Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:49:49 PM
You won't believe the feature set served up for just £60.
Not too many major gripes, but lack of EDGE and an inconsistent camera performance might offend.
Fly Mobile is the new kid on the UK prepay block. Right now, this UK-based manufacturer may not be so well known here, but over in Russia it has sold over 1.2 million handsets. The SL600 arrives loaded with a two-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, built-in music player and recordable FM radio, plus Stereo Bluetooth, all for just £60 on Vodafone from your local Woolworths. It's an impressive line-up for such a minimal outlay.
For the low asking price, you probably don't think you deserve a nicely designed and well-made phone, but the SL600 is a sleek, incredibly lightweight compact slider that, although feeling a little plasticky, is still a well-built handset that belies its entry-level price tag.The spring-assisted slider action is smooth and the keys and five-way pad are big, bold and welcoming to the fat-fingered fraternity. The SL600's menu system is graphically reminiscent of the Samsung D500 and plays out much like the Korean's intuitive user interface.
The two-megapixel camera is a boon at this level. It snaps in a 1600x1200-pixel resolution and although auto-focus and macro focus are missing, you do still get an LED flash light. You can also adjust the six-mode white balance, set it to night mode or self timer, choose from 15 effects and even get it to reel off 3-5 continuous shots. The photos did suffer from inconsistent focus (it takes a while for the lens to settle) and lack of detail but, picture quality is generally tolerable, falling short of good print quality. Elsewhere, video is captured in 176x144 pixels and is pretty vapid in quality.
The built-in music player has all the trimmings, including Stereo Bluetooth support and an eight-band equaliser to boost the sound. Sadly, it didn't sound particularly dynamic through the supplied earphones, so we hooked it up with the MOTOROKR S9 Bluetooth headphones and the sound quality was transformed with plenty of drive and grunt.Fly Mobile has not only squeezed an FM radio into the SL600's trim frame, but it also lets you record from the wireless. You can set the date, time and frequency you want to record from and you can store this and other multimedia gubbins on the 60MB of internal memory and the microSD card (the slot is located under the battery).
Another neat touch is the wall charger lead that doubles as a USB cable so you can re-juice via a laptop. The only real grumble we have with the SL600 is that it only stretches to GPRS and not EDGE connections.When you look at the features you're getting for the money, the SL600 remains one of the sweetest bargains we've encountered recently. And its all-round performance wasn't a letdown either. Keep your eye on Fly Mobile because we're promised even better deals are on the way.