Tesco’s VX1i Party Phone is smaller than a credit card and fits snugly in your pocket.
At this price, there’s understandably not a lot to get to grips with in terms of features, although the SMS feature takes a bit of getting used to.
This is a phone that has been designed simply for making calls and sending texts, so that’s the extent of the feature set.
The tinny call quality was not the best and the SMS function takes some getting used to.
Battery life was below average.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:27 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
A handset that is simply designed for calls and texts all for an attractive price tag of just £18.99.
The call quality was a tad static and echoey.
The festive season may seem like an age ago, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop our partying ways now, does it? Not according to Tesco anyway, which has begun selling its own VX1i Party Phone for a staggeringly affordable £18.99. As the price suggests, this is a handset short on trimmings – but look at it this way, if you lose it in a drunken stupor then your hangover won’t be increased at the thought of having lost a £300 handset.
The VX1i Party Phone’s emphasis is on small, both in terms of features and stature. Its dimensions are less than those of a credit card and actually fitted snugly into our jeans’ watch pocket. Despite its small scale, the keys are not as tiny as you may be imagining. What gives? Well, the screen is little bigger than two fingernails. It was a shame to find the keys were a little creaky, but they are raised and at a good enough distance apart to ensure you won’t accidentally hit the wrong key. Above the numeric keys is a call and call-end key, and two hard keys that refer to the digital wording directly above them. Taking centre stage is a D-pad that, despite only looking as though it should be pressed either left or right, can be pressed in a four-way motion to access shortcuts to your inbox (up), alarms (right), Bolt Ons/Directories (down) and call list (left). Press the centre of the D-pad to access your menu.Sadly, we were disappointed with the call quality, as was the person on the receiving end. We both complained of slight static, while the receiver also thought we sounded like we were in a lift. This could be a fundamental flaw with Tesco’s VX1i Party Phone: we get the fact that it is a no frills phone for an incredibly appealing price tag, but we still expect a decent call quality.
You can text with the VX1i. However, it did take a bit of getting used to. Each time you’ve typed in a word you have to press the left hard key to skip to the next one, which feels alien compared to the far more common method of pressing a numeric key. When using the predictive text tool, a box will pop up with a choice when it recognises a potential word, so you can simply scroll along to select the correct one. But due to the small screen, the phone can only display up to two lines of text at any one time, so we can’t see you banging out any epic scriptures.
The unique selling point of Tesco’s VX1 Party Phone is its price – we’re hard pushed to think of any handset that is available for under £20. While we like our phones to have all the latest mod cons, there’s undoubtedly a market for a cheap handset with just the basic call and text options. In particular, we can see the phone being a massive hit with visitors to the UK who need to pick up an affordable handset for just the duration of their stay, particularly as the VX1 is compatible with all SIM cards, apart from 3. We would have preferred a better call quality but for £18.99, it’s difficult to hold too much of a grudge.Danny Brogandanny.firstname.lastname@example.org