The Sony Ericsson T250i is a very neat candybar phone for the money, and its classy brushed aluminium finish and solid build is a million miles from many other budget handsets. The design is smart and refined with clean lines.
It’s a budget phone and it’s in the features department that you feel the pinch. The on-board camera is VGA, there’s no video recording or Bluetooth, and there’s no music player. Therefore there is no real need for any storage capacity – which is just as well because you just get 2MB and no expansion slot. You do, however, get an FM radio with RDS and a very good battery life. This is not a phone for tech-savvy early adopters.
The FM radio is a cool feature for such a budget phone, and it has the capacity to store 20 of your favourite stations. Headphones come with the phone, which you’ll need to plug in to operate the radio, which has good sound quality. The camera is basic and it’s a fine phone for making calls and texts.
Naturally, for such a frills-free handset, the T250i is very user friendly. The raised buttons on the keypad are great for speed texting.
This is an area where Sony Ericsson handsets always score well and the T250i is no exception. To get 420 minutes on a budget phone is impressive.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:35 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The quality faux-metallic veneer and solid construction belies its entry-level status.
Features are sparse but the omission of Bluetooth is most disappointing.
It’s fair to say that Sony Ericsson’s presence in the bargain basement prepay market has been marginal. Even after the mega-success of its Walkman music handsets and Cyber-shot camphones, the Japanese-Scandinavian outfit has still found it difficult to break Nokia’s dominance at this level. But in an attempt to crack the monopoly, Sony Ericsson has decided to up the production values, starting with the T250i.
Sony Ericsson wants to bring quality to the lower prepay classes without wrecking the wallet and at the time of going to press, O2 and Carphone Warehouse were shifting the T250i for a mere £30. Handle the T250i and you’ll soon see that 30 quid represents a stellar bargain. While not totally convincing, its classy brushed aluminium finish and solid build still feels out of place on such a rudimentary pay-as-you-go handset.
As a member of the recently resurrected classic Tseries, its design is also smart and refined. While it’s reminiscent of Sony Ericsson’s familiar signature candybar-stylings, the simple clean lines are nevertheless quite elegant.
Naturally, for such a frill-free handset, the T250i is incredibly user-friendly. The raised buttons on the spacious keypad are highly thummable and great for speed texting. The four-way joypad also has grips for extra purchase and sports signposted shortcuts, taking you to the phone’s more popular features. When in home-screen mode you can access the camera, FM radio, contacts and the messaging menu with one click. One minor niggle is the four-way joypad forcing you to use the left soft key for making selections. Those of us weaned on a five-way arrangement may find this disorientating to begin with, but operation will soon become second nature.
The pokey low-res 1.7-inch display is the first give-away of its fledgling-ranking. The 128x160 pixel screen is standard issue these days, but because you won’t be viewing any hi-res photos, full fat web pages or watching slick videos, this pixel shortfall shouldn’t matter.
However, you can enjoy basic network portal action over the WAP browser with sluggish download speeds via GPRS.
Considering its rookie-status, you can’t really complain about the VGA-style snapper. Understandably, the camera is bereft of any on-board settings or picture enhancements, so it’s a case of point, shoot and hope. Wallpapering and MMS is the most you can hope for from this bare-bones shutterbug.
The absence of a music player means entertainment rests on the slim sonic shoulders of the built-in FM radio with RDS. It’s still a cool feature at this level and it has the capacity to store 20 of your favourite stations. With the antenna lodged in the supplied stereo earphones, you will have to plug these in to listen. It consistently managed to secure a clear reception, and audio sounded strong.
The T250i isn’t without its irritations; the lack of Bluetooth and tri-band capabilities are the obvious flaws. Fitting Bluetooth would have boosted its chances, while watered down dual-band means it won’t be travelling with you to America or far-flung exotic locations.
The T250i is feature-light but not many entry-level handsets look and feel this good. If you aspire to a certain level of quality but won’t pay the price, then this handset is a shoe-in.