The phone is so light it feels insubstantial and, while the Liscio is by no means slim, its footprint is very small. It’s about the size of a thick sponge finger and, as a result, the screen is tiny. But, as well as being small, it’s also low-res, so the menu options are hard to see, especially in broad daylight when there’s a reflection against the shiny plastic display.
There’s no camera or web browser which is rare even for the cheapest phones, but you do get Bluetooth, a music player and, amazingly, a 3.5mm jack port for plugging in stereo headphones.
The user interface is straightforward, so in that respect it scores well. However, due to the tiny low-res display (which is hard to see), and the jagged little plastic side dial (which is extremely uncomfortable to thumb), it loses marks.
Aside from the issues relating to the poor display and finish, the Liscio’s music player and games are actually pretty good and suit the simple user interface.
Considering the phone is so small and light, 180 minutes’ talktime is not too bad, but it’s still very much at the lower end of the market.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:56 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
It?s very small and you won?t find too many SIM-free mobiles at this price.
It feels flimsy, the general finish is poor and the screen is very low-res.
When we first heard that a new UK mobile manufacturer was set to enter the fray, we were curious. After all, the mobile world is a tough place in which to make an impression, unless you have a huge marketing budget or an iPhone-like launch up your sleeve.
Mild curiosity quickly became intrigue when we were sent the first press shots for the new Onyx Liscio mobile together with a brief overview. Sold as a SIM-free handset and available direct from Onyx for £129.99, the evidence suggested that here was a stylish compact handset with an appealing price tag and no contract tie-ins. Could this be the surprise budget hit of the winter?
Unfortunately, now we’ve been able to get to grips with the Liscio first hand, we’re sorry to say that we’re rather more sceptical about its chances. As a manufacturer with no pedigree, it’s always going to be a struggle when you’re pitted against brands with huge global kudos. As a result, the phone needs to make a huge first impression, which is not something that the Liscio comes close to achieving, even considering its value for money.
For a start, the phone is so light it feels insubstantial. Put it this way, if Toys ‘R’ Us created a fake mobile designed to distract toddlers from their parents’ new Nokia or Samsung, we’d imagine it would feel a lot like the Liscio.
This would be fine if the Liscio was candy-floss pink and aimed at Westlife-loving teens. But the Liscio’s chrome and graphite-effect finish would suggest a target market that’s a little bit older and savvier. And these days there are loads of cheap mobiles out there from the top five manufacturers that also offer a low-end feature set, but have a much better finish than the Liscio.
The other major issue with the phone is its display size. While the Liscio is by no means slim, its footprint is very small indeed. It’s about the size of a thick sponge finger (the biscuit, we mean) and, as a result, the screen is tiny. The screen is also low-res, and the menu options are hard to see, particularly in broad daylight when there’s a reflection against the shiny plastic display.
The phone is easy enough to use. In addition to the shortcut menu, accessible via the central soft key, there’s a simple icon-based menu, which looks good, especially given the poor display. To navigate through either of these menus, there is a plastic switch on the side of the phone, which feels like a cut-price jog-wheel.
Actually, it feels like the little bit of plastic you need to remove before unscrewing the cap on a sealed plastic bottle of milk. It’s cheap, it’s tacky, it feels like it may snap at any time and it’s uncomfortable to press when choosing a menu option.
If you are capable of ignoring these flaws, the rest of the phone fares a little better. It’s easy to use and the keypad is quite well designed; neatly incorporating the phone’s dedicated music controls.
You don’t get a camera, but the MP3 player comes with Bluetooth, 128MB of built-in storage, plus a microSD memory expansion slot.
However, the most welcome music feature is arguably the 3.5mm headset jack port, which allows you to plug in your own headphones.
We would never dream of marking a budget phone down for its low-end features. Every phone is judged according to its price and target market.
Unfortunately, even taking into account its affordability, the Liscio is a poor phone.