Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:52:24 PM
The my721X?s classy metallic construction and slimline design elevate it above its rival prepay slop.
Slow GPRS download speeds, a basic camera and an antiquated music player design lets it down.
Sagem has long held a strong reputation for producing decent but workaday prepay handsets that don't sting your bank balance. But after impressing us as the name behind the stunning Porsche Design blower, the French outfit has injected some of its newfound design flair into its latest prepay handset - the ‘So Ice' my721X. Not only has it stepped up the style and the production values, it has also added some much-needed feature grunt in the process.
The my721X's quality build makes a mockery of its £70 price tag. With a brushed metal finish and stainless steel rear panelling, it feels somewhat out of place in prepay milieu. Yet it's still very lightweight and has a lovely slender frame so it can easily slide inside the pocket.
Although much swankier than the Motorola SLVR, the my721X's sleek candybar design and flat mechanised keypad are a little reminiscent of the original slimline candybar. Like the SLVR, it's certainly easy on the thumbs and highly responsive when texting, and the five-way joypad is equally sturdy but receptive, furthering the classy construction. Sagem's UI is also straightforward to negotiate and overall the handset is a pleasant phone to operate.
Unfortunately, after blowing its entire budget on the my721X's cosmetic design, Sagem has had to make some feature compromises, and fast download speeds is the first to get the chop. With no 3G or even EDGE support, it's down to languid GPRS to handle the data flow. It's not ideal but if you keep the price point in mind it's just about tolerable.
The built-in music player is the next feature to be hit with cutbacks. Frustratingly, it doesn't offer album, artist or song sort options, so you have to add songs from your collection to the player. This is incredibly irritating if you have a considerable library of tunes stored on a microSD card. The player is also shorn of any equaliser audio boost so sound quality is limited. However, the my721X's 3D loudspeaker is, surprisingly, pretty impressive, belting out voluminous sounds without too much whiff of distortion.
Sagem also deserves a thumb's up for finding space for a 3.2-megapixel camera, despite it being a tad basic. There's no room for auto-focus, macro-focus or any variety of flash, and you're only privy to anti-shake technology and a handful of exposure and photos effects. Picture quality is light years behind the likes of the Sony Ericsson's Cyber-shot K810i and K850i but it's still pretty decent, although we're not sure whether the snaps would stand up to being printed.
The my721X offers some decent mobile mods, including a capable FM radio with RDS, a standard issue but bright enough 176x220 pixel resolution display and reliable WAP browser.
The my721X is undoubtedly a fine-looking handset, sporting a quality construction way beyond its prepay status. However, the biggest disappointment is that Sagem has seen fit to back up the smart design with an insipid set of features. OK, it's not a disaster when you consider the price tag but it could have been so much better.