are still well read.
The back cover has a camera lens, an illumination sensor and a flash. They are placed on a small shelf positioned at right angle.
The rest of the back cover is occupied with a battery that also serves as a back wall. According to the manufacturer, the Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 780 mAh provides up to 3 hours of talk time and up to 100 hours in standby mode. In the condition of Moscow MTS network the handset worked for 3 days with 15-20 minutes of calls a day and up to 20 minutes of using other functions. If the camera is frequently used, the battery life reduces to 1-1.5 days. Full charge takes two hours approximately.
The main menu is represented as a horizontal icon row on the screen with 5 icons seen at once. A background image defining the selected item is shown below. Move along the menu using horizontal presses of the navi button and pressing it calls up a pull down menu represented as vertical lists. A pressure upon the softkeys permits travelling in the main menu with a submenu opened. The menu is quite handy even though the navigation requires getting used to.
The localisation is up to standard, but unfortunately some abbreviations are still to be found.
The device supports the predictive text input eZi in Russian and English.
Phone book. The device holds up to 200 entries. Each entry could have name, up to three numbers and e-mail. Moreover you may put a subscriber to a caller group and appropriate one of 6 preinstalled images (3 feminine and 3 masculine portraits are pictured) or a photo taken with the camera to it.
There are 9 groups that can be adjusted to one's discretion (change a title, determine a ring tone). The device has a tenth group that is essentially a blacklist (called 'Cancel' in the phone). Subscribers in this list would not reach you, since your phone is constantly busy for them. The black users that tried to phone you can be seen in the total call list. This function is easy to switch on/off by request.
A search is made either in the total list or in groups by name. Having selected a contact, you can view the whole accessible information of a subscriber with right and left presses of the navi button.
With an incoming call, a photo assigned to a contact is shown full-screen merely on the internal screen.
Messages. The phone memory allows keeping 20 messages, not counting the SIM-card. There is a multi-distribution to 5 numbers at most. 5 alerts can be assigned to incoming messages.
Access to MMS messages is provided only in the menu of Connections, but not Messages as usual for no apparent reason. Here you will find 5 preset images for MMS. The message creating is divided: you may create either MMS containing merely text or ordinary MMS. Operating MMS poses no trouble, because everything is clear. In addition there is an opportunity of creating several pages. The outgoing message size is limited to 50Kb.
Last calls. This contains information about incoming, outgoing, missed and rejected calls. Each category holds 30 numbers, and calls of the same number are replaced by the latest one. This menu also has a time register and a data counter.
Network services. There is everything concerning network settings.
Settings. This holds all that relates to screen, sound, time, safety, and other settings. Screen adjusting is clear and plain and is entirely executed on the screen. It is offered to select an image type (static or animated) and an image (10 static and 3 animated ones). A determined image or animation is appropriated to the external and internal screens. There is an opportunity of typing your own text and specifying its color and location on the internal screen.
One of the 20 preinstalled melodies can be selected as a ring tone and the call type (quiet, alert, vibra, alert and vibra altogether) must be determined as well. The handset has three adjustable profiles.
There is only one alarm. It can be activated once or daily, otherwise repeating every 1-5 minutes.
Connections. As stated above, the MMS messages here. This section also contains a WAP browser of 2.0 version. The device supports GPRS class 10.
Applications. Camera. Both the external and internal screen can serve as a viewfinder. The installed VGA camera takes pictures of the following resolutions: 160x120, 320x240 and 640x480. There is a 4x digital zoom as well as 4 effects and 5 frames.
It would be better to turn on/off the flash manually as, despite the presence of an illumination sensor, it activates even if the light suffices.
Videos can be recorded, yet films cannot be transmitted anywhere. They are to be viewed with the phone and they can't be used in the phone book and as wallpaper either. Operating the camera is simple: a horizontal navi button press adjusts brightness and a vertical one does contrast. The menu is possible by pressing the right softkey and represented as a semi-transparent window of vertical lists.
The quality of taken pictures is middling, however you should view the sample photos and draw your own conclusions.
Photos can be viewed one by one, as a list or in miniatures (9 photos at once). Information about a photo or video can also be seen and contains a title, date and size. A title may be changed by request. A photo can be set as wallpaper or sent by MMS.
Games. The device has two preset games: Cool Shot (golf) and Bird Wars (a light version of Worms).
Diary. A calendar can be viewed monthly, weekly and daily. An event has time, a text note of up to 40 characters and a mark (birthday, jubilee, memo, and meeting). A repeat (week, month, and year) and an alert (in time, 10, 30, 60 minutes or a day before) may be determined. A created event could be previewed before saving. A search can be made by date, a text note or a mark.
The phone also has a simple calculator and a work time function.
The connection quality is quite good and the loudspeaker volume as well as the microphone sensitivity has sufficed under any conditions. The 64-voice polyphony sounds well. The call signal volume is enough and the vibra-alert is modest and you can miss it.
The phone has left a dual impression. On one hand, it has an interesting design, good polyphony, and a handy blacklist function. On the other hand, it is poor in functions and the external screen is sometimes unreadable, due to the mirror.
All in all, considering the Voxtel V100 from the viewpoint of a not fastidious customer who needs a stylish design (especially relatively most women) and the least collection of functions, the device would be a good choice.
Published 19 April 2005
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