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Sagem VS1 and VS2 (Vodafone Simply)

 Sagem VS1 Discontinued
21st May 2005

Here's a true story. About a year ago we had a look at a Sony Ericsson P900 here at Mobile Gazette. A hugely impressive Smartphone with bags of features.. but one of the few things we couldn't work out how to do was make a phone call from a contact on the SIM card. A simple operation that required a great deal of fiddling around and eventually a consultation with the manual. Now, we're not stupid at Mobile Gazette, but the problem was that the phone had so many features and such a confusing interface that often the more advanced tasks were simpler to use than the basic ones.

It turns out that we're not along in the struggle with technology, and a partnership between Sagem and Vodafone has come up with the VS1 and VS2 models, which Vodafone is calling the "Vodafone Simply" range. The Sagem VS1 is a curvy silver phone (pictured right), and the VS2 is a straight black phone (pictured below left ). As far as we can tell, the Sagem VS1 and VS2 are basically the same devices in a different case.

 Sagem VS2 Vodafone are a bit vague about the specifications, but a close examination of the press material seems to reveal that both the VS1 and VS2 have 128x160 pixel colour displays and are cameraless. In fact, both handsets are designed purely for phone calls and messaging, and lack  Bluetooth, a web browser or email client. We thing omitting the web browser is a big mistake, because the Vodafone Live service that you normally find on a Vodafone exclusive handset is actually pretty easy to use out of the box.

One nice thing about the VS1 and VS2 handsets is the way that everything is spelled out very in simple terms. No peculiar little symbols here that have you reaching for the manual. Indeed, the whole interface is based on plain old text descriptions rather than beautiful but obscure icons. We rather like this approach - keeping it simple rather than pretty appeals to us.

The Sagem VS1 and VS2 comes with a calender, alarm clock, predictive text messaging, calculator, integrated handsfree, polyphonics and some useful contact management features, but this is a handset you could master pretty easily. You can connect the handsets to a PC via a USB cable to back up data too.

There's no information on size and weight at present, but our best estimates are that the VS1 and VS2 measures something like 115x45x18mm and probably comes in at about 90 grams. Expect around 3-4 hours talktime and 8-10 days standby time too.

 Sagem VS1 and VS2 Who will the Vodafone Simply handsets appeal to? Well, clearly one market are those consumers who have just become fed up with reading the manual. Vodafone mention "over 55s" as a target range, but we suspect that most people over 30 get frustrated with over-complicated devices too. At Mobile Gazette, we've championed back-to-basics phones for a long time - we like to see handsets that are designed to just work for normal everyday stuff.

The Vodafone Simply / Sagem VS1 and VS2 handsets should start to become available for Vodafone customers from May and June onwards.

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