Then there is the fact that the connector for the physical stereo headset is, very disappointingly, a proprietary type, making it extremely difficult for you to use an alternative favourite set of headphones. Finally the battery life is not that hot. I didn’t have the time to run a full music playing battery rundown test for this mobile, but maybe Fly will be happy about that. The quoted talk-time is 2hours 20mins, which isn’t good, even for an entry level phone like this one.
The internal speaker is very loud – to the point of distorting the sound quality. This is likely to make fellow train passengers grind their teeth. The FM radio offers one of the highlights of this phone. Just like the SLT100 you can make scheduled recordings from it. This is a feature that is rare on any handset and I’ve never seen it on something as low cost as the SX200. I’d certainly like to see it as a feature on more handsets.
There is a camera here and its back-mounted lens is hidden beneath the slide mechanism to help protect it. However the camera offers nothing to get excited about. It does shoot video, which is quite a feat for such a low cost handset, but there the good news stops.
The stills camera has no self-portrait mirror or flash and the highest resolution of just 640 x 480 (VGA) is rather low by today’s standards. There are three self timers at 5, 10 and 15 seconds, some filters such as greyscale, sepia, sepia green, sepia blue and colour inversion, and some white balance presets, for example tungsten, fluorescent and daylight. My sample shots, as always, left the phone to decide what to do by setting it on auto in this respect.
The sample photos reveal some key shortcomings. The coloured dish, photographed under normal household lighting is over-saturated and lacks definition. I also composed the shot so that the dish’s ends were positioned in the corners of the frame but the actual shot is nothing like that.
The white chair, again shot outside, also lacks definition and highlights are severely blown out. The shot was framed with the top and bottom of the chair out of the screen in order to get it to fill the finished photo. It took several attempts to get this right. If you find yourself needing to reshoot regularly you are going to get pretty miffed pretty quickly, lose out on some photos, which need a quick hand to capture the moment, while at the same time annoying any friends you ask to pose for you.
The flowers are also very poorly framed because I relied on what the phone suggested the final image would look like. Colour reproduction is not horrendous, but clarity is woeful.
Other software includes a WAP browser, calendar, to do list, alarm, world clock, calculator, stopwatch, unit converter, sound recorder, ringtone composer, body mass calculator and bio rhythm tool, as well as a game.
The FM radio recording and stereo Bluetooth output are this phone’s star features, and I do like the hardware design which shows that budget phones don’t have to be ugly or clunky.