So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Solid features set, Price, standard mini-USB connection for charging and synchronising, microSD memory expansion slot
- Internal display, microSD card slot location, Average battery life
A solid offering, the my501C doesn't offer anything outstanding, but may be worth a look if you are on a budget.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Sagem my501C is an entry level mobile phone that includes a 1.3 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom, MP3 playback capabilities and extra memory capacity thanks to a microSD slot. The my501C is a solid choice if you want a phone that is capable of the basics, with a few added entertainment and multimedia extras.
The my501C is a flip handset and its sleek edges mean it is comfortable to hold in your hand. Measuring just 93mm x 44.65mm x 23.6mm and weighing a mere 99g, it features a clear external colour OLED display that shows basic information such as battery life, reception, caller ID as well as time and date. When flipping it open however, we couldn't help but feel the internal display was a bit of a letdown compared to its external sibling - it is quite small, yet there is plenty of unused space surrounding it. It's also a little dull and certainly not as bright or crisp as we would have expected.
Where Sagem has excelled with this unit is the controls. In addition to a comfortable keypad, everything is kept simple with two selection buttons, a five-way navigational pad as well as answer and end call keys. In addition, there are external volume controls and a dedicated music key. This means navigating the my501C menu is a hassle free process and this is only enhanced by an excellent interface; a 4x3 grid layout with animated icons representing each menu item. This is similar to the Sony Ericsson menu system and is extremely easy to use. Selecting a menu brings up a simple list view, which you scroll through using the navigational pad. Overall, the menu system is straightforward and even those who have never used a mobile phone before shouldn't have any problems. Our only complaint is the speed; at various times during navigation the interface struggled to keep up with our quick keypad presses.
The my501C includes a very basic MP3 player (also supporting WAV and AAC files) with no equaliser settings or playlist support. Only shuffle, continuous and one-by-one play options are offered. A 2.5mm headphone jack is present, so you'll need an adapter if you want to use a standard 3.5mm pair. Although a 3.5mm jack would have been more useful, we are pleased to see Sagem move away from proprietary ports for music listening.
The my501C has 32MB of internal memory, but Sagem has ensured you can store plenty of music on the handset by integrating a microSD card slot. Located underneath the battery though, it's difficult to quickly access. There is no included microSD card in the sales package.
Sagem has included a 1.3 megapixel camera (that is also capable of recording video) with an impressive 8x digital zoom. The images we captured weren't the greatest, but for a low quality camera phone, we didn't have too many complaints. The camera struggled with colour reproduction and there was excessive image noise, but our shots were more than passable as wallpapers or for on-phone use. For the odd happy-snap, it is good enough to do the job, but like most camera phones, don't expect any real photography capabilities.
The features list doesn't end there though with the my501C also offering Bluetooth and USB connectivity, WAP 2.0, Java, support for SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text and a range of PIM functions including calendar, alarm, timer and a calculator. The calendar is impressive as it allows viewing from a range of different settings; by month, week and day for example. You are then able to add written or audio messages into any particular date.
The my501C possesses an average battery life according to Sagem. 250 hours of standby time and up to three and a half hours of talk time means you'll have to charge the handset every two nights with moderate usage. If you use the MP3 functions daily though, you'll more than likely have to charge every night, just to be on the safe side. Conveniently, the my501C charges and synchronises via a standard mini-USB connection, with a USB cable and AC adapter included in the sales package.
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