Sagem my511X in-depth review -

Look and feel

Probably Sagem’s most stylish handset to date. Its slim, light build, good looks makes the Sagem my511X very easy on the eye. The novel flat keypad looks great when lit up even if we do have some issues with its usability.

 

Ease of use

The flat keypad is a nuisance. There’s not enough definition between the keys, making it difficult to distinguish between them. The shortcut keys can be hard to master due to the lack of on-screen instructions.

 

Features

The built-in music player is the my511X’s most notable feature. The handset only comes with 10MB of embedded memory, though it does support microSD cards of up to 2GB (or pay an additional £20 and it will come boxed with a 512MB microsSD card). The camera is only 1.3-megapixels, but it is capable of video recording. Pairing up to other Bluetooth devices is instant, which is a relief, as the my511X doesn’t come boxed with any headphones.

 

Performance

The Sagem my511X’s camera both in terms of megapixels and functions is substandard, particularly when compared to the Sagem’s two-megapixel handset, the my850V. The lack of 3G is a shame, though we were pleasantly surprised with the results of the phones GPRS capability. The built-in music player performs well, especially for an entry-level handset.

 

Battery life

180 minutes talktime and 220 hours standby time is not great, but as the Sagem my511X is not bustling with features the battery life shouldn’t be drained up too quickly. The handset can handle 270 minutes music playback time.

 Sagem my511X Review -
2

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:32 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

4

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

4

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

There's no denying the Sagem my511X's eloquent design. The jet-black finish and slim build is sure to get the handset noticed.

Cons:

The usability is poor. The flat keypad, however nice it looks doesn't work, while the shortcut keys become redundant due to the lack of instructions.

Sagem has long been a stalwart in producing attractive phones for an affordable price. While its specs may pale in comparison to more high-end handsets, for an entry-level, the French manufacturer has enjoyed a degree of success. With its polished jet-black finish and slim build, the new Sagem my511X is possibly its slickest looking handset yet, but is its good looks simply painting over the cracks?

 

Sagem my511X craftsmanship

Opening up the compact box the Sagem my511X came packaged in, our eyes rested on a handsome looking device. Our excitement intensified as we picked up the impressively slim, not to mention light handset. Yet this euphoria began to subside when it took us an age to figure out how to open the back of the phone to plug in the SIM and battery. After admitting defeat in trying to locate a release button we prised it open with our fingernail.

The cover to the charging slot is awkwardly attached to the back of the handset, and is a real nuisance to open. There is little lag after prying it open, meaning you have to try and squeeze the charger into the slot. Once you’ve managed this, the slightest knock will dislodge the charger, cutting off battery supply. It may be a harsh comparison, but it’s hard to fathom some of the larger manufacturers such as Nokia or Samsung crafting phones with such glitches.

 

Sagem my511X flat keypad

Only six buttons are clearly visible on the handset – a call and end button, two shortcut and menu confirmation keys (though there’s no indicator as to what function these shortcuts do until you press them), a navigation key, and an OK button that doubles up as the media player’s play and pause button – the number keys lie across the flat keypad. Once the phone is active, these keys have a backlight making them far more obvious to the eye, giving the handset an appealing Christmas tree look. Unfortunately this lighting display doesn’t make it more obvious to touch.

As there is no definition between the numeric keys, a degree of concentration is needed to make sure you don’t accidentally hit the wrong key. This can slow the entire use of the phone down to a mere trot. We found this the case when composing text messages, often having to backtrack to correct a word. With each press of a numeric key the keypad caves in slightly acknowledging the press.

 

Locking and unlocking the Sagem my511X

Presumably as a means of saving battery power, when the Sagem my511X is left idle for about thirty seconds, the screen and keypad switch off, locking the handset. To unlock the phone, you have two choices that can be selected in the display section of the settings menu. Double lock requires you to press the OK button, followed by the red end button. Single lock simply requires a press of the red end button. We would recommend the double lock option to avoid any accidental calling in your pocket. Of course you can lock the handset manually, by holding down the * key.

The 1.77-inch TFT screen can only sport eight lines of text. With a display of 65,000 colours and a screen resolution of 128x160 pixels, imagery is not great and text appears pixelated. While the Sagem my511X’s 1.3-megapixel camera is an improvement on its predecessor, the my411X (which sported a weak VGA camera), it still falls short of other more equipped handsets. This is especially frustrating when you consider that Sagem has produced a two-megapixel camera with the Sagem my850V, which also boasts 3G capabilities – something else the my511X lacks. The camera and video functions are limited, though you can send photos via MMS, and video via Bluetooth. Despite the lack of 3G, the GPRS connectivity was surprisingly fast with pages uploading quickly.

 

Sagem my511X music player

On the side of the handset are the volume keys and a fast access music player button. Press this button quickly and you will be taken straight to the music player. Hold the button down and the last track you played will recommence. Once in the music player, both the navigation key and play/pause button found in the centre of the device can be used to change volume levels, skip or rewind tracks, and pause or start them. While the music player only supports MP3 and AAC formats, the quality of sound is commendable, as is the ease of use.  

Unfortunately the music player doesn’t come without its shortcomings. There is no 3.5mm jack port − it doesn’t even come boxed with any headphones. This is a somewhat strange move by Sagem. Perhaps the lack of wired headphones is a way of showcasing the handsets Bluetooth capabilities, which thankfully are pretty good. Pairing to other handsets and headphones was instant. After three minutes of being visible however, you are prompted as to whether you want to remain so, which can prove an irritant. Memory wise, the handset only features a measly embedded 10MB. However, there is a microSD card slot that can support up to 2GB. And for an additional £20, the Sagem my511X comes boxed with a 512MB memory card – a bit pricey if you ask us.

The handset comes with two games that deserve a mention. Air Strike 1944 is a classic shoot ‘em up which sees you take on an entire army of planes all on your lonesome. Somewhat different, and perhaps even more addictive is Brain Challenge, which sees you pit your wits in a variety of logic, maths and memory games.

 

Sagem my511X overall

Despite its fancy fascia, the Sagem my511X ultimately disappoints. The keypad is something of a hybrid between a touch-screen and standard numeric keypad, while the shortcut keys are confusing due to the lack of instructions. From afar, the Sagem my511X may get a few admiring glances, more than most for a handset in its price range. Yet get your hands on it and you may find it to be more beast than beauty.