A black and silver sliding chassis that slides up to reveal a keyboard, and down to reveal a set of speakers.
The Onyx Slider is not a particularly user friendly device, with unattractive, minimalist menus and a somewhat dated feel to the user interface.
Despite its shortcomings, the Slider packs some pretty decent specs, including dual SIMs, a good music player with 3.5mm headset port and a two-megapixel camera.
The main fault with this handset is the number of clicks that everything requires, which is hugely frustrating when trying to send a message or set-up an email account.
Battery performance was average.
The handy dual SIM feature and music player are overlooked by the frustrating amount of clicks that are required to perform functions, and the awkward user interface.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:56:10 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Music player, 3.5mm audio jack, dual SIM feature.
Fiddly user interface, confusing menus.
Let’s just get this out of the way – the Onyx Slider isn’t a very friendly device. All phones are created by engineering geeks, but the menus on the Slider sound like they were actually written by said geeks. You’re instructed to ‘press LSK’, launch ‘BJX search’ and choose between ‘Master inbox’ and ‘Slave inbox’.
It doesn’t exactly invite you to jump right in – a pity, because for an entry-level handset, the Slider is packing some pretty decent specs.
The black and silver chassis slides upwards to reveal a standard keypad that’s super sleek in brushed aluminium, then downwards to reveal a set of on-board speakers.
Unfortunately, once you delve into the user interface (UI), it all goes a bit DOS with dated fonts and poky icons. The home screen is standard with customisable wallpaper, but the main menu feels like it belongs on a different phone with minimalist, rounded icons in washed out silvers and whites.
One of the few highlights of the UI is that Onyx decided to completely max out how the menu screens change – default has them flipping from one to the next like pages of a book, but you can pick from nine options in total, such as rolling like sides of a die.
You need a dual SIM handset if you want to keep two sets of contacts at hand without owning two phones or constantly switching SIM cards. The Slider has two SIM slots behind its battery and incoming calls display on the home screen. It’s basically like having two handsets in one. Each time you call or text, you’re asked to choose which card you want to use.
The function neatly separates your two numbers but handily pools contacts into one view. Your text inbox is divided into ‘Master inbox’ for SIM 1, and ‘Slave inbox’ for SIM 2– we’re not quite sure why they’re named as such, since the two SIMs don’t interact with each other at all.
The biggest problem with the Onyx is its UI – it takes far too many clicks to access features and the phone keeps requesting confirmation that you did indeed intend to launch the feature. Saving a contact, for example, involves typing in the number, going into an SMS-style text editor to enter the name, hitting OK as well as confirming that this name is correct, returning to the profile screen, hitting ‘done’ again, and then, as a pièce de résistance, a message pops up inquiring ‘Save?’.
The UI is also busy befuddling you with strange instructions such as ‘open shell to entry camera’. We discovered this meant you had to slide the chassis down, at which point three icons to Radio, Music Player and Camera would appear on screen. In fact, the camera app won’t launch any other way – not even via the camera icon in the main menu.
Emailing and messaging is equally flawed. Setting up an email account involves the input of technical details like your incoming server address. Its music player ain’t half bad and it includes a 3.5mm audio jack. The two-megapixel camera comes with auto or night mode plus a range of white balance settings, but the images end up over-sharpened with washed out colour. Pictures can be automatically resized to be sent in MMS, but a glitch means that if you try to slide the chassis upwards to input a phone number, it throws you out of the feature entirely.
The Slider’s dual SIM function is executed well and it packs some decent media specs, but that is overshadowed by a clunky, frustrating UI. Nobody wants, needs or should have to press ‘OK’ four times to send a text message.