As per my post yesterday, I have plumped for the Samsung C3350 Xcover 2 phone in the vain hope of halting my one man mission to destroy all phones on the face of the planet. I kid you not…
Ok, so here is a an “initial thoughts” review of the phone including a days use and playing with it.
What comes with it….
- the phone 🙂
- a very brief instruction booklet
- a “handsfree kit” (earphones plus mic button)
- a charger
Ok, so there is no PC USB cable (there wasnt on the last Samsung candy bar phone I had), no lanyard, no cover, no freebies. WYSIWYG
Upon handling the phone, it does strike you immediately that it is a tad chunky (if you are used to smartphones then it will be positively Johnny Vegas to you) although not unpleasing to the eye. It is grey and black so no garish colours but not exactly going to set the world alight with its looks. The phone feels solid and well built but given its slightly chunky nature, surprisingly light. There is a fairly big speaker area on the reverse of the phone which I tested out with a range of music and found to be actually very good indeed. The phone has a small ridge “handle” on the top which i presume is for attaching a lanyard if you want to. It also serves to raise the phone slightly so that the camera lens does not touch the surface the phone is laid upon.
Other things to note are that the screen is not huge but for a candybar type respectable at 2.2 inches. The buttons are rubberised for prevention of water ingress and it will be interesting to see how long the decals last on them before starting to scratch/rub off. The “cursor” or “mouse” button is in fact a central button with a surrounding square that allows for directional use (again presumably in aid of water proofing). The back panel housing the battery is accessed via a large “coin” screw and has obvious water seals. The back panel does need to be fully engaged and pushed into place before closing the screw again so that water proofing is maintained. Lastly there is a small button near the top that activates the phones dedicated LED torch (points forward).
For those that need to know here is a summary of the specs:
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 2MP camera
- USB 2.0
- Internal micro SD card port (up to 16GB)
- Standard internal memory 38MB
- MP3 player
- EDGE and GPRS data
- Stand-by time of 1000hours (claimed maximum)
- Talk-time of 19hours (claimed maximum)
- IP67 rating (waterproof, dustproof)
- 240 x 320 pixels screen resolution
- claimed weight 110g (inc battery)
- Internet accessible
Actual first usage
Well, this is fairly academic as it is not a complicated phone so it pretty much does what it says on the tin. There are a few things to note.
As mentioned earlier the external speakers on the phone are actually very good and certainly the largest I have seen on a phone. Also the torch is quite reasonable. In a completely dark room, it will light the way up to about 1ofeet so can be used for opening car doors in the dark. The other thing for me is that it is actually well suited for use in a tent, not as a substitute for a headtorch but as a “middle of the night” torch for finding things and as a back up. The claimed weight of 110g is a bit “light” as my scales recorded 122g but lets not quibble, its fairly light given its chunky construction.
I havent tested the receiver in the wild yet but the internet connection is reasonably quick with a good signal. The camera is easy to use and the results in outdoor daylight surprisingly good. The menus are intuitive and easy to master. The predictive text on the SMS function is good although as with these things sometimes hilarious (I reckon they have programmed a few things out of the urban dictionary into it!). Of course the main thing that I want to test but dont and wont until the situation arises is its waterproofness. I will just have to take it on trust and I am not about to chuck my new phone in the bath just to test it out!
So what do I think? Intially I am not exactly overwhelmed by the appearance and size of the phone. It is a tad clunky and a tad “retro”. However, it is reasonably well specced (for me); has a decent music player and speakers, a surprisingly passable camera, internet connectivity, a torch and an as-yet-to-be-tested waterproofness rating of IP67. It cost me £70 which is neither cheap nor expensive. I wouldnt want to pay much more than that for it but think that if it lasts it will be very good value indeed. After all I am a serial phone killer. If I had to give it a rating based purely on a function/form/spec viewpoint it would be 6/10. However, a rating based on whether it can be used well in an outdoor environment by a user who is prone to accidents I would give it an 8/10
I’ll do another review in a few months time to give an update on its use and performance over the longer term.