Mofi Stands for Mobile Hi-Fi
Joining the vast lake of mobile phones out there, some figures place the numbers of mobile in the UK to be higher than the current population, is the E61 Mofi (mobile Hi-Fi) model from BenQ-Siemens. This small, eye-catching handset's black and metallic orange livery immediately made me think of the Walkman phone, reviewed earlier on this site, and, surprise surpise, there is music playing capabilities built into this unit. I should also point out that there is a cool silver and white version of this phone so maybe the inference I drew, from the colour scheme of the phone under review, was just co-incidence.
Weighing 88 gram, the E61 has a slight wedge-shape look to its appearance. It measures 105 x 46 x 13mm (H x W x D) at the base with the depth increasing to 16mm at the top. A standard array of keypad plus phone and navigation buttons sit beneath the 1.8 inch TFT colour display which is not the best I've seen but adequate to the task. Generally the keypad layout, with stepped keys, is easy to use but I did find the navigation control a little on the fiddly side especially when playing the supplied games of Twins and Kevin. I also found that this phone required a rather long key press before it deigned to power up - long key presses surface elsewhere with this phone.
The controls for the MP3 player have been positioned conveniently on the top of the handset. You can either access the MP3 player via the phone's menu system or a long press on the MP3 play button. Other controls let you adjust the volume level (a series of quick presses rather than the expected long press) and cycle backwards and forwards through the available tracks.
Strangely enough the headset socket is found on the base of the unit where it doubles as the USB connection socket. As a result you have to use the supplied proprietary ear-bud headset that does include a button to re-activate the display's backlight. Audio quality is reasonable. Options are available to create play-lists; shuffle tracks; play randomly; and show song lyrics if they form part of the file. As mentioned earlier, Mofi stands for mobile hi-fi but don't let this lead you to expect any radio functionality as this does not appear in this device's feature set.
The phone's camera features are limited to still shots or a four burst mode option where you can quickly move the camera to take a series of captures. Maximum resolution is 640 x 480 and presets are provided for different types of conditions and subject matter including people, landscape, sunny and night scenes. Image quality was a disappointment with photos appearing flat and a little out of focus.
The E61 comes with approximately 2MB of built-in memory and this is supported by a supplied 512MB MiniSD card which slots under the battery - hardly the most easily accessible location. There should be enough storage space to hold up to 500 songs which, co-incidentally, is the same number of entries allowed in the phone's address book. All the normal phone features and tools are supported apart from the surprising omissions of Bluetooth and infrared connectivity.
It does seem obvious, that in order to keep this product within its sub £100 price point for prepaid sales, some cut-backs have been made with this phone functionality and performance. The audio playback facilities are not too bad even if you have no access to synchronisation software. However the lack of Bluetooth and infrared plus disappointing camera aspects count against the phone. Still at £99 prepaid, it will appeal to those who want basic mobile capabilities and music on the move.
|add to del.icio.us||Digg this review|