Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Sagem VS3 (Vodafone Simply)
- Simple (pardon the pun), Easy to use, Tips tool, Notification lights, Nice size, Good value
- Very similar interface to predecessor, No other new features
At this price, the VS3 is a steal. No, it won't take photos, send e-mails or play music but it does what it's meant to do and does it well enough.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
Last year we reviewed an interesting handset from French manufacturer Sagem, the VS2. Running exclusively on the Vodafone Simply network, the VS2 was basically a mobile phone intended send the occasional SMS but primarily to make phone calls - which is what these handsets were originally designed for! (Yes, quite shocking isn't it?)
We didn't mind the VS2; but it was quite bulky and we had issues with its slow interface. Thankfully, Sagem has improved things with the new VS3 and have overhauled its styling to become a flip phone. It is quite small and compact and fits easily into the palm of your hand, so those who were disappointed with the large size of the previous model will be pleased with these changes.
The handset itself is quite bland, fitting in line with the "Simply" theme. It's a plain silver plastic finish with a strip of chrome down the centre on the front of the unit. We were pleased to see no aerial or annoying handles and an external screen present as well. It is always refreshing to see such simple design aspects carried out; you'd be surprised how many phone companies make it overly complicated when it just doesn't need to be.
The external screen is monochrome and displays the current time, reception indicator, battery life and whether or not you have vibration turned on. It also displays caller ID information when someone is calling. Conveniently, when you miss a call, the Contacts logo is displayed on the external screen and the small light above the screen flashes blue. Many mobile users miss calls and aren't aware of this until the next time they pick up their phone, but these two handy functions ensure this shouldn't happen again. Full marks to Sagem here; its something very simple, yet a feature which will be very much appreciated by most users.
The keypad and controls are also improved from its predecessor. Where the VS2's buttons were uncomfortable and difficult to press, the VS3 is a much more sleek and attractive proposition. The three main phone buttons - Home, Contacts and Log are closer to the keypad which means you don't have to practically reposition your hand to use them. The keypad is also well designed - with the numbers spaced out well enough on the unit so that messaging isn't compromised.
The rest of the VS3's features are almost identical to the VS2; three selection buttons above the large display screen - Home, Contacts and Log. The Home key can be pressed at any time to take you back to the main Standby screen which displays time, battery indicator, signal strength and your mobile telephone number; just in case you forget it (we've all done it before).
The VS3's settings, such as ring tone, time and date and security settings can be adjusted by pressing the left menu key, while the right menu key brings up the Tips menu - a handy phone tour for those who aren't familiar with the VS3's functions. The Contacts menu opens the phone book and the Top 3 Contacts option remains, while the Log key brings up a list of your most recently dialed and received numbers, as well as an option to write a new text message and access your voicemail.
Rounding out the package, the VS3 supports SMS messaging but not e-mail or MMS. For messaging, predictive text input (T9) is available and we really appreciated the handy information box at the bottom of the message screen, which has a small picture of keypad keys and what function they correspond to. For example the Star key (*) changes the text input mode so the information box shows the Star key with the text "Mode" above it. This is yet another feature that is useful for those who haven't had much experience with mobile handsets before.
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