Pretty good phone, a few minor issues...

8/10

Overall, I like this phone. It's my first clamshell model, I've always had the "chocolate bar" ones before. It's got a nice big colour screen, I like the external screen that you can use to see incoming calls and other info without having to open the phone. I also like the fact that you can take pics with the clamshell both open and closed (so you can take pics of yourself for instance). The reception is great, even in my basement apartment which backs on to a big park, where there are no cell phone antennas. Three other phones I tested in my apartment could not get any reception, this one pulls in a half-strength signal fairly reliably. People I call on a regular basis have remarked on the improved clarity of my voice compared to my last phone, and I like the fact that you can manually adjust the earpiece volume during a call, with a button on the side of the phone. The sound quality is good, the musical ringtones are clear and crisp. The onscreen menus are clear and intuitive, and I have had no trouble figuring them out, even before I looked at the manual.

On the downside, I was surprised to find that the ringer volume setting only affects the ringer itself and not other alerts such as voicemail alerts. This is annoying and embarrassing, as the voicemail and text alerts produce loud, piercing beeps which can occur at inopportune moments! I was surprised at the lack of variety of pre-programmed ringtones, and disappointed at the ones Bell offers for download... they all sound like tinny, pathetic renditions done with one finger on a cheap toy keyboard. This phone has good sound quality, how can Bell justify trying to charge us for such garbage ringtones?

Another surprise was the fact that while three different phone numbers and an email address can be saved for each phone book entry, the street address cannot be saved. This is annoying, especially when going to meet someone for the first time, you have to use voice memo to remind yourself of the address.

I found the two extra tools (calculator etc) rather limited and lame, a tip calculator would have been handy for instance, I used to use the one on my old phone all the time.

Now, the final issue, which is more related to Bell than the phone itself, but anyone considering a WAP 2 browser-enabled, colour screen phone at Bell should take note:
Don't be surprised if you can't get into your browser when you get one of these phones. Bell has some glitch in their server, which affects some (but not all) of the accounts of customers using these phones. For more details, you can see my post on the forums in here, under "service providers - Bell". Anyway, if you get a message "This handset could not be provisioned... " when you try to connect to the web, call Bell tech support, you may have this same problem.

By the way, since I haven't been able to get on the web in the month since I've had this phone, I'm afraid I won't be able to review its web performance at this time.

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