OK... So I've been fiddling with the Samsung SGH-E200, which is supposedly the only KidSAFE compatible phone in Singapore (or anywhere else for that matter methinks). I can't say I'm liking the features much at the moment. LV's only 13 months old at the mo', so truly, I'm not looking to get her a mobile phone, though I must say she looks awfully cute running around with one, speaking to imaginary friends. I'm therefore really testing this phone with me in mind, and right now, I'm thinking, this phone is not exactly gonna score high on intuitive use. Here's what's wrong with it:
1. Too many steps to take just to send out one SMS. I have to click on menu, then
> go to "Messages"
> choose "create new message"
> choose "1. text message"
> type message (on a keypad that seems to have very delayed reaction)
> click "options"
> click "send only" or "save and send"
> click on the "to" dialogue box
> choose "phonebook"
> scroll to find number
> tick the checkbox next to the name I want to send the message to
> click "options"
> click "select"
> click "options" again, THEN
> click "send"
I think the sun would have set and risen again by the time any message gets sent out. So if the intention is to discourage kids from SMSg, they sure got it.
2. This darn phone locks when there's like about 7 seconds of inactivity. So, no, you cannot pause to think too long about the composition of your message or the next course of action on your phone before which it you out. Neither can you start on something and put it down for a short while to do something else before coming back to it, so in my books, not a very convenient multi-tasking companion. And it takes about 2-3 seconds to respond to the unlocking function. So far, this phone might just drive me crazy on these 2 functions alone.
3. As with point #1, any navigation through its functions to alter/amend/customise would drive you nuts with the numerous steps which are so counter productive in a day and age where speed is imperative. We're trying to keep communications here kid-safe, not impede it.
4. The phonebook, which is tied to the kidSAFE function, makes no sense at all. Phone numbers can be saved either to the phone memory or SIM card. Only numbers in the SIM card are given access for use to call out or receive calls from. That's all well and good. Presumably then, kids (or whoever else) who might want to save numbers from whoever for later approval could just key the info and save it to the phone memory for transfer into the SIM when approval is given. Right? Wrong. This silly phone, unlike other phones I've used before, does not let you transfer numbers between the phone memory and SIM. So to get the number approved, I have to re-enter the information into the phone and save it (again!), this time into the SIM. Tedious, tedious.
I suppose I *could* get used to using such a feature-intuitiveless phone; its good looks are definitely on its side if you can stand the dumb-blondness of its features. But to heck with the phone for now. I'm more interested in the filtering feature of this service. Seriously, for an adult, if I had to pick only 40 phone numbers to allow calls from (and to, since this goes both ways), who would I add to the line? I'm already trying to filter my 100+ long name list on my other mobile. In today's state of hyperconnectivity, I sometimes (actually frequently so) resent the fact that I can be so easily reached. Sometimes, other than filtering out nuisance calls from random telemarketeers, you just want undisturbed, protected family time. KidSAFE features in this regard, are looking *really* attractive to me at this point as an adult user. I'd seriously consider getting a second "weekendSAFE" phone attached to the same mobile number I usually use, but with this 40-number restriction. Whaddya think, M1?