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★★★★☆

“I got a Sony Ericsson T200 because I needed a cheap...”

Written on: 23/10/2003 by flatzsom (1 review written)

Good Points
Cheap, very light & compact, decent sound quality, world phone, GPRS, WAP, stylish and ergonomic, good value

Bad Points
Reception only average, poor menu system, lousy manual

General Comments
I got a Sony Ericsson T200 because I needed a cheap world phone for travel. This is a light but fairly solid little handset. I have fairly large hands, but the phone is easy to hold and use and I had no problems with the keypad. Sure, the keys are small and close together, but this is a TINY phone, after all, and they don't skimp much on the screen, which is a nice size. The screen and keypad are beautifully backlit.

The menu system is not intuitive, and there are no "soft" keys. For example, to get back to the standby screen from deep inside the menus you have to keep pressing NO or press and hold NO, but this is also how you turn off the phone, and it's easy to do it accidentally. On the plus side, all this simplifies the keypad which makes it easier to navigate by touch (once you learn)-- the phone is very ergonomic in this way.

There are a couple of truly dumb features. You cannot punch in a number and then save it as a contact--you have to scoll to the phonebook and add contacts starting with the name, always. You can spare yourself SOME of the pain if you set up "Add [and Edit] contact" as shortcuts. Also, speed dialing (no one-touch!) is awkward and annoying to set up. Overall, the menu is clearly inferior to previous Nokia, Motorola, and LG phones I have used. That aside, I found that once I had the phone set up (particularly by customizing the My Shortcuts menu), it was fairly easy to use.

Reception is not exceptional but OK, and sound quality is pretty good. Battery life is decent also.

The T200 is quite rich in features for such an inexpensive phone. A nice feature is the one-touch browser access. Games, ringtones, and pictures appear to be fairly limited, but I don't really care about those things very much.

The user guide was disappointing. For example, it doesn't even tell you how to lock the keypad (press and hold C then 2 to lock, press C then YES to unlock)! I suggest you "try the phone" at www.sonyericsson.com/ca/spg.jsp?page=start before buying to see how you like the interface.

If you want killer performance and business-class features in a world phone, go for it and spend the extra money on a Nokia 6310i. Otherwise, you won't find a better value in an entry-level world phone than the T200.