Simple and effective or a step back in time?
With touchscreens, touch sensitive buttons and lock switches I sometimes hanker for the chunky buttoned world or yesteryear. Think 80s tape Walkmans: you certainly knew when you pushed a button there (it required most of your upper body strength) and it worked without requiring the device to be removed from a pocket. So has BenQ stepped out of the ashes and got something right with the C30?
To be honest, I don't know - but on initial inspection the top mounted push button control on its latest clamshell has undoubted appeal. After all, it's a perfectly pocket friendly way to control your music.
Sadly it seems BenQ itself doesn't have complete confidence in the idea however since - buttons and portability (108 x 47.3 x 14.4mm, 77g) aside - the rest of the handset built around it is stunningly low end. Take the remarkably low resolution 1.8in 128 x 160 pixel screen for example or the VGA camera and don't even think about 3G, web browsing or email functionality. On the plus side, a microSD expansion slot is in there and AAC, MP3, WAV and AVI (recording and playback) should work fine. An FM tuner is also included and battery isn't half bad managing four times of talk time.
An Asia and Europe release for the C30 is on the cards for Q4 and while its impact in the mobile phone space is likely to be limited it doesn't half bring back memories...