Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- A2DP Bluetooth, FM radio, microSD card slot, Mobile tracker security system, Design, Price
- Proprietary headphones, Display, Battery life
For its asking price, the E250 definitely packs quite a punch. Samsung includes features normally reserved for more expensive handsets, making it an excellent mobile for those on a budget.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
The Samsung E250 is an entry level mobile phone that manages to pack in quite a punch, with a minimal asking price. A combination of features including the A2DP Bluetooth profile for streaming music, a VGA camera, MP3 player, FM radio, and a microSD card slot make this one of the most feature packed phones in its class.
The E250 is a tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) phone, and in-call quality is above average. Volume is more than adequate at its highest setting, and the hands-free speakerphone, a feature often overlooked on entry level models, works well.
Despite commanding a sub $200 price tag, the E250 has a very fair list of features, headed by an MP3 player. The player supports multiple file formats, including MP3, AAC and AAC+, but Samsung's insistence on using a proprietary headphone jack, and the fact that you can't use the music player at the same time as any other application, means it isn't perfect. Not being able to send a message, for example, while listening to music is frustrating. You have to exit the player, send the message, and then open the music player again. The best feature of the music player is its ability to use the A2DP Bluetooth profile to stream music to a compatible Bluetooth accessory, such as a pair of wireless headphones.
The E250 has a microSD card slot for extra storage, on top of the 10MB of internal memory. It also includes an FM radio, with the included headphones acting as the FM antenna. There are 30 presets available to store, and you can play the radio through the speakerphone.
The included VGA camera snaps images at a resolution of up to 640x480, and it has a number of effects including emboss, negative and sepia, as well as a three, five and 10 second self-timer. It also has a self-portrait mirror, 4x digital zoom, multi and mosaic shooting modes and frames. Being a VGA camera its fine for a few happy snaps but naturally not good enough for any real photography. The camera can also record up to 60 minutes of video, but this is of very low quality and isn't recommended.
The E250 also includes a mobile tracker security system. When a SIM card in the E250 is replaced, the mobile tracker sends an SMS message to an earlier nominated phone number, revealing the mobile phone number of the new SIM card. This is a very useful feature and although it doesn't prevent theft, it may make many people think twice before attempting to steal your phone.
Other features include a WAP 2.0 browser, speed dialling, a voice recorder, image editor, and a host of PIM features including alarm, calendar, memo, world clock, calculator, converter, timer and stopwatch. Samsung also includes 10 polyphonic ring-tones, while SMS and MMS with T9 predictive text input are standard.
Measuring just 99.5mm x 49.5mm x 14.1mm and weighing 80.8g, the E250 is a sleek and stylish handset which appears more expensive than it really is. The gloss black finish on the edges in particular looks excellent and the curved corners make it comfortable to cup in your hand. Despite its diminutive frame, the E250 feels solid and well built and the spring operated slider is firm, yet easy to slide open and closed.
The E250 has a 2in, 65K colour screen, but this is definitely the least pleasing feature of the phone. The display lacks crispness and clarity, has a poor viewing angle, and is difficult to see in direct sunlight. Despite this, it should be good enough to perform most of the unit's features well enough. Below the display are controls consisting of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys and a clear button. Slid open, the E250 reveals a very comfortable and tactile keypad. The keys are almost flat, but are easy to press and are well spaced out, despite their small size. Importantly, the E250 has external volume control keys on its left side, alongside the microSD card slot, while a proprietary headphone jack sits on the right side.
According to Samsung figures, the E250 has a below average battery life. Up to five hours talk time and 250 hours standby time is a little disappointing. We found the quoted figures almost spot on, having to charge the handset every two days.
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