Sagem isn’t one of the best known handset producers, but it does churn them out at a steady old rate. Most recently I looked at the my215x which, while it didn’t pack in the features, was an absolute bargain for £20 on Vodafone Pay As You Talk.
Vodafone also has the scoop on this week’s handset, the Sagem my850v. It’s a 3G mobile, and a flip phone. Online you can find it at Vodafone’s business store and not its consumer store, though I don’t see why it shouldn’t be offered as a consumer phone. In fact its front facing music controls lead me to think it is more¬ of a consumer handset than a business one.
As flip phones go this example is rather large when closed - 96mm tall and 49mm wide but at least it is thin at 16mm, and pretty light at 95g. It’s tall when opened – 180mm, and like some other flip phones it does feel like a bit of a giant in the hand.
Inside there is plenty of space for a large screen but Sagem hasn’t given us one. Above and below it are vast tracts of unused space. Its two diagonal inches look a little lost. Still, it manages 240 x 320 pixels and 262,000 colours.
There is a large number pad at least. The number keys are possibly the largest I’ve ever seen on a mobile, and the central column key is massive. The navigation pad and its associated keys are also large. These are the Call, End, softkeys, a video call key and the music key.
When the phone is closed, small indents on both left and right sides let you slip a thumbnail between the upper and lower sections of the phone and open it one handed – this is good.
I like the rounded edges and the blue and silver colour scheme on the back of the handset. While the front of the phone looks blue in the photography accompanying this review, in real life it is dark enough to appear black, and I don’t find it as visually appealing as the back. Its glossy finish also attracts greasy fingerprints really easily.
However, embedded in the front is a small black and white LCD measuring just 1.1 inches corner to corner and offering 96 x 64 pixels. It shows the time and date, information about incoming calls, and can be used in conjunction with the volume rocker on the left side of the phone for quick profile switching.
When you are playing music it provides track information and three touch buttons beneath it enable you to skip tracks and pause/play. The screen and ‘buttons’ fade to nothing after a few seconds, but a quick tap of the volume rocker springs them back into life.
The phone has a rather paltry 16MB of internal memory, but supports microSD cards. The slot is under the battery cover but not under the battery, so you can get to it at least, without turning the phone off. The music player automatically picks up MP3 and AAC tracks stored in either location. It doesn’t care where on a microSD card they are stored. So you can drag and drop folders from your hard drive without any fiddling around with the storage location on the card.