Review of a (Sagem) Vodafone 411 mobile phone

Recently my old Sony Ericsson T105 phone began to show its age, the battery wasn't lasting as long as I wanted, nobody had new ones, and I was more than a little annoyed that you it can dial 000 by itself when the phone presses against something in your pocket.

I seem to recall reading that the emergency services gets one false call every sixteen seconds from mobiles dialling 000 by themselves.  It would seem that this is something that phone manufacturers need to address, I'm surprised the emergency services hasn't demanded something be done about this (e.g. covered keypads, effective keylocks, or prevention of mobile phones from dialling 000).

So I decided it was time to get a new phone, this time one where the buttons are all covered.  As with my prior phone, I really only wanted something simple, that was just a phone.  That's next to impossible, so I just settled for as simple as possible, while trying to satisfy my other wants:

Well, the cost of most phones and phone plans are more than I consider that they're really worth, so that means it has to be a cheap phone.  I was prepared to pay up to about $150, and that was how much this one cost.

It is a clamshell phone, and only three buttons are exposed all the time.  The worst that could happen if a button was pressed in my pocket would be for it to start playing music, or mute a ring tone.  The hinge doesn't look particularly robust, I can see it getting wonky with age.  And I'd imagine the phone would break very easily if dropped a few times.

Just about all phones are too tiny, this one was just big enough to qualify.

It has more memory, but I think that SMSs are still stored on the SIM, as it says it can only hold 100 of them.  It can use the phone memory for MMSs, but that's something completely different, and inappropriate for most of the messages I'll receive.

At first look, the menus seemed simple enough.  But it was only after using the phone I found that to delete a saved message involves nine button presses (to bring up and wade down a menu, and finally confirm that you do want to delete), compared to my old phone which just took two presses (one button to delete, another to confirm).  It's similarly convoluted to read the next message on the phone.  This is progress?

I gave up on the last point, all the phones I saw had one crappy thing about the connection, this has several:

  1. There's only one connector, you can either plug in a headset or the power.
  2. The connector looks far from robust.
  3. The connector is a special one just for that phone (or a series of similar phones).

Beyond what I wanted out of the phone, it had the following features/stupidities:

Main sections:
contact details
business info
personal info
eBay & trading
“sales” ads
“wanted” ads
video production
misc info
website info/help
audio gear
video gear
imaging gear