"A satisfactory first phone experience"3.5 starson by Dave Redmayne
Pros: Compact, lightweight, easy to use once you know how
Cons: Woefully incomplete users guide
Summary: I read all the users' reviews on this phone before choosing it for my first-time cell phone experience, with Liberty Wireless. I was leery about some of the cons expressed by users here, but on balance it seemed like a good enough first phone. Addressing some of the negative reports: Contrary to what some have said, I found the exterior surfaces to be durable enough for me. (I tend to baby things. On the other hand, a friend who has this same phone bumped it against his car door the other day and the clear plastic faceplate cracked.) And it's true that the receiver can be very loud, but when I set the sound to "low" it's just about right (I have excellent hearing). You sure won't miss what anyone is saying, though!
One annoyance that I've discovered is that the buttons need a firm push to work reliably. This is not a big thing, but once in a while when I push a button it doesn't beep and the entry does not register. Another problem is that the foam cover for the included earbud was so difficult to install, it tore around the seam before I could get it even halfway onto the earbud. Result: a naked earbud with no dirt protection.
My biggest complaint is the user guide. What's there is okay, but the little booklet is woefully incomplete. You're left with no knowledge of how to accomplish some basic tasks, and the online "help," in my case at least, was no help at all. For instance, a vibrate function is mentioned in the online list of features, but there is no mention of it in the guide. Trial and error to the rescue! After exhaustively exploring the menu options, I found that by scrolling down to the bottom of the volume settings you finally come to a vibrate setting, which suddenly rewards your persistance by vibrating in your hand--a nice, startling surprise when you're not expecting it and have never felt it before! I also discovered that you can go into vibrate mode by pressing the down volume button on the side of the phone when it is in standby mode. Onscreen graphics inform you of this as it's happening.
The point is, none of this is documented. You are often left to your own resourcefulness to learn some basic things. Another for-instance: Although speed dialing is not listed online as one of this phone's features, oddly enough you can assign selected phone book entries to speed dialing numbers! However, since this is yet another undocumented feature, it's a painful trial and error process to learn how to do it, and I have yet to discover how to actually implement speed dialing of my assigned numbers.
All-in-all, I have to say that I'm pleased with my first cell phone experience. The phone is an attractively designed, comfortable, ultimately user-friendly instrument and fun to use. The caller ID and voice mail seem to work fine too. Signal strength hasn't been a problem so far, and sound fidelity is perfectly adequate for a telephone, in my opinion.