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Youth Review: Sagem Ice

I received the Sagem Ice off of our very own Ben Smith last week, and to be honest, I was a little excited. My very first mobile was a Sagem; it went by the very un-catchy name of the MC 3000, but that didn’t matter – I loved the thing.

Sagem, and mobiles in general have changed a fair bit since 2002 (when I got my first phone), and I was expecting Sagem to push along with that change. Creating a device which lives up to its stylish, and cool name; but I don’t think it did.

Firstly the looks; don’t get me wrong it looks lovely, but I’m not won over by it. The chrome finish on the front is only half completed on the back, which does hit you right in the face, reminding you that despite how much it’s tried, it’s not a high end phone.

This though, seems to be a fault that only I care about; as both my Mum and Grandma fell in love with the phone – I think my Grandma might even look to buy one – and certainly some of my friends were mildly impressed.

The usability of the Ice is also another winner for the “baffled” – it certainly amazed my Mum who proclaimed that “If I can use this phone, anyone can!” – A bold statement and one which I’m not too hesitant to agree with either.

Saying that though, due to the degree of simplicity of this device you cannot expect anything other than basic personalised adjustments to be made; if you want a mobile you want fine tuned to your idea of perfect, forget the Sagem. If you want a mobile to work straight out of the box, and you’re not that bothered about customisability, then you’ve found a perfect partner.

As far as features go, for seventy pounds, you really can’t go wrong. A FM radio player (perfect for someone like me), and a basic built in media player. These are ideal if all you want is to listen to a couple of songs, or if like me, you can’t resist a bit of Classic FM on the bus – but that’s purely personal preference.

You’ll also find a 3.2 megapixel camera too – although be warned, on the low quality screen the pictures will terrible. Don’t let that put you off, because once on your computer/laptop screen they’ll look a lot better. I would say, use the USB Data cable provided to do this, but that’s an extra; at which according to the Sagem site sets you back over £30!

The Sagem also has the ability to video record (which even the iPhone 3G can’t handle), which I believe is a must for any camera phone. However, due to the lack of USB cabling, you may find it hard to actually use your videos. I only managed to move pictures and music around because I have more than one phone on me, which was not only a long process, but one that would put me off using the camera.

Another slight problem I had with the Ice is once again the positioning of the headset connector. Being placed at the side of the phone not only makes the device about two centimetres wider, but also annoys the hell out of you when it continually falls out. I was also quite put off by the camera side buttons, they weren’t placed where they should be, which makes holding and shooting uncomfortable, especially in landscape view.

Despite everything the price will make the Sagem Ice a pure winner. For what is it is, you get plenty to keep yourself occupied if all you want is a phone for calling and texting on. It’s sleek enough to look stylish for anyone of any age or gender, but it’s also simple enough for any age and gender. The “leather” case included not only looks more realistic than the Nokia E66’s, but feels better too.

I fear though that Sagem have over-estimated their target market. I asked some friends “Would you consider buying this phone?” and because of its brand it was mainly a “no”. I, and many other “young people” have strong brand loyalty ties, mainly in the Sony (and Nokia); that’s because they have always been there. They have a presence, which frankly Sagem have never had. I doubt then, purely for this reason, that many pre-existing phone owners of the 14 – 18 year old margin will go out and buy this mobile.

Don’t get me wrong, Sagem are finally producing something worth more of a mention, but it’s too late. I see this as a “first mobile” for some, and ideal choices for people like my Mum and Grandma. Not exactly the “cool” teen market they were aiming for, but a market nonetheless.

Find some pictures I’ve taken by and of the Sagem by clicking “here”.

Have any questions? Post them below, or e-mail me at samantha@smstextnews.com

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