Vodafone 555 Blue in-depth review -

Look and feel

The 555 Blue has a fresh-looking white chassis and silver plastic fascia that should appeal to its target 'yoof' audience, with just enough weight behind it to stop it feeling like a toy

Ease of use

A basic phone with Facebook integration, the 555 Blue has a great setup screen that syncs your Facebook account from the get-go, while phone calls and texts are quick and easy

Features

The full QWERTY is good for messaging, while the LED flash is a pleasant surprise on a phone at this price. However, its slow EDGE internet is disappointing

Performance

The 200MHz processor means programs load slowly and uploading photos and videos to Facebook is even worse. The Facebook chat and contact sync work well

Battery life

Without high-speed internet or GPS, battery life was over a day

 Vodafone 555 Blue Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 4:01:40 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Good keyboard, ease of use in messaging, attractive price

Cons:

Slow internet means it?s frustrating to upload or download photos

Hot on the heels of HTC's Salsa and ChaCha, the Vodafone 555 Blue is the latest affordable Facebook phone aimed at social fiends. With just enough weight behind it to stop it feeling like a toy, the 555 Blue is reminiscent of the HTC ChaCha with its fresh looking white chassis and silver plastic fascia. At just 12mm deep, the phone will slip easily into the jean pockets of its target audience. Some might say it looks a little childish in comparison to the usual black phone casings, but given the purpose of the handset, this doesn't detract from the 555's overall appeal.

Feel and functionality

After turning on the phone you're immediately walked through the setup, which includes importing SIM contacts and the all-important Facebook login. This then merges your SIM contacts with Facebook friends. After a while, the Facebook data will sync and the contacts list will be populated with images from the network.

The 555 Blue has a physical keypad, the spacing of which may feel a little tight at first, but it won't take long for you to get up to usual typing speed. The handset also houses a volume rocker and five soft keys, one of which doubles as a scroll pad. The camera is accessed via a physical key on the keyboard.

Although the Facebook news feed is supposed to automatically refresh in the background, we often found that we had to do it manually, though our profile pages refreshed upon opening. It's slow. Very, very slow. And while navigating Facebook and other scant offerings is quick enough, when you want to download anything you'll be waiting a little while. But the standard phone features such as texting, emailing and calling are easy and comfortable to use, thanks to the physical soft keys. The speaker is loud enough in the ear and with its curved corners, the 555 Blue fits snugly in the hand when you're making a call.

Covering the basics

This is a basic phone in all senses of the word. Its Facebook integration only handles the simple things, such as pictures and status updates, while making a phone call and texting is as easy as it can be, especially with the finger-friendly QWERTY keyboard. But what about video? What about Facebook Places integration? If you want to upload a picture - no problem. Snap away, scroll through the upload menu and bang. But a video clip? Not so much. You can shoot video with the phone's camera by all means, but you can't upload it. You can email it, if the file's small enough, but let's be honest, it's unlikely to be.


The 200MHz processor is to blame for the slow downloading speeds. There's no chance of casually flicking through a picture album on this handset, not least because you'll have to come out of the feed and into the Opera Mini browser to actually scroll through images, which is a tad frustrating in the first place. The 2.4-inch screen size is a little disappointing, reducing albums to tiny thumbnails as you slowly work through friends' photos.


The chat capabilities and contacts integration are probably the best software features on the phone, with the camera's LED flash and microSD slot winning the hardware race. All in all though, it's not really much to shout about, with the platform and slow processing speeds hampering the enjoyment of the Facebook integration.

Conclusion

If you are someone who cares little about the functionality of your phone so long as you can call, text and stalk your friends' status updates, then the Vodafone 555 Blue may be just the handset for you.

Laura Tosney